Apartment Living


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Flat Chat

Just Don't Do It

Those of us who live in apartment and love it worry a little that all the negative press (mostly generated by this column) might put people off buying into buildings like ours.

And it's not just that we want as many bidders as possible when we come to (reluctantly) sell. We all like to think that we have made the right choice and probably seek some validation from those who are yet to abandon drab suburbia for the excitement of high-rise life.

So if you paused here en route for the "apartments for sale" page, it's only right to tell you that you don't have to be an urban guerrilla, fighting the good fight against greedy developers and corrupt politicians.

You could just sit back and let your neighbours get on with it.

Let's face it, if you join your Executive Committee, you're only going to have to put up with whingers moaning about yappy dogs and leaky baths while some do-gooder bangs on about vertical villages and a sense of community, whatever that is.

If the EC is run by some bully-boy "mate" of the developer, you don't want to be stuck in a lift with them just after you've accused them of corruption, treason and incompetence.

You don't want to hear from your neighbours only when they complain about the colour of the car park paint or the ridiculously high levies. NB: Levies are always "ridiculously high".

Unpaid and unloved, you'll face aggressive abuse from developers' highly paid lawyers and blank silence from politicians and journalists who don't get it and don't want to get it because they don't care and it makes their heads hurt.

And if you ever do get your message across, your neighbours will have conniption fits, fearing that you've just devalued the whole building because you couldn't keep your stupid mouth shut.

So don't feel you have to get involved in all this nonsense. Just pay your levies, take whatever the Executive Committee decides to throw at you and, if it all gets too unbearable, either sell up or rent the place out to some other sucker.

And there's no need to feel guilty about it. After all, it's what most people do.

First published SMH July 2006