Author Topic: Talk to the neighbours or not?  (Read 2706 times)

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Syrse

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Talk to the neighbours or not?
« on: May 04, 2013, 05:50:39 PM »
Hey all,

I would love some insight into this, as I'm not sure if my annoyance is snowflakey.

We live in an apartment with 6 units. One of the downstairs ones is an apothecary, owned by the landlord. The other 5 are regular tenants, including us.
Every unit has a garage box out back. There is parking in front of the building as well: 7 spaces in total. Us tenants and our guests are allowed to park in front, as long as we leave a few spaces for the apothecary. No assigned parking there, but we tend to keep to the right (three spots) or to the absolute left (one spot) to keep the store front clear. Once in a while the apothecary will have the night shift, at which point we are supposed to leave open 3 spaces minimum, with a sign going up to remind us.

My issue, if it is even that, is our upstairs neighbors. They're a young couple with two cars, and they always, always park both of them in front. There was a time they stopped during the night shifts, but not even now. Recently they started to stash their bike up front too, partly blocking the way to the door, which is not always fun to manoeuvre around with the carseat.
I freely admit that, now that we have babySyrse, I usually just park in front as well.

If I was on speaking terms with them I could just casually ask about their garage box, but they never, ever talk to us. When they see us coming they'll hold the door open until we're there, but they'll always dash off, never a 'hi, my name is Amy', or anything of the sort.

Another problem is their dryer: the apparently both work in kitchens, and they do all of their laundry on Sunday. By the end of the day, our wash room is absolutely soaking if we forget to open the door, because their dryer heat feeds back into ours. I basically can't dry anything that day without taking it out immediately, or it gets clammy.

I'm not sure how to talk to them, or even if I should? I mean, the spaces aren't assigned, so it would be a bit snowflakey to demand other people not park there, no? They seem to have assigned themselves spots, which leaves us with the not too handy ones for getting the car seat out. Again, it's on a first come, first serve basis, so can I even bring it up?
Or should I just ignore and work around both issues until we move? Or could I call the landlord to talk about the dryer (and risk them being mad for not talking to them first)?

Your insights would be appreciated  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 06:54:34 PM »
Re: the laundry

I don't see there being anything wrong w/ them doing a lot of laundry on one day a week. I'd take that to the landlord and tell him you want him to come up with some way so that the dryer exhaust from the other apartment NEVER comes into your own apartment.

Because it's not about them doing anything wrong--it's about the landlord not providing appropriate venting.

If you own your apartment, I'd be talking to an HVAC company.

With the blocking of the door by the bike, I'd say you should slip them a note that says, "Your bike is often blocking free access through the door. Would you find a way to store it that doesn't?"

And w/ the parking spaces, I'd say, call the landlord and say, "I've noticed that one tenant seems to have permanently taken over spaces in the front--is that OK? I sort of wish they didn't, because it would make it easier for me on some days to be able to park on the street with the car seat and all. And it makes it much harder for any of us to have guests visit and still leave spaces for the apothecary. But I don't know how you feel about the spots, with the apothecary and all."

And otherwise, you should just park in your designated spot in the back.

And if you're ever having guests over, feel free to go knock on their door and ask if your guests can use their parking spaces, since they've parked on the street.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 09:34:49 PM »
The laundry issue you need to bring up with your landlord; that may be the only day they can do theirs. I know I have two jobs and my only day off is sunday. So that's my day to try and cram everything that needs to be done into. But it sounds like more of an issue with how it vents, rather than your neighbors doing all their laundry on one day.

as far as the parking unless they are assigned, i don't know that you can really say anything. I know in my complex there is tons of parking, but I never seem to get a spot on the side closest to the building, as some of the tenants park there, and many are retired, etc. and don't work, so sometimes their car will sit in teh same spot for days. it irks me every now and then, but there's nothing i can do as there is plenty of other parking and no assigned spaces.

SiotehCat

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 10:46:47 PM »
I think the only complaint that you can talk to them about is the bike. I would leave a note like TootsNYC suggested.

The parking spaces aren't assigned, so I don't think they are doing anything wrong. Its first come first serve and they get there first. We don't have assigned parking spaces in my complex, but most people here usually park in the same spot. When someone parks in my "spot", I just keep it moving and park in another spot.


sparksals

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 12:09:26 AM »
Considering the limited spots in the front, they are using more than their fair share, especially since they have a dedicated spot in the back.  I see no problem with parking one car in the front, but not two. 


As for the a laundry, that is a safety issue.  Improper venting is an extremely dangerous issue and a fire hazard.  I would contact your landlord immediately!


They should not be blocking the entry with their bike.  They have a garage in the back.  Either store their bike there or in the apt. 


Syrse

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 03:47:35 AM »
OP here,

As for the dryer venting, I realize it's not their fault, but I was wondering if it was etiquette approved to bring it up with them or not. I'll have a call with the landlord. They haven't started washing today yet  :P

The assigned spaces at the back are boxes, so I wouldn't be able to park in any other box, they're locked.
I sometimes have the odd idea that there's three of them living up there, which could explain oh so much. The apartments do have three bedrooms, but there's only two people on the lease. But that's none of my beeswax of course.
If the bike does it again... well, I'd feel silly leaving a note, as they live right above us and I can hear them. Wouldn't it be rude to leave a note instead of knocking on their door?

As for the parking, we're lucky that two of the tenants usually don't park in front: one doesn't have a car, and the other opts for his motorcycle. So we have three tenants using the front, meaning 4 cars. That leaves barely enough spaces for the apothecary. Which means sometimes someone will park behind cars because they just 'need the one thing'. Drives me batty.
We also have the problem of older people parking in two spots, because... they can't aim? I don't know.

Then again, I'm part of the problem, because I too park in front.

TootsNYC

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 09:43:08 AM »
If the bike does it again... well, I'd feel silly leaving a note, as they live right above us and I can hear them. Wouldn't it be rude to leave a note instead of knocking on their door?


six of one, half a dozen of another. It might be better and friendlier to knock on the door with a smile on your face.

Quote
Then again, I'm part of the problem, because I too park in front.

You really can't say anything to them, then.

As for the venting, it's nothing to do with them. It's a landlord issue. I'd think it really, really weird if you came to me. You want me to not use the amenities of my home because you don't want to call the landlord?

WillyNilly

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 10:16:25 AM »
If the bike does it again... well, I'd feel silly leaving a note, as they live right above us and I can hear them. Wouldn't it be rude to leave a note instead of knocking on their door?

I don't think its rude or weird. While they aren't hostile to you, they clearly have no interest in chatting. Some people are just not comfortable speaking with new people. It took me years to get up to chatting with neighbors in my apartment building and even now 11 years later, I confine it to pleasantries (although I tend to be chatty elsewhere... something about these people living so physically close made me want to keep them emotionally distant, its less claustrophobic living in a tight shared space that way).

NyaChan

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 10:53:21 AM »
I agree - the laundry thing is not their problem or their fault.  They have every right to do all their laundry on any day of the week they choose.  That is an issue for you to take up with the landlord, not in terms of making them stop, but to address the venting problem.  For the bike, I'd leave a note - it isn't weird just because you live in the same building.  I know my landlady, we have each others phone numbers, and we are home at the same times a lot.  But we still leave notes for each other for convenience. 

As for the parking spaces - unfortunately these seem to be a first come first served amenity, so while it is irritating to be sure, they aren't technically doing anything wrong.  You rented the apartment knowing you only had a guarantee of the garage.  You could however ask them if you can come to an arrangement for when you have guests and need a space for them to park. 

Syrse

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 12:11:49 PM »

As for the venting, it's nothing to do with them. It's a landlord issue. I'd think it really, really weird if you came to me. You want me to not use the amenities of my home because you don't want to call the landlord?

I wouldn't want them to change their habit, but I would love to know if they have the problem in reverse.

About the parking: yes I know the front is first come, first serve. But part of me worries that if we tenants push the issue, we'll suddenly find a 'please no longer park here, as the customers have no more room' note on the door. There used to be signs indicating the customer spaces, which were 4 for them, 2 for us. Landlord got rid of a flower bed to add an extra space which we kind of assume is for the tenants, plus half the signs fell down. So I admit it's confusing, but it comes down to three spots for us. Right now the above neighbor rides his motorcycle because of the fine weather, but come winter we'll be five cars fighting for those three spots. So yeah, it irks me.

Now that doesn't mean I'll go bang on their door and demand they move the car, that would be SS, but I can be a little irked, no?  :P
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 12:22:52 PM by Syrse »

citadelle

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 12:38:13 PM »
Quote from: Syrse link=topic=
If I was on speaking terms with them I could just casually ask about their garage box, but they never, ever talk to us. When they see us coming they'll hold the door open until we're there, but they'll always dash off, never a 'hi, my name is Amy', or anything of the sort.

snipped some from OP
Have you tried to initiate conversation with them? Maybe they feel the same way!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 12:54:15 PM by citadelle »

Syrse

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 02:18:44 PM »
Quote from: Syrse link=topic=
If I was on speaking terms with them I could just casually ask about their garage box, but they never, ever talk to us. When they see us coming they'll hold the door open until we're there, but they'll always dash off, never a 'hi, my name is Amy', or anything of the sort.

snipped some from OP
Have you tried to initiate conversation with them? Maybe they feel the same way!

I'm pretty sure they don't, because I have tried  :) But hey, no rules about having to be chatty with your neighbors.

Margo

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 03:49:14 PM »
I agree with PPs that the venting is an issue which your landlord needs to address, but it might be worth while you mentioning to them - letting them know that it is an issue, that you understand that it isn't their fault, but that you wanted to let them know you've spoken to the landlord so s/he may contact them.

As you mentioned that the signs for the parking have fallen down, is it possible that they don't realize that there are only 4 spaces available for everyone to share? I don't think it would be wrong for you to ask, politely, whether they would mind using one rather than 2 spaces, so that you / other tenants can also park at the front.

You could also ask the landlord about a general reminder to everyone, maybe requesting that no one unit uses more than one space.

Syrse

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2013, 04:23:40 PM »
That's what I was thinking, that maybe they don't realize we have the three-four spaces to split?

Talking to the landlord kind of scares me off, as I'd rather not have him decide 'well let's leave all the spaces for the clients, as I cannot possibly give you each one space'.

despedina

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Re: Talk to the neighbours or not?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 08:39:59 PM »
The only way I'd bring up the laundry issue with them is maybe to get them on your side so you can BOTH report it to the landlord. Something like, "Oh hi neighbor, I wanted to ask if when I did my laundry if you noticed the exhaust gets into your space, because I've noticed an issue when you do your laundry on Sundays my laundry room is very damp.  Maybe we should contact the landlord about this?"
Then after talking about that, maybe bring up the parking issue in a polite manor. Maybe say "And what are your thoughts on the current parking situation?"