Author: Easy House / published: 28 February 2022

Balcony – shared or private

The possession of a balcony for the exclusive use of the apartment owner often determines the choice of one’s own flat. To what extent does the balcony, or more precisely its components, belong to the apartment owner, and what is taken care of by the community?

Who is responsible for renovating the balcony

Having a balcony is undoubtedly an added value for the apartment user. It serves to relax, organize green space, and sometimes as a place to store things. The question that arises most frequently is: who is responsible for its renovation – the apartment owner or the community? It is difficult to find an answer to this question in the legal regulations themselves, but court judgments and interpretations of the law come to the rescue. According to these laws, the housing community is responsible for the balcony slab and its insulation, as common parts of the building, while the owner of the apartment is responsible for the surface with which the balcony is tiled with (tiles, terrace boards). Balustrades and barriers are also classified as common parts of the real estate, unless the regulations and statutes of the community provide otherwise, and this issue is regulated internally.

How to enjoy one’s own balcony…

The use of a balcony and the space within it is a very individual matter. Some use it to relax after a hard day’s work: they enjoy tending to the greenery, decorating it with pots of flowering plants, setting up deckchairs. Others use their balcony for more functional purposes, enlarging the living space and drying their laundry or storing items that get in their way in the apartment. Everyone makes use of the balcony in accordance with individual needs and expectations.

…and not disturb the neighbours

The most important thing, however, is not to make it difficult for others to use their space when using our balcony in a way that is convenient for us. It’s worth anticipating such scenarios as the one when, during excessive watering of potted plants, we inadvertently make the downstairs neighbor’s drying underwear dirty, or when, while firing up the barbecue, we accidentally smoke in the neighbor’s child’s bedroom. Although the balcony is an external part of the property, it should be used like any other common space. Mounting pergolas or satellite dishes can be a nuisance for the owners of neighboring balconies, because, for example, they take away daylight or obstruct the view from the window. Therefore, out of concern for good relations with the neighbors, it’s worth asking whether the changes we plan to make to the balcony will not be problematic for them.

What to agree with the community manager

It is also worth mentioning a few issues that require consultation with the community manager. For example, installation of an external air-conditioning unit may interfere with common parts (damage to the insulation of a balcony slab or a wall by drilling a hole for the installation). The same applies to the installation of awnings, roofings or partitions. So this type of change is better to discuss first with the person responsible for the technical condition of the building.

The balcony in a community living space is an important social element and has a positive impact on the well-being of people: it allows them to talk to their closest neighbors without leaving the apartment, its lucky owners can sip coffee outdoors and enjoy the nice weather or provide themselves with an intimate space to read a book and relax with good music. In many cities, this space has been appreciated by the municipal offices, which hold annual competitions for the most beautiful balcony.

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Author: Easy House / published: 04 february 2022

Bike racks in a community

The approaching spring mobilizes lovers of bikes to dust them off, oil them and generally prepare for the season. Lucky are those who have a place to "hibernate" their bikes. But what about the residents, who dream of owning a bike, but have nowhere to store it?

Where to keep the bike in the apartment?

No one probably needs convincing that physical activity is very important for our health – cycling is one of its most popular forms. But storing a bike in a small apartment or on a balcony can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, and not everyone has a storage room or a public baby carriage room at their disposal. There are, however, many options for solving this problem. In a housing community much depends on its members and board, and of course on the spatial and technical possibilities to separate a zone or room from a part of the property or install bicycle racks or hangers.

Bike storage ideas

The choice offered by manufacturers in this area is wide. In the offer of many companies we can find, for example:

Such an extensive range of products will meet the various expectations and needs of residents of housing estates. Contrary to appearances, in most multi-family buildings there are possibilities of arranging space for mounting of e.g. bicycle hangers, where you can leave your bike without disturbing others from the property.

Keeping bikes in the common area – limitations and opportunities

In situations where the common area that could be used for bicycle storage has been used differently so far, a resolution is needed from the unit owners agreeing to change the use of that part of the property. It is also possible to consider renting the space, or even leasing a single hanger or stand, whereby the community would benefit financially and the bicycle owner would have a place for exclusive use.

Advantages of external bicycle racks

It is also worth considering putting up outdoor bike racks or garages, if there is enough space. Their presence makes it easier for cyclists to enter the apartment without having to carry their favourite bike through the staircase and risk rubbing tires on the walls.

Additional bike racks can also increase the chances that some residents will switch from four-wheelers to two-wheelers – to the benefit of both the environment and the community itself, which will benefit from the attractiveness of the estate and the health and satisfaction of the residents.

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