10 Do’s and Don’t’s of High-Rise Apartment Living

Most live in high-rise residences here in Singapore, so here’s what to keep in mind when residing in population-dense private apartments, condominiums and HDB flats.

When it comes to high-rise living, whether you live in a private apartment or HDB flat, there’s no excuse to behave as if the common corridor, pool or void deck were an extension of your living room.

Condo Etiquette. Illustration by Angela Soh, Lookbox Living.

Statistics from the Ministry of Law state that 70 per cent of neighbourhood disputes are caused by noise pollution, with the remaining 30 per cent due to cooking clashes, corridor obstruction and children playing along corridors.

We’ve learnt to be more inclusive and tolerant neighbours over the years, but it’s always good to be reminded of etiquette guidelines once in a while to keep the peace!

#1 DO – Keep your windows clean

Unless your condominium MCST (Managing Corporation Strata Title) is responsible for the upkeep of your windows, you are the one responsible for the exterior surfaces of glass in windows and doors in the areas that are not common property.

As for HDB flats, as the owner or occupant, you are responsible for the upkeep of the windows in your flat.

#2 DON’T – Hog the Lift

Lift hogging is a common problem with high-rise living. Wait for non-peak hours before monopolising the lift to move your stuff.

#03 DO – Keep it down

This one’s for the karaoke lovers, Peranakan chilli pounders and party people. At least keep it down past 9 pm and before 9 am!

#04 DON’T – Litter on common property

Your MCST or town council has employed competent services to keep your building clean, and there is no need to quality-test the services with your sloppy habits. No one likes to come home to a wasteland – so everyone has to do their bit.

#05 DO – Be responsible for your pet

Keep your fur kids inside your home and not in the common areas. Clean up after an outdoor grooming session and/or after a poop-walking round.

RelatedUnderstand the HDB Pet Ownership Policy

#06 DO – Be mindful of cooking smells

The curry controversy was caused because one man’s durian is another man’s olfactory annoyance. Be socially aware of your culinary habits, especially when cooking with strong smelling ingredients or using your balcony as an outdoor kitchen.

#07 DON’T – Green your corridor

Gardening is a great personal habit to keep. Not so great as a social habit; especially on common property and if your neighbours are squeamish about insects and worms.

#08 DON’T – Obstruct common property

This means no permanent storage of your personal belongings along the corridor or staircase.

#09 DON’T – Dry your laundry outside your apartment

Laundry

This is hard to avoid – Singaporeans do like to sun- and air-dry our laundry rather than use the dryer, and most indoor spaces are just not adequately ventilated.

But rules are rules, so do not hang any laundry in such a way that they are visible from outside your apartment or flat, other than at areas designated for this purpose.

#10 DO – Abide by facility hours of operation

Your fellow residents and MCST do not care if you need more workout time at the gym. Heed the hours of operation and plan amenities usage accordingly.

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