Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Downside of Shared Living

We really love our building. It was built in 2006 and has 31 modern style condominiums over underground parking, an expansive lobby and street front retail shops. The units are high end and have hardwood floors, walnut cabinets, slab granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. We also have gorgeous canal views, especially from the rooftop patio. Not to mention that we are steps away from tons of places to eat drink, shop and exercise. And although we only have one bedroom in less than 800 square feet, our unit is unique and homey and works just perfectly for us right now. We’re also on the fourth floor and the building is very secure, which makes me feel safe on those nights when Stewart is on shift and I’m home all by my lonesome. And for those moments when I happen to slice my thumb open with a kitchen knife, our neighbors are friendly and kind and always willing to lend a helping hand.

That being said, we’re really starting to experience the downside of shared living. We’ve managed to end up with some Nasty Neighbors at the end of our floor. We knew when they moved in because suddenly the entire hallway began to reek of cigarette smoke. And although the communal hallway carpet has remained pristine for the past five years, within a few months the new tenants had managed to track black grease stains, dirt and drips from the elevator to their unit. Along with stains and liquid splash marks along the walls leading to their doorway. Each morning as I wait for the elevator, I hear people in there screaming either on the telephone or at one another. I’m really glad we don’t have any joining walls.

A few weeks ago I waited in the lobby for nearly 10 minutes for the elevator. There’s no stair access from that level, or I would have walked up. When it finally arrived, one of Nasty Neighbor’s teenager kids shoved out with four or five of her friends, giggling. I stepped in and proceeded to stop at each and every floor on the way back up… yes, they had in fact pushed every single button as they got out. Ha ha, very funny.

Worse than that, we recently found out that the reason the ceiling of our lobby had to be ripped out and replaced was because of water damage from Nasty Neighbors… they have overflowed their bathtub not once, not twice, but SIX times! This caused extensive water damage all the way from the fourth floor down through the lobby. The two insurance companies are currently fighting over who will cover the damage, but if it ends up going through our building’s homeowner insurance… guess whose HOA dues will go up? Awesome.

And as icing on the cake, we got home from vacation today to find out that there had been a fire on the roof over the weekend. Although smoking is prohibited up there, someone left a cigarette butt smoldering in one of the planters, which lit up and had to be put out by the fire department. If it hadn’t been discovered by another resident Sunday morning, the entire building could have burned down, so we were very lucky. But guess who has to pay for extensive repairs on the roof? That’s right… the homeowners. Now I don’t have proof that it was Nasty Neighbors who were smoking upstairs, but after their displays of blatant disregard for personal property, I’d probably bet a good chunk of change on it.

We’re still not sure if Nasty Neighbors are renting or if they actually own the unit, but they’ve really put a bad taste in our mouths about shared space. It sucks how one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch. I can’t wait until we have a whole house and yard to ourselves, so when something gets ruined we know we have no one to blame but each other.

1 comment :

  1. just read this! that sucks, but when you get your own house with a yard you still have neighbors! Ours are nice now (they just got a divorce so it's just the guy now..) but anyway, when we first moved in i was out back by myself while abe was napping and the freaks came over with two huge guns and threatened to shoot my dog! long story but it was CRAZY!!!! now the guys kisses our butts but it was one of the scariest experiences i've had!! I wish you could pick your neighbors!!!!!!!


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