As any city renter will tell you, any amount of outdoor space in an urban environment is a boon. While some are lucky enough to have their own private patio or, in rare cases, a whole yard, most outdoor spaces come with neighbors attached.
Knowing how to best deal with these communal spaces is tricky, but the payoff can be huge. As long as everyone knows how to play nicely together, it can create a great sense community and be a neutral space for socializing with one another. Here are a few tips, but leave your own in the comments below.
1. Make sure it is, indeed, a communal space and respect the privacy of those living around you. Just because you both have access to a patio or balcony doesn't mean you should enjoy a glass of wine just outside your neighbor's bedroom window at 2 am. Try to use common sense as to where "your" space ends and your neighbors' begins.
2. Clean up after yourself, and your pet! Everyone might not choose to invest in improving a shared space, but be sure to leave it in as good of shape as you found it in. Enough said.
3. Consult with the neighbors before making changes. While you might consider new outdoor furniture an improvement, your sensibilities might not be in line with those living around you. Make sure that everyone is on board before making any real changes on behalf of the building.
4. Enjoy it together. Whether it's sharing drinks or a pre-planned barbecue, there's no better way to enjoy the space (and make plans for improvements) than together.