With the economy presently going through a slump, coupled with banks tightening up with their lending facilities, more and more people are opting to rent rather than go through the pains of all the rigmarole that is involved with buying.
Although owning your own place comes with responsibilities, renting also has its own responsibilities. Once you’ve signed the lease and have moved into your apartment, there are certain things you should try and adhere to. With our wealth of experience in dealing with clients, we at Mafadi have listed just a few things that will help make your stay a lot easier and more pleasant when it comes to etiquette issues.

Make friends
Try to get to know your neighbours once you’ve moved in. You don’t have to go around knocking on doors and being in their faces, but rather wait for the right moment when you can introduce yourself. Maybe when you leaving your apartment and you see them in the passage way or maybe waiting for the elevator is a good time. You can tell a lot from first time meetings. Try and read their body language to give you a clue as to whether they are private people or more outgoing. Neighbours are good allies to have. You never know when you might need them.
Try and get to know the staff. Get to know their names. Whether it’s the maintenance guy or the cleaner, you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes when you greet them and call them by their names. You’ll never know when something unexpected comes up and you might need their assistance.
When entering the elevator, don’t be afraid to smile and greet those in the lift and acknowledge those that smile and greet you.

Pay the rent
As obvious as this may seem, there are still people that tend to drag their feet when it comes to paying out money. When you signed your lease, you agreed to pay an amount, agreed upon, on or before a stipulated date. It is your duty, to ensure you abide by this. Failing to do so is unlawful and considered bad manners. If you find at the end of a month however, you really have a problem regarding payment, do not be afraid to discuss it immediately with your landlord or letting agent. Keep them in the loop regarding your predicament, instead of allowing it to fester and cause untold ramifications. You’ll be surprised how accommodating landlords and letting agents can be.

Parking
Most apartment blocks will have parking facilities and in most cases you will be allocated a specific place to park. There will also more than likely be an area for guests to park. When parking, respect all parking bay borders by parking well within the lines. If you want to cause World War III, park, or allow one of your visiting guests to park in somebody else’s parking. This is the height of bad manners and is a big no-no.

Keep the noise down
One of the most common complaints we at Mafadi receive, is noise levels coming from within apartments. When staying in a confined space such as an apartment that is in close proximity to other apartments, noise tends to echo and carry more than if you were staying say, in a big house. Always try and be aware of this. If you stay above another person, try and not walk around in heavy hobnail boots, or when using a vacuum cleaner try not to use it roughly by bumping into furniture or walls. If you use exercise equipment like weights or treadmills, be considerate and use them as quietly as possible.

If you have electronic equipment, such televisions and hi-fi sets, try not to, if you can help it, put them against walls that connect to your neighbours, but rather use inner walls in your apartment. Noise vibrates easily between walls and can become highly irritating to the person on the other side of the wall.

If you have guests around for dinner or drinks, keep reminding them to keep the noise levels down. If you going to have a party, go to your neighbours, and apologise in advance that there might be some noise and that it’s a once-off and tell them what time you expect to finish. Better still, if you happy to, invite them. Chances are they probably won’t come, but it does show you keeping them in the loop and it does tend to soften the blow.

If you have children, teach them from day one to be considerate and keep noise levels down. Don’t allow them to run around in the hallways or worse still, play in the lifts. This will annoy other tenants and can be dangerous.

Smoking
If you’re a smoker, please observe the rules pertaining to smoking in the building. Many apartments today are let as non-smoking. If yours is one, stick to the rules and smoke in the areas designated specifically for smoking. When you finished, be sure you dispose of your butts in the allocated bins.

Pets
If your lease allows for you to have pets, try and choose a cat or a small dog. They tend to be unobtrusive and don’t pose a threat to anyone. Birds like budgies or parrots can be noisy which wouldn’t go down well with your neighbours. When taking dogs for walks, always ensure they are on a leash and always take a plastic bag with you to pick up any mess they might make
Refusal disposal
When disposing of refuse, always ensure boxes are opened up and flattened, and that any sharp objects such as broken bottles are double wrapped in newspaper for safety. Don’t overfill bags which become too heavy and are on the verge of breaking. If bags are leaking, double bag them. Leaking bags are a health hazard and can cause unnecessary smells and staining. Place refuse in the disposal bins supplied for pick-up, and not all over the place.

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