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Dan St. Yves: Calls the property manager doesn’t want to hear

I was surprised to discover that it was waaaay back in September 2003 that I wrote a column on moving into a strata property – Welcome To Gated Paradise. That was pretty much an opening for me to just list a bunch of phrases you wouldn’t want to hear from your new neighbours.

For example:

  • “I don’t care how long it takes; my wife is gonna master those bagpipes someday!”
  • “You get used to the septic smell after a few months…”
  • “Did you know that my living room looks directly into your bedroom?”

I hadn’t considered back then that whether you live in a condo complex as an owner or a renter, you are equally exposed to the property manager. Sometimes awesome, sometimes less so, the property manager is likely the front line for resident conflict resolution, or attention to some property detail that has failed in some way.

So allow me to turn that earlier column around and suggest a few lines that a property manager might not want to hear from a renter or an owner:


1. Are there any restrictions on when my heavy metal band can practice in my suite? I know we can get really loud, but seeing as it is just a studio apartment, the sound can’t travel that far, right?


2. Hi, can I ask you to tell my upstairs neighbour to quit banging my ceiling so loudly? I can barely hear my giant woofers over his incessant stomping! Must not be a trance music fan.


3. Umm, no, I’m not drying animal hides in my condo.


4. Hello. I was drilling into my ceiling the other day to install my new swag lamp, and I may have punctured my neighbour’s waterbed.


5. Please advise – does “pet-free” mean that I’m just not able to actually pet my Great Pyrenees triplets?


6. I’m writing to notify you that there has been a rather substantial explosion in my unit.


7. May I ask who has complained about my Canadian flag curtains?


8. Hi, just calling to ask if you have any experience with plumbers that have succeeded in recovering baby alligators.


9. Exactly how firm is that rule on refraining from operating a business out of my unit? Uhh, well, I’ve opened a Pizza Hut…but to be fair, we don’t offer dine in!


10. Who do I have to speak to regarding the carpenter ant farm that I was carrying into my apartment, and dropped?


11. So let me get this straight – marijuana is legal now, but using my three-bedroom suite to grow hundreds of plants is a problem?


12. Frankly, I don’t see why you are so angry – I’m offering to pay my entire back rent as soon as I can buy just one winning lottery ticket.


13. But the parking space you provided for my unit was outdoors – I like the one I found in the parkade!


14. I appreciate that they’re loud, but if I don’t test these lighthouse foghorns I purchased online at least once a week, the warranty is considered void.


15. I totally understand that the other residents using the community space are a bit unsettled by it, but I did spend years in the nudist colony, and those darn underwear fabrics chaff like the dickens!

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