Mutual Respect Goes a Long Way in Tenant Housing
Common courtesy can improve the vibes at your rental house or building. It is far more difficult to live in most common apartments in close quarters with a number of strangers, as opposed to the luxury of owning your own home with a back yard, a garage, a garden and all the middle class amenities. Mutual respect is the code of inner city life even in the toughest neighborhoods. Courtesy is simply a means to value your fellow human beings as well as demonstarting by quiet example that you would prefer the same courtesy in return. It also reduces tensions and conflicts that might otherwise disrupt the peace later.
- Keep the noise down - Try to restrict your stereo and television to a reasonable volume especially at night. Wear headphones when you can. Make an effort to situate your speakers and entertainment appliances at optimal distance from the walls of adjacent tenants. Elevate them off the floor if possible when other tenants might live below. Try not to run your garbage disposer at late hours. Walk gently without pounding your heels. If you have a dog, teach it to be quiet. Making others lose sleep is a good way to make enemies.
- Park in peace - If you have a vehicle, try to arrive and depart courteously. Never leave your engine running longer than needed next to someones apartment. It creates noise and carbon monoxide. Turn off your headlights as you approach a parking space adjacent to someones apartment window. Use your courtesy lights instead. Turn off your car boom box a half block before you drive up.
- Respect the air - Don't smoke directly outside someone's window or door. Ventillate your apartment often to prevent any smoke, cooking or bathroom odors or other smells from inevitably migrating through your house or building. Nonsmokers, the elderly, children, people with allergies and air lovers are all very sensitive to indoor air pollution. If you're a smoker, consider dropping this bad habit cold turkey. If you have a cat litter box, clean it often to prevent odors from migrating. Don't allow yourself to become content with odors. They will deaden your own sense of smell while grossly offending others.
- Don't waste common utilities - Many rental buildings share the gas bill for heating and hot water. Try turning the thermostat all the way down every time you go out. Turn it down to a minimal comfortable level when you are at home. Excess energy consumption is a leading cause of Earth's environmental destruction. Global warming is one result. It disrupts the lives, the agriculture and economies of poor nations. But worst of all, energy has gotten expensive. Therefore it's best to cooperate by keeping the thermostat low. Keep furniture and everything else away from heater units. This too can waste energy and run up everyone's shared heating bill.
- Don't make your pet a problem - If you are permitted to have a pet animal, take care not to let it become a liability. Walk your dog outdoors to minimize psychological stress that can lead to barking. Bring a couple of plastic bags to clean up after your dog. Nobody wants to step in it. Don't let your dog or cat get into scrapes with other pets around the building.
- Have respect for privacy - Never stare into someones apartment even if a curtain or a door is open. Averting your gaze is a sign of mature respect for privacy. Home windows were meant to look out from, not into, except in emergencies. Always knock and wait for an invitation to enter before doing so. Don't knock on a stranger's door without a really good reason.
- Get along - Don't let little problems turn into arguements. Make an effort to solve any that occur, by doing your part to make it right. Don't be a busybody by informing the landlord about trivial problems caused by other tenants.. Be an example of courtesy to other tenants without getting overly invloved in their daily routines. They pay rent too and probably wish to be left alone.
More courtesy clues to come later!