When your condo building has an outdoor space that you share with your neighbors, you’re part of a community. Whether that communal space is a lawn, a pool or a grilling station, treating the space with respect ensures everyone gets the most out of it. Try these best practices to help you be a considerate neighbor when using a shared space.

Follow the rules

Before hosting a soirée in a shared space, make sure the event you’re planning is permitted by your condo association.1 Read the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) or give your condo association president a call to check. Some associations may restrict the number of guests, alcohol, music or pets in shared spaces. Often, associations post the rules in communal areas to avoid confusion and scheduling conflicts.

If your building doesn’t have these precautions in place, consider giving your neighbors a heads-up about your plans to avoid an overlap with something they’re organizing. While you’re at it, you could extend an invitation to generate neighborly goodwill.

Clean up after using the area

Before you leave a shared space, take a look around and make sure:

  • Furniture is back in place and in the same condition that you found it.

  • All garbage is thrown away or recycled.

  • Food and drinks are cleared away from the area.

Those last two points are particularly important – leaving anything perishable behind could invite pests that make the space uninhabitable for others. Try to leave the space cleaner than you found it.

Keep the noise down

Consider your surroundings when deciding how loudly to play music. On a rooftop that isn’t connected to other condos, for example, turning up the music so your friends can enjoy it may be reasonable.1 If you’re in a green space surrounded by other units, be considerate. Not everyone may have the same schedule as you do, and the noise can be a significant distraction – or even illegal. Check local laws for noise ordinances and time restrictions.2

Remember, the pool is for everyone

Though few things are more satisfying than having a pool to jump in, remember that a condo pool is not a private pool. Following the rules is essential, as is making it welcoming for other neighbors.3 If you’re using floats or toys that belong to the condo association, put them back in their place after you’re finished so others can use them. As with any other space, clean up after yourself and take your belongings with you when you leave.

When you share outdoor areas with your neighbors, it can create a sense of community that makes your condo quickly feel like home. All you have to do is treat the space and each other with respect.