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Etiquette tips for ‘complex’ living
- Respect for rules and cordial relations boost neighbourliness in apartment blocks

Want to hop on to the highrise bandwagon, but low on the dos and don’ts of the high life' With more Calcuttans — often in the dark about apartment etiquette — opting for swank complexes, city builders have decided to generate awareness about community living to ensure proper utilisation of facilities and happy co-existence.

Do you take the stairs while going down to reduce the burden on your highrise elevator and save electricity' Do you allow the elderly and children to get into the lift first' Do you drive slowly inside your complex, keeping an eye out for kids and walkers' Are you careful your dog doesn’t dirty common areas of the building'

P.S. Group, a south Calcutta-based development firm, will start by addressing all these questions and more through a series of workshops between builders and buyers and among flat-owners, designed to emphasise the values of a good neighbour and to reduce the stress on common infrastructure.

“To carry the initiative forward, we have come out with a booklet, Simple Tools for Complex Living, an etiquette checklist for getting the most out of your housing complex and living in harmony with your neighbours,” explains Pradip Kumar Chopra, managing director, P.S. Group. The group will organise the first interactive workshop, featuring a presentation on the “recommended protocol” of apartment living and a Q&A, at Auckland Court, one of its “best-maintained” complexes by month-end, and follow it up with similar meets, at bigger venues, depending on the response.

Topics to be covered include the need for attending building society meetings regularly, timely payment of maintenance fees; respecting restrictions while using common facilities, like elevators; children’s park or health club rules; parking of vehicles at prescribed places and receiving neighbours’ mail and guests while they are out.

“People living in apartments must realise that the neighbour is the first point of contact and help in a crisis, and that vital helpline is lost if they don’t see eye-to-eye,” observes Chopra. “We all need our homes to be peaceful, which can only be achieved through good practices. So, we are stressing on simple details and etiquette, which apartment-owners often tend to forget or ignore,” says Chopra.

Other developers have welcomed the awareness campaign and Sanjeevani Group, behind VIP Road’s Club Town and Space Town, is keen to take it a step further. “We are planning a finishing school for prospective apartment-buyers, which will answer relevant queries and prepare them well for community life inside a large housing complex, where sharing is the key,” says Raj Modi, director of the group.

Sushil Mohta, MD, Merlin Group and honorary secretary of the City Developers’ Forum feels, as the city is “relatively new to the culture”, flat-owners will soon pick up its discipline. Mohta, who has researched apartment trends abroad, feels maintenance, respect for regulations and cordial relations among neighbours are the bulwarks of a content complex.

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