‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: 6 Unwritten Apartment Rules That People Always Break
Yesterday I went to a concert right after work. Though it was one of my favorite bands (Eve 6, in case you were wondering. The ’90s are totally back. Like, whatever), it wasn’t something I had planned in advance. I Forrest Gump-ed my way into the tickets that day because I happened to check Stubhub.com…
Yesterday I went to a concert right after work. Though it was one of my favorite bands (Eve 6, in case you were wondering. The ’90s are totally back. Like, whatever), it wasn’t something I had planned in advance. I Forrest Gump-ed my way into the tickets that day because I happened to check Stubhub.com and happened to see they were playing and that there were tickets left. Anyway, because it was so last minute, I had to go in my work clothes—slacks and sensible ballet flats, instead of my normal concert attire consisting of jeans and Converse. But, sadly, that was not the most egregious fashion on display there.
It’s an unwritten rule at concerts that you don’t wear the shirt of the band you’re going to see. I don’t know why. Just…don’t do it. Everyone knows that. Yet, people were walking right up to the merch tables, buying Eve 6 shirts, and putting them on right away, as if they weren’t even doing anything wrong. Kids today, am I right?
Of course, concerts aren’t the only place where unwritten rules get broken. Here are six unwritten apartment rules that get broken all the time. Have you seen any of these unwritten rules broken by your residents?
Acknowledge your neighbors in the halls or if you see them outside of the building. You don’t have to have a full-on conversation. But these people are your neighbors, so you should at least acknowledge their existence so you don’t cause hurt feelings. A simple nod or a “Hey,” before you go on your way definitely works. If you’re going to snub your neighbors, at least have the decency to hide until they’re gone.
Don’t hog all of the washers and dryers. If it’s peak laundry time in your building, don’t take up all the machines. (And if you really need like eight machines at once, well, gross. Maybe you should consider doing your laundry more frequently so it doesn’t pile up like that.) Along the same lines, when you put in a load, you don’t have to stay down there with it, but take note of when it’s going to be done, and come down and get your laundry right away when it is. Other people are waiting to use the machine, after all. And, while it’s also an unwritten rule not to take people’s clean laundry and put it on the floor so you can use the machine, if the person has been waiting around for more than, say, 15 minutes, for you to transfer your laundry, that rule goes out the window. And your laundry goes out of the machine.
Keep hold of your pet in the lobby and elevator. Yes, he’s adorable and you can’t imagine anyone not being as in love with him as you are. But some people are allergic. And some people are afraid. And some people just aren’t animal people. So keep your pet close and don’t let him jump all over people. After all, if I jumped on you in the elevator and licked your face, you wouldn’t be so happy about it. (Or would you? Actually, I don’t want to know.)
Separate your garbage and recycling, and tie up the bags so they don’t spill everywhere. Garbage is gross, so sometimes we try to get rid of it as quickly as possible (I know I hold it as far away from me as I can while running to the garbage room in my building and saying “Ew, ew, ew, ewwwwwwww!” and then running back to my apartment.) But, before you bring it down, separate your recycling, flatten your boxes, and tie up the garbage bags. That way no one has to go through it to get the recyclables and it won’t collapse in a pile on the next person.
Return packages/mail if they’re delivered to you by mistake. If you get a neighbor’s mail by mistake, either give it to the doorman if you have one, or leave it near their mailbox so they can get it. You don’t want bad mail karma—it would be a shame if those birthday cards from grandma started to disappear just because you decided to keep that Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupon that wasn’t meant for you!
Close your curtains when you’re changing. Unless you look like Brad Pitt, circa Thelma and Louise. Then, carry on.
What other unwritten apartment rules do you see that get broken? Are there any of these that bother you enough to make them actual rules instead of just unwritten rules?
-Jessica Fiur, News Editor
Photo credit: Tatiana Makotra