Living in a condo in the Philippines is one of the most desirable ways of living. Since most condominium buildings are situated near shops, restaurants, offices, tourist spots, and sometimes situated on the mountains and near the sea, it provides great accessibility, comfort, and convenience. But since you are living wall-to-wall with other people in the building, it’s best to be mindful about condo living etiquettes in the Philippines. Here are some etiquettes that you need to know.
Minimize the Noise
Living in a condo means your neighbors are most likely just on the other side of your wall. While most Philippine condos have thick walls to create a soundproof environment, a certain amount of noise is allowed in case of emergencies such as a fire alarm. That certain amount of noise shouldn’t be you singing karaoke or playing music loudly. Condo buildings have Officers-in-Charge and they can issue a noise complaint if the other tenants deemed you to be a nuisance to their peace. If you are given a notice or have been warned, simply comply and never let it happen again or you will have a bad reputation amongst your neighbors.
If you know you have thin walls, having visitors can create some noise in your unit so it’s advisable to let them hang around the lobby or the function room if the condo building has them. If none, nearby cafes and restaurants are a good alternative option.
Avoid Smelly Food
Range hoods are truly vital when living in a condo. They will take away all the bad odors caused by your cooking and improves the air quality of your kitchen. If your unit doesn’t have one then it’s best to be cautious of the types of dishes you will be cooking. This is especially true when you are renting as some condo owners are specific about what not to cook in their unit. Some foods still leave a lingering smell which will cause complaints for future potential tenants and depreciate the value of the room. Indian food has gained a bad reputation for some condo owners because of its strong smell. Bringing in smelly produce such as durian is a big no-no not only to the owners but also to the neighbors and staff as well.
Strictly Follow No Smoking Rules
Speaking of odor, another one that you should strictly follow is the no smoking rules. Cigarettes (especially the ones bought in packs) also leave a bad lingering smell to the unit and other common areas. If you are renting, all condo owners will agree that smoking is prohibited inside their unit because of how the smell lowers the value of their room. The biggest mistake you will ever do is smoking inside the elevator and the hallways as that is an automatic complaint not only from the neighbors but also the condo management as well. Throwing away cigarette butts out the window will draw the ire of people down below and is considered littering. If you really need to smoke, condominiums most likely have a designated smoking area so do ask where they are.
Follow the Building's Garbage Disposal Rule
Each condominium has their own garbage disposal rule. The sales agents (if buying) or condo owners (if renting) will explain them to you before you start staying in the unit. While segregating garbage rules might be different from building to building, it’s important to know them as most condos are keen on following environmental laws and creating proper waste management to encourage a culture of recycling. Take note of the disposal days for each segregated materials. Most modern condos have garbage chutes outside the hallway which makes it convenient for you. If none, garbage collectors roam around floor to floor on certain times so just leave them outside the hallway.
Pay Condo Dues on Time
Paying condo dues are always a part of your expenses when staying in a condo regardless whether you are a renter or the owner. The monthly payment is used for various purposes such as building maintenance (especially the amenities and facilities), and government permits and license fees. Please take note of the due date. If you exceed 2 or 3 months of payment, the building administration might write you down as a delinquent tenant (if owner) or deduct your security deposit for non-payment (if renter). Most building management will cut off your electricity and water supply until you paid your exceeding balance. If renting, the condo owners will usually include it in your rent so it won’t be a hassle for you thinking about it as a tenant.
Have a Friendly Attitude to the Staff and Neighbors
It’s always good to have a good relationship with people around you especially since you might see them more than once in the same building. It’s not necessary to socialize with them a lot if you don’t want to but acknowledging their presence through a few words won’t hurt and they will appreciate it. If you are introverted or just not chatty, just a simple “hello” will do. Avoid unnecessary drama when conflict arises. Simply tell them the problem and discuss things peacefully. The staff handles other tenants as well so they are burdened with work.
Be Mindful When Using Amenities and Facilities
Most Philippine condos have a lot of amenities and facilities. It’s one of the best perks in condo living. But do take note that other people are using these areas as well so it’s best to be mindful about them. For example, if your condo has a barbecue grilling area by the swimming pool, it’s best to clean up after using. Other residences will appreciate your good behavior and creates harmony in the community.
Park Like a Good Driver
When you want to include a parking space with the unit, always remember to park your car in your designated space. Some residences just park their car on someone else’s space near the entrance or exit because they will just leave immediately. Whatever your reason is, it creates conflict towards other people. A few steps to the entrance or exit does no harm compared to a complaint from other tenants.
Watch Over Your Children and Pets
If you are living with your pets and children, make sure to check the rules and the areas they are allowed to go. Gardens, jogging paths, playgrounds are the common areas that children are allowed. Pets are commonly restricted in play rooms, gyms, and swimming pools. If you are renting, do ask the agent or owner if the neighbors are okay with some noise coming from their pets and children. We don’t want any conflict with them so it’s recommended to ask.