Moving into an apartment can be an exciting time. Quite often it’s your first experience of independence and self-sufficiency. But living in an apartment can have its downsides, beyond paying rent. In many ways, the independence of apartment living is undercut by how dependent you can be on your landlord and fellow tenants to make your occupancy bearable. Here are four common issues with living in an apartment, and steps you can take to fix or eliminate them.
One person’s music is another person’s noise. This carries over to the way other people perceive volume levels when it comes to talking, working, and playing. Neighbors who have loud conversations are probably used to living in a more vocal household, for instance. Fair’s fair, though, and carrying on late into the night isn’t very neighborly. Naturally, you can politely ask neighbors to keep it down, but first consider whether it’s them being too loud or the walls being too thin. Use noise-dampening furnishings like rugs, curtains, and wall-hangings to absorb noise and invest in a white noise machine.
Space…the Final Frontier
Whether you have a studio apartment or a two-bedroom flat, there may come a time when you’re running out of space for your stuff. Obviously, you can’t ask the landlord to build more room, but you can find out if there’s a storage area you can use for larger items. Most apartment buildings have a basement, attic, or external unit where tenants can store and lock away furniture, bicycles, or whatnot. It may be free or require a small fee, but it’s certainly convenient. As for your apartment, purchase shelving, boxes, and other storage solutions that make better use of spaces in closets, under beds, and nearer the ceiling.
The third of our four common issues with living in an apartment is a somewhat ickier one. Having so many people living in close quarters can attract vermin, such as mice, rats, bedbugs, cockroaches, and other pests. Pests are mostly attracted to food, so be sure you’re doing your part by properly disposing refuse and keeping your apartment clean (especially the kitchen). If you don’t maintain the property, the landlord may hold you accountable for infestations and charge you for extermination. This is a team effort. Work with your landlord and neighbors to identify and prevent pests from taking over.
Minding the Mail
Getting mail can be an ongoing issue when you live in an apartment. Your landlord needs to provide you with a mailbox. If you don’t have a mailbox or the one you have is broken, let your landlord know. If your they fail to provide one, you’re within your rights to complain to the post office, and your landlord can face a hefty fine if they don’t come through. Talk to your landlord about package deliveries as well. They may already have a safe and secure system in place.
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.