How to be a good communicator in strata

Living in strata can be fraught with problems sometimes, and we’ve all heard horror stories of the neighbor from hell making life a misery. But strata living doesn’t have to be that way – and with good communication, it shouldn’t be. It pays huge dividends to promote strong and clear communication within your body corporate building. Good communication will improve relationships within the building, your chances of enjoying a peaceful life and your own stress levels – all things that are well worth doing.

Here are a few things you can do to promote good communication in your strata building.

Discuss problems with your neighbours first before making it official

Confronting others is never easy, but most people prefer to know something’s a problem before being slapped with an official notice. In many cases, people may not realise that their smoke is drifting into your lot, for instance, or that you can hear their TV through the floor all day long. If you have a problem, the first and best place to start is by taking your issue directly to the person involved – politely and rationally, of course.

Listen calmly if you are confronted with a problem

If you’re the one being confronted by someone with a complaint, take a few breaths, and listen calmly to their issue. While you may feel aggrieved, consider the fact that it’s better to be confronted informally, than formally with an official complaint. This person is giving you the chance to peacefully work out a resolution that will hopefully suit you both, so be grateful for that at least. Really listen to what the other person is saying, and imagine if it was you, or someone you love, in that situation. If their complaint is reasonable, do your best to resolve it. When living with others, you won’t always be able to have your own way, and a certain amount of give and take is required. If you really can’t resolve it, try mediation first to give everyone a chance to have their side heard and considered.

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Let your neighbours know if it’s going to get noisy

People are usually much more willing to put up with a bit of noise if you warn them in advance that it’s going to be happening – and for how long. If you’re planning on throwing a big party, or having some noisy renovation work done, or getting your dog used to apartment living, let your neighbours know. They’re much less likely to complain if you’ve given them a heads-up, and an end date for the noise pollution.

Keep lines of communication open

It’s far easier to resolve issues if you have strong lines of communication with your neighbours. Even if there’s no problems, make sure you are talking with your neighbours informally on a regular basis. This will make it much easier to solve any problems that may occur down the track.

Accept that problems will occur

With a wide diversity of people living in such close proximity to each other, it’s inevitable that problems will sometimes occur. But they don’t have to remain problems – with calm, respectful and considerate communication, most problems can be satisfactorily resolved while keeping relationships with your neighbours intact.