How to File an Apartment Noise Complaint

Living next to, under or above the second coming of “Animal House?” Or, do you share a wall with a very Cujo-like dog? There’s no need to put up with that mess. File an apartment noise complaint and get your home back to something that at least resembles peace and quiet.

Apartment living is going to come with some reasonable amounts of noise. Unless your walls are ultra-insulated, you’ll hear your neighbors from time to time as they go about their business and they’ll hear you.

That said, there’s reasonable noise and then there’s the noise that makes you want to break your lease and move to the country. You know, the type of noise that accompanies stomping work boots, all-night ragers or endlessly howling pups. Whether this happens during your work-from-home shift or the overnight hours really doesn’t matter. If the noise is keeping you from sleeping, working or simply enjoying life to the fullest, you need to make it stop. Pronto.

Common reasons to file an apartment noise complaint

When you have that many people living in close proximity, someone is bound to file a noise complaint from time to time. Here are some of the most common reasons that people file an apartment noise complaint:

  • Too much noise after 10 p.m.
  • Pet-related noise
  • Loud music or television
  • Excessively loud parties
  • Excessive child-related noise
  • Fighting/yelling (if you suspect domestic violence call the police immediately)
  • Stomping or excessively heavy walking

Maybe you’ve tried a friendly conversation with the neighbor in question, only to have it fall flat. Or, maybe you don’t have time or interest in that type of personal engagement. No matter! The next step to take is to file an apartment noise complaint.

Too much noise upstairs

Too much noise upstairs

How to file an apartment noise complaint

The process to file an apartment noise complaint varies slightly from one property to the next. The bones of the process, however, are generally the same. Here are some helpful tips to get it done the right way.

Check the lease

Remember that document that you and everyone else in the community signed before moving in? The lease contains everything you need to know about what types of noise are normal and what types are excessive. When in doubt, refer to the lease for answers.

Almost all leases include something called the right of “quiet enjoyment.” This right holds that a tenant can reasonably and peacefully enjoy their home, without undue interference from either neighbors or the landlord.

So, the right of quiet enjoyment protects tenants from excessive disturbances, like a landlord that harasses the tenant on the regular or a neighbor who continually plays their music at top volume. It does not protect from standard noise, like quiet footsteps or the occasional bit of muffled laughter.

The terms of normal vs. excessive noise are out in the lease. Many landlords also include “quiet hours” in the lease. Often, those are from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., give or take.

Check your local laws

In some states, a breach of quiet enjoyment with no correction is grounds for a tenant to either withhold rent or break the lease without warning or penalty. Make sure to check your city/state’s specific laws on this matter before you do anything drastic.

Keep a noise record

The minute you hear excessive noise, start keeping a journal. Hopefully, it’ll just be a one-off incident, but if it isn’t, you’ll be prepared. Make sure to include all pertinent details, including:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Type of noise
  • Length of the disturbance
  • Where the noise is coming from
  • The decibel level of the noise. Try an app like Decibel X or Sound Meter PRO to document how loud the noise actually is.
  • Comments and contact information from other neighbors affected by the noise

A detailed log of noise violations makes a stronger argument than just a vague “they’re keeping me awake” complaint. It’s always helpful to show a pattern in the case of repeat offenders. Also, landlords hear a lot of complaints, so the more specific you are, the better.

File the complaint

If you’re not sure how to file an apartment noise complaint, simply ask! Email or call the property manager’s office to find out the best way to document the issue in writing. Sometimes, there’s a tab on the community’s website for filing a noise complaint. Or, they might have you email a specific person.

Follow the given directions and be sure to include all of the details found in your log. Make sure to screenshot the complaint or print a copy for your records. In this case, a paper trail is a good thing! If you need help, use a sample complaint letter to format the grievances.

Follow up on the complaint

Now is not the time to back down. You pay a lot of money for that space, and it should be an enjoyable retreat from the outside world! If your initial apartment noise complaint didn’t solve the problem, file another one. If you get stonewalled by management or feel that the offending renters just don’t care that they’re overly noisy, it’s time to call in the big guns — the police.

Cities have their own local noise ordinances. Look up your city’s rules specifically, then file a complaint with the police department if the offense falls within the parameters. Obviously, call the police immediately for fighting or another noisy issue that affects public safety. Often, a warning from the powers-that-be is enough to cause rowdy neighbors to straighten up, already.

Practice what you preach

Save your apartment noise complaint for those truly bothersome, repeat-offender neighbors. Whatever you do, set an example and abide by the “quiet enjoyment” rule, yourself. In other words, be the kind of neighbor you want to have, and hopefully, everything will settle down.

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The Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania in 2022

  • Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State for its role in U.S. history
  • The state’s roots are deep in manufacturing, including industries such as coal and steel
  • Living in Pennsylvania gives you access to all the riches of the state, no matter what city you call home

Pennsylvania holds a notable place in the history of this country. Not only did it help shape our formation into the United States, but its roots are deep in the coal, steel and railroad industries. Living in the Keystone State puts you among historic locations that paved the way for the development of so much of this country.

It’s a lofty reputation to hold up, but staying grounded in industry and opportunity has enabled the state to maintain itself as an attractive spot for those looking for employment. With affordable housing across the state, plenty of colleges and universities and a slew of historic landmarks, why wouldn’t you want to call this northern state home?

For all these reasons, the best places to live in Pennsylvania stretch from one side of the state to other. Some cities are easily recognizable, while others you may hear about for the very first time. Regardless, you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to finding the perfect home in Pennsylvania.

Allentown, PA

Allentown, PA

  • Population: 125,845
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,885
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,027
  • Median home price: $187.750
  • Median household income: $41,167
  • Walk score: 59/100

A rich Dutch history gives Allentown a unique look and feel. Situated on the Lehigh River, this busy city is full of beautiful parks and gardens. It offers up a diverse collection of inhabitants with plenty to do to accommodate any lifestyle. There are plenty of job opportunities and thriving districts for the arts, theater and culture.

A day out and about in Allentown isn’t complete without a walk through the Allentown Art Museum, The Liberty Bell Museum, America On Wheels Museum and more. If the season is right, grab tickets to see the infamous Lehigh Valley IronPigs AAA baseball team go a few innings as well.

Bethel Park, PA

Bethel Park, PA

  • Population: 33,577
  • 1-BR median rent: $975
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,099
  • Median home price: $240,000
  • Median household income: $79,894
  • Walk score: 46/100

A Pittsburgh suburb, Bethel Park combines affordable housing with excellent schools and an abundance of green space. The city’s population is a combination of retirees and young professionals, but it’s also a great place for families. In addition to the parks, you’ll find plenty of bars, coffee shops and retail outlets.

With less than 30 minutes between Pittsburgh and Bethel Park, the town draws in those still commuting in for work, but who are looking for a quieter place to end each day. On weekends, locals will stay put and enjoy everything from the Montour Trail to the Hundred Acres Manor.

Camp Hill, PA

Camp Hill, PA

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Society Hill
  • Population: 8,130
  • 1-BR median rent: $890
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,422
  • Median home price: $225,900
  • Median household income: $87,008
  • Walk score: 34/100

One of the best places to live in Pennsylvania is a small city along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Camp Hill gives you a nice amount of waterfront to explore. The town is also home to the northernmost engagement of the Gettysburg campaign during the Civil War. To honor this piece of history, you can follow the West Shore. There you’ll find historic buildings and battle sites.

For outdoor lovers, Camp Hill is a perfect home base to access hiking, biking, skiing and water activities. There are also plenty of local parks for a simple stroll.

Collegeville, PA

Collegeville, PA

  • Population: 5,043
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,060
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,655
  • Median home price: $380,000
  • Median household income: $112,500
  • Walk score: 44/100

As a suburb of Philadelphia, Collegeville got its straightforward name from Ursinus College. Academic life still plays an important role here, although the city is also a popular destination for a variety of businesses.

While there’s plenty of shopping and plenty for college students, the area’s top feature is the Perkiomen Trail. This 20-mile path follows the river, connecting many parks and historical sites. You can walk, bike and even ride horseback along the path.

Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg, PA

  • Population: 50,099
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,137
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,407
  • Median home price: $199,025
  • Median household income: $39,685
  • Walk score: 55/100

As the state capital, Harrisburg is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania as much for its location within the state as for its history. Living here puts you near the Susquehanna River, Appalachian Trail and the cities of Hershey and Gettysburg. You can easily sample a little nature and history with so much close by.

Within Harrisburg itself, you have access to the city’s own island. Here you’ll find a beach, riverboat, arcade and more. It’s a great stop during the day. When the sun goes down, keep yourself occupied with the upscale bars and restaurants downtown.

Hershey, PA

Hershey, PA

  • Population: 13,858
  • 1-BR median rent: $915
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,075
  • Median home price: $339,900
  • Median household income: $69,688
  • Walk score: 57/100

Yes, it’s named after that chocolate bar. Hershey is often referred to as one of the sweetest places on earth because, to this day, Hershey’s still calls the city home. This not only means a variety of job opportunities working with chocolate but plenty to lure in tourists. The city also boasts Hersheypark, which has rides and a zoo, Hersey Gardens and Hersheypark Stadium.

Although the city grew up around a single company, today, it contains all the attractive elements of a smaller town one could want. Step away from the more touristy areas to find scenic hiking trails, museums, restaurants and shops.

Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA

  • Population: 58,039
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,269
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,453
  • Median home price: $225,625
  • Median household income: $45,514
  • Walk score: 56/100

Situated alongside Amish Country, Lancaster is home to the Pennsylvania Dutch. While you can tour Amish attractions and even immerse yourself into the lifestyle for a special experience, locals have plenty of other activities to occupy their time.

As one of the best places to live near Philadelphia, the downtown area is full of shops, theaters, restaurants and art galleries. Underground caverns provide a little adventure for those seeking something different. You can also take a ride on the country’s oldest operating railroad or see a different side of the city’s history with a ghost tour.

Perkasie, PA

Perkasie, PA

  • Population: 9,120
  • 1-BR median rent: $995
  • 2-BR median rent: $995
  • Median home price: $425,000
  • Median household income: $77,420
  • Walk score: 38/100

Another commuter town, Perkasie is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania because it’s a great small town that’s only about an hour away from downtown Philadelphia. Once known for its factory that made baseballs for the major leagues, Perkasie today has managed to grow while holding onto its rural appeal.

A fantastic park system and revitalized downtown area provide the perfect combination of hometown activities for residents. There’s no shortage of restaurants, shops, music venues and more.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

  • Population: 1,603,797
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,872
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,102
  • Median home price: $260,000
  • Median household income: $45,927
  • Walk score: 84/100

The most populated and well-known city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia definitely has one of the rooms where it happened. Not only is it the original home of the Liberty Bell but it also housed our Founding Fathers as they signed the Declaration of Independence into being.

Popular in its own right, Philadelphia offers additional appeal for its proximity to New York City. Hop a train into the city for work or a weekend of fun. You can also stay close to home and snack on an authentic Philly cheesesteak as you enjoy the art and history of downtown. There’s no shortage of 300-year-old buildings, cultural attractions, quaint parks, bars, restaurants and shops.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Population: 302,971
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,435
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,890
  • Median home price: $217,000
  • Median household income: $48,711
  • Walk score: 69/100

Bookending the state, Pittsburgh is the most populated city on the opposite end from Philly. Known as the City of Bridges, Pittsburgh has long shared a connection with steel, however, the industry is only part of what makes this area so special. As a highly walkable city, you can easily explore on foot but wear comfortable shoes. With over 712 sets of city-maintained steps, you’re going to get a great workout.

If walking isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Pittsburgh has you covered. For sports fans, this affordable town is home to professional baseball, football and hockey teams. For those looking toward higher education, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are the notable tip of Pittsburgh’s collegiate iceberg.

Reading, PA

Reading, PA

  • Population: 95,112
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,475
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,540
  • Median home price: $160,000
  • Median household income: $32,176
  • Walk score: 69/100

Named after the Reading Railroad, which all you Monopoly players should know well, the town of Reading sits in the southeastern part of the state. Today, it’s uniquely known for the variety of pretzel companies that call the area home. Reading is also a combination of culture and history. It’s easy to divide your day between looking at an Egyptian mummy in the Reading Public Museum and hiking through the Nolde Forest. You can also check out Daniel Boone’s birthplace for some real American history.

With plenty of affordable, suburban housing, residents get drawn into Reading for the charms of the city itself, as well as its proximity to Philadelphia. These two cities on the list of best places to live in Pennsylvania are only about 60 miles apart.

Scranton, PA

Scranton, PA

  • Population: 76,328
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,184
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,095
  • Median home price: $149,000
  • Median household income: $40,608
  • Walk score: 58/100

Laid out more like a traditional small town, Scranton has tight-knit neighborhoods clustered around a thriving downtown. You’ll find trendy restaurants, boutiques and art galleries nestled among the historic Lackawanna County Courthouse building.

Taking into account its high population of young professionals and families, Scranton caters to its residents with plenty of special activities, including cultural festivals and monthly art walks. Scranton also pays homage to its nickname, the Electric City, with The Electric City Trolley Station and Museum. The first streetcars, successfully powered by electricity, ran here in the 1880s.

Willow Grove, PA

Willow Grove, PA

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Willow Pointe
  • Population: 13,730
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,907
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,230
  • Median home price: $300,000
  • Median household income: $79,162
  • Walk score: 57/100

A small town with big fun, Willow Grove offers residents a quiet, laidback community that doesn’t lack the amenities you’d want close by. There are plenty of shopping and dining options that you’d expect to find in bigger cities.

As a Philadelphia suburb, Willow Grove has the nearby city going for it as far as activity goes, but it’s not without its own set of museums and historic sites to occupy residents. Visit the 42-acre grounds and home at Graeme Park or check out the indoor playground at Urban Air Adventure Park for something really different.

Find an apartment for rent in Pennsylvania

The best places to live in Pennsylvania spread to all four corners of the state. Each city has its own charm, beauty and history to explore, not to mention job opportunities and affordable housing.

Once you decide what area is right for you, begin the hunt. Look for apartments for rent in Pennsylvania to see all your options. Then, start narrowing things down by location, amenities and more. You’ll find the perfect place to call home in no time.

The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of December 2021.
Median home prices are from Redfin as of December 2021.
Population and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. This data herein does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

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The Best Places to Live in California in 2022

From the beautiful beaches to the world-renowned redwood forests, California spans 900 miles along the Pacific coast and is the third-largest state in the U.S. The Golden State is home to almost 40 million people, making it the most populous state in the country. Full of iconic attractions, places and cities — think Disneyland, the Golden Gate Bridge and Hollywood, to name a few — people love this state.

With a landmass of 155,779 square miles and so many cities to choose from, where are the best places to live in California? Well, that depends on your budget and interests. Whether you’re a surfer looking to hang 10 or a wannabe actor seeking stardom, there’s a city that’s right for you.

Take a look at our list to see the best places to live in California.

Anaheim, CA

Anaheim, CA

  • Population: 346,824
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,730
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,995
  • Median home price: $770,000
  • Median household income: $71,763
  • Walk score: 63

Disneyland is in Anaheim so Mickey Mouse will be your neighbor! Snag yourself a season pass to Disneyland and you’ll have endless entertainment all year long. It’s the happiest place on earth. Well, that’s what Disney lovers will say, anyway.

Disney aside, Anaheim is a great city for families. It’s a suburban city full of apartments and homes that are affordable, compared to other cities in California. It’s also safe with good school systems.

You can enjoy time outside with a year-round mild climate, too. Take a walk through Yorba Regional Park or take your furry friend to La Palma Dog Park. Anaheim is full of parks, trails and outdoor activities. Everyone will find something to do here.

Irvine, CA

Irvine, CA

  • Population: 307,670
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,865
  • 2-BR median rent: $3,489
  • Median home price: $1,161,000
  • Median household income: $105,126
  • Walk score: 47

Irvine is home to one of the famous UC schools — UC – Irvine. But there are eight other universities in the town, as well. If you’re looking for a city with many opportunities for higher education, this is a great pick.

Irvine is making gaming history as the headquarters for Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment is the largest employer in the city and produced popular games like “Worlds of Warcraft” and “Diablo.”

A few other fun facts about Irvine: SNL star and actor Will Ferrell was born and raised in here. You can check out his elementary, junior and high school. And Irvine was the backdrop for scenes from “Ocean’s 11.”

Apartments in Irvine range in price but the city is in a great location and is constantly ranked one of the safest cities in California. Irvine is full of great parks, trails and sanctuaries so you’ll get a good blend of nature and city life.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

  • Population: 3,898,747
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,725
  • 2-BR median rent: $3,739
  • Median home price: $950,000
  • Median household income: $62,142
  • Walk score: 79

Los Angeles, better known as L.A., is the second-most-populated city in the nation. When you think of L.A., you may think about celebrities and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, complete with more than 2,600 stars. From Universal Studios to Warner Bros., the film and TV industries have several headquarters here. Want to see the set of Central Perk from “Friends?” You can do that here. Care to visit Universal Studios theme park? Go ahead! For any film or TV buff, this is the city for you.

Los Angeles is one of the best places to live in California because it offers a little bit of everything. You’re within close proximity to several beaches. You can hike Griffith Park and see the Hollywood sign, see fossils from the Ice Age at the La Brea Tar Pits, check out more than 100 museums within the city and eat at a variety of restaurants and bars. To summarize, there’s no shortage of things to do in Los Angeles.

The City of Angels is home to more than 10 million people. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it here in this diverse, urban city.

Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA

  • Population: 440,646
  • 1-BR median rent: $3,113
  • 2-BR median rent: $3,947
  • Median home price: $885,000
  • Median household income: $73, 692
  • Walk score: 83

If you’re a sports fanatic, then you’ve found your city. Oakland, CA, is the only city in the state to have three professional sports teams. You’ve got the Raiders, the Warriors and the A’s. Between football, basketball and baseball, you’ll be able to cheer on the home team year-round in one of the best places to live in California. Not a sports fan? Don’t worry. Oakland has a lot more to offer than sports.

One fun fact is that you’ll find hundreds of gnomes living here, too. Yes, you read that right — gnomes! Throughout the city, painted gnomes grace the utility poles. A mysterious artist paints them throughout the city for you to discover.

Oakland is a diverse city full of culture and history. It has a mild climate year-round and is full of great parks, trails and outdoor areas. Living in Oakland you’ll find the cost of apartments is comparable to other California cities.

Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs, CA

  • Population: 44,575
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,955
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,095
  • Median home price: $523,000
  • Median household income: $53,441
  • Walk score: 39

Palm Springs is a diamond in the desert. It’s an affordable city with luxurious amenities like swimming pools, golf courses and tennis for all. If cities like L.A. or San Francisco are too big for you, Palm Springs is a perfect pick.

Tourists love it here but it’s also a popular place for retirees. Palm Springs is one of the best places to live in California if you’re looking for a low-key, relaxed atmosphere while still having the perks of California living. You’ll find great apartments in Palm Springs, lots of outdoor activities and a diverse cultural scene. But, it’s in the desert so expect extreme temperatures!

Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto, CA

  • Population: 68,572
  • 1-BR median rent: $3,317
  • 2-BR median rent: $3,700
  • Median home price: $3,730,000
  • Median household income: $158,271
  • Walk score: 73

Palo Alto, also called “The Birthplace of Silicon Valley,” is one of the best places to live in California. It’s also a world-renowned tech hub. Some of the world’s most infamous tech unicorns, like Apple and Tesla, emerged from Palo Alto. Nearby is Stanford University, a top-ranked college. Palo Alto is a great city for tech-oriented students or individuals who are looking to start a company or join the ranks of one of the booming tech companies located there.

While Palo Alto is full of new tech and innovation, it’s also full of rich history. Spanish settlers explored and settled here. The city is even named after a 1,000-year-old tree located along the San Francisquito Creek.

This city is smaller compared to other cities in California, with around 65,000 residents. It’s a beautiful and safe place to live but you’ll find that rent and home prices are more expensive.

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, CA

  • Population: 524,943
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,057
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,327
  • Median home price: $465,000
  • Median household income: $62,335
  • Walk score: 60

If you want to live in the heart of the state, Sacramento is the city for you as it’s the state’s capital.

This city is known for some pretty cool things. First, its nickname is the “City of Trees,” because it has more trees per capita than any other city in the world — although Paris is also a top contender. Despite the intense summer heat, the abundance of trees actually helps cool the city down. The community has lush, green trees and there is beauty in nature everywhere around you.

Another cool thing about Sacramento is its devotion to farm-to-fork eating. What’s that you may ask? Sacramento is full of produce and farmer’s markets — exactly 40 of them. That’s right! Forty in one city alone. Local farmers provide produce to local restaurants so the food you’re eating is literally from the farm straight to your fork (or mouth). You’ll eat well here.

This is a large city and you’ll find 1.5 million people living in Sacramento. You’ll also have plenty of things to do and will enjoy walking around this tree-lined city.

San Clemente, CA

San Clemente, CA

  • Population: 64,293
  • 1-BR median rent: $3,150
  • 2-BR median rent: $4,600
  • Median home price: $1,433,000
  • Median household income: $110,434
  • Walk score: 62

If you’re looking for a city with nostalgic, old-town beach feels, San Clemente is for you. Located right on the beach in Orange County, this charming city is like a postcard.

You’ve got the San Clemente Pier plunging into the ocean. You can take a stroll, go fishing or have a bite to eat. The beaches are stunning and appeal to avid surfers and young children alike. The lifeguards ensure that surfers have their own area to catch a wave while boogie boarders and families have their own space to swim in the ocean, too. Take a stroll along the coast on some awesome beach-side trails, too.

There are several boutique stores and restaurants on the famous T-street, as well. San Clemente is one of the best places to live in California if you’re looking for a quaint beach-side town. You can find apartments in the city that meet your budget and lifestyle needs.

San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA

  • Population: 1,386,932
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,582
  • 2-BR median rent: $3,285
  • Median home price: $800,000
  • Median household income: $79,673
  • Walk score: 71

San Diego is a beautiful, ocean-side city known for its great weather and scenic views. The average temperature is 70 degrees, so it’s sunny and pleasant almost every day of the year. You’ll find amazing beaches here and a town full of friendly people.

The U.S. Navy is the biggest employer in the city and has a naval base there. The Pacific Fleet stations in San Diego with 46 navy ships. Take a harbor cruise or visit the maritime museum to learn more about the naval history in San Diego.

If you’re looking for a city that’s easy-going, look no further. It’s a tourist destination, but it’s also home to over 3 million people. You can find a great apartment here and make it your next home.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

  • Population: 873,965
  • 1-BR median rent: $3,193
  • 2-BR median rent: $4,257
  • Median home price: $1,480,000
  • Median household income: $112,449
  • Walk score: 93

The Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and Alcatraz are just some of the iconic things you’ll find when living in San Francisco. You’ll also live in a city that’s full of diversity. San Francisco is known for being a liberal, open-minded city. In fact, it was home to the hippie movement of the ’60s. If you’re looking for a city that’s progressive, this is a good place to consider.

It’s also full of career opportunities. The tech sector is booming so you’ll find great job prospects in that industry. Keep in mind that the cost of living is more expensive here than in other cities in California.

San Francisco is both a large, urban city and a nature retreat. You’ll find everything you need downtown but then you can escape to Muir Woods where you’ll see redwood trees and forest scenes. If you’re looking for the best place to live in California, San Fran might be a good option to consider.

Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica, CA

  • Population: 93,076
  • 1-BR median rent: $3,190
  • 2-BR median rent: $4,677
  • Median home price: $1,908,000
  • Median household income: $96,570
  • Walk score: 85

The pier in Santa Monica is arguably the most famous one of all. This iconic pier along the coast has an amusement park complete with a Ferris wheel (it’s solar-powered!), roller coasters and funnel cakes to go around. While that’s a tourist location, it’s fun for locals to stroll the pier and beach after a busy day at work.

Santa Monica is one of the best places to live in California because it’s a city that has it all. You’ll find great restaurants and shopping in the downtown area. You’ll enjoy relaxing walks along the beach. And you can rent great apartments in the city center. The demographics skew younger as you’ll find young professionals making this city home. Rent prices are steeper compared to other cities, but it’s a coveted place to live in California.

Find an apartment for rent in California

So, have we convinced you that California is the place for you? Whether you’re looking for a location in a bustling metro area or a beach-side apartment with ocean views, there are several best places to live in California. Pick your city, find your apartment and soon the Golden State will be your new home.

The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of December 2021.
Median home prices are from Redfin as of December 2021.
Population and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. This data herein does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

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8 Ways to Stop a Dog From Barking in Your Apartment

  • Dogs bark to express their emotions
  • Knowing the cause of your dog’s barking goes a long way in stopping it
  • It may take some time to teach your dog to stop barking

Most people accommodate a barking dog when it doesn’t last too long, say when its owner first returns home or someone knocks at the door. But if that barking carries on for more than a few minutes, it can become quite a nuisance.

Dog owners know this and, thankfully, often have several tricks up their sleeves to get their dogs to settle down. However, even the most well-behaved dogs may not respond to the first commands to quiet down. Here are some ways for how to stop a dog from barking.

Why do dogs bark?

Not surprisingly, dogs use barking as a form of communication not only with other dogs but also with us humans. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), dogs bark when they’re excited, frightened, lonely, surprised, irritated or feeling other emotions. The AKC also says dogs have different barks for different moods. For instance, a high-pitched bark can indicate excitement when playing fetch, while a lower-pitch bark could serve as a warning to a stranger.

In addition, the number of barks helps to determine the cause of the bark. For example, if your dog emits a long string of barks, the AKC says that could indicate the dog is more worked up, such as when someone is trying to get in the front door. The length of the pause between barks also can indicate the dog’s mood, such as a long pause after an “I’m lonely” bark.

Dog in crate with toys

Dog in crate with toys

Tips on how to stop a dog from barking

Tuning in to your pet’s barks can help you identify how to get your dog to stop barking in your apartment:

1. Use the “Quiet” command

A tried-and-true approach to stop your dog barking is to tell them to quiet down. However, there’s a right and wrong way to do this. Don’t yell at your dog to quiet. Your dog may see this as your way of “barking” or communicating back, which could lead to more barking.

Instead, use a calm, firm voice and simply state, “Quiet.” When you do this and your dog responds by being quiet, reward him with a treat and some affection. It may take several tries using this technique for your dog to recognize the “Quiet” command, but consistent training usually leads to results.

2. Ignore the barking

Dogs often bark to get their owners’ attention, so don’t reward them by responding to their barking. This includes not only talking, but also touching or looking at them. When they do quiet down, reward them for being quiet.

3. Hide distractions

If your dog barks anytime someone or an animal passes by your windows, close the curtains. Taking away the reason for barking is very effective in silencing your dog.

4. Familiarize your dog with everyday situations and people

It’s important for dogs to get to know people and experiences so they don’t see everyone or every situation as a potential threat. Therefore, when you’re out with your dog, let him interact with others interested in him. This includes everyone from kids to adults, people on bikes or scooters to someone in a wheelchair and even delivery folks like the mailman or pizza delivery person. Letting your dog see and interact with these folks makes him less likely to feel apprehensive or threatened, meaning he’ll bark less.

5. Teach your dog to accept what’s causing them to bark

If your dog gets used to what causes them to bark, it removes the reason for barking. For instance, if someone knocks on your door, you don’t want your dog to bark every time, right? So, teach your dog to ignore knocking. Have a friend stand outside your door, knock once, wait for a beat and then knock again. At the first knock, start giving your dog some treats. Once the knocking stops, stop giving treats to your dog. You’ll need to repeat this process multiple times before your dog equates not barking to the knocking. It’s not unlike developing a new habit. You have to repeat it consistently for it to become a new habit.

6. Try behavior modification

Another technique is to change their behavior. For example, if your dog starts to bark, tell them to lie down in their crate. Again, this is a behavior you’ll need to teach and it will require multiple tries. You can start with one barking situation and go from there.

Say your dog barks if someone is at the door. Put a treat in their crate and tell them to go get in their crate and lie down. If they get up when you open the door, close it again. Keep practicing this until they remain in their crate when you open the door.

7. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise

When humans get tired, we don’t usually exert as much energy as when we’re rested. Dogs are no different. Walking and playing with your dog not only ensures they get plenty of physical exercise, but it also takes away their desire to bark when they’re bored. How much exercise your dog requires depends on the breed, age, size and health of your dog. If you aren’t sure, talk with your veterinarian.

8. Sign up for dog obedience training

If the previous methods have no effect on how to get a dog to stop barking, it’s time to enlist professional help. Enroll your dog in an obedience class or hire a certified professional dog trainer. Their knowledge and experience could be worth the cost and time to save you a lot of frustration.

You can help your dog stop barking

Dogs bark and often for good reason. However, when living in an apartment, a barking dog is not always a good neighbor. Put some of these techniques into practice to effectively teach your dog there’s a proper place and time for barking. It also could ensure you have a good relationship with your neighbors and, possibly, your landlord.

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Why Are There Different Building Classes For Apartments and What Do They Mean?

As a renter, you may have heard about apartment building classes. They range from Class A to Class D. This terminology generally applies to real estate investors, but you may want to understand it, too. We’re going to break it down for you in simple terms and explain what it means.

Apartment building classes help investors, property managers and real estate brokers easily understand the condition of an apartment building or multi-family complex. There are four grades — A, B, C and D — that sum up the type of building, the amenities included and its condition.

Investors use this information to determine the level of risk and return when they invest in a property. Just like letter grades on a report card, a Class A apartment or Class B apartment is a higher classification than a Class C or D apartment. Investors want to invest in buildings with little risk and high returns. Apartment building classes provide a quick way to verify their investments

Let’s break down the different classes now in more detail.

Class A apartment buildings

Class A apartments are luxury, high-quality apartments. They are very new — usually less than 15 years old — and require little to no maintenance or repairs as everything is in tip-top shape. Most Class A apartments come with the best amenities, offer locations in nice neighborhoods and tally less crime. These apartment buildings usually attract high-income earners who will pay more for the perks of a Class A apartment.

Class A apartment buildings are generally a smart investment because they’ll only appreciate (grow) in value. However, there’s some level of risk in times of economic turmoil. If the economy declines and renters lose their jobs, they may no longer be able to pay the high rent associated with this type of building.

Class B apartment buildings

Next in line are Class B apartment buildings. One step below Class A apartments, Class B apartments are still relatively new — only 15 to 20 years old. They may need some updates, but generally, they’re in good condition. Most Class B properties offer amenities and locations in safe, clean and desirable neighborhoods. They attract middle to high-income earners.

Investors view this category of buildings as a safe bet. With a little work and some upgrades, these apartments are nice and could become Class A apartments. They may appreciate in value but also bring in a consistent cash flow for investors.

Section 8 housing

Section 8 housing

Class C apartment buildings

As we move down the grading system, next is Class C apartments. Usually, Class C apartments are 20-plus years old. They need updates and maintenance for the building and the individual apartments. They may include basic amenities but renters should not expect amenities when renting Class C apartments. Located in mediocre neighborhoods, these apartments have lower rent prices.

With some work, these apartments could upgrade to Class B, which would allow investors to make a profit and have better cash flow.

Class D apartment buildings

Last on the list of building classes are Class D apartments. These apartments have visible wear and tear. They’re more than 30 years old and have below-average construction and conditions. The majority of Class D apartments are Section 8 or subsidized by the government. They offer low rent prices but are usually in below-average locations with higher crime rates.

What does it mean for me as a renter?

As we mentioned earlier, these apartment building classes are most relevant for investors. It’s a universal language that allows real estate professionals to quickly characterize the apartment’s condition. But keep in mind that the Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination by rental property owners.

This information can help set expectations for the apartment, amenities and the neighborhood. As a renter, apartment building classes can give you an idea about:

  • Location: As you move down the scale, Class A apartments are generally in better, more convenient and safer locations compared to Class D
  • Rental prices: Class A and B apartments will be more expensive compared to Class C or D
  • Safety: Class D buildings will generally be in less-desirable areas where more crime tends to occur
  • Amenities: Class A luxury apartments will come equipped with the most trending amenities, whereas government-subsidized apartments will come with the bare minimum.
  • Building condition: Class A apartments and Class B apartments will need fewer updates and maintenance work compared to Class C or D.

If you know the building classes, you can make a more informed decision about an individual apartment and whether you’ll be happy there.

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The 5 Most Popular Miami Neighborhoods for Renters

Year-round sunshine, tropical breezes, beaches, lush nature, diverse and exotic cultures, glittering nightlife and a world-class international art scene make Miami one of the most desirable locations in the U.S. It’s no wonder Miami’s population is growing about 65,000 people yearly, with some 5,400 new residents arriving into the city’s metropolitan area each month.

If you’re among the many adventurous souls looking to start a new life in the Magic City, we can help you find your ideal neighborhood to call home.

We searched through Google data to find the most popular Miami neighborhoods that appear on ApartmentGuide.com searches and came up with a list of the five most searched neighborhoods among Miami renters.

Most popular neighborhoods in Miami

most popular neighborhoods in miami for renters

most popular neighborhoods in miami for renters

Click for interactive version

Below is an overview of Miami’s top five neighborhoods and the average cost you can expect to pay for rent in each of these areas.

1. Brickell

Brickell miami

Brickell miami

The upscale Brickell neighborhood attracts young professionals who love the convenience of living close to where they work. Residents can also enjoy being surrounded by a bevy of restaurants, shops, boutiques, yoga studios, cafés and art galleries immediately upon leaving the office or their loft with sun-filled views.

In a city known for its congested traffic, the benefit of not having to commute very far – maybe even living within walking distance of work – may easily compensate for the above-average cost of rent in this popular and chic neighborhood.

Property Size Brickell Average Miami Average
1 BR $2,645 $2,502

2. Downtown

Downtown Miami has been reborn thanks to the development of the popular Arts District. This area is popular among young professionals due to its walkability and ease of public transportation, with the Metro Rail providing a quick and convenient commute around town.

Access is also easy to the Arsht Center, Museum Park, shops, boutiques, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment averages around $2,400, making this neighborhood slightly less expensive than the city average.

Property Size Downtown Average Miami Average
1 BR $2,443 $2,502

3. Edgewater

edgewater miami

edgewater miami

Edgewater is one of Miami’s hottest neighborhoods as new developments create a walkable community dotted with lush green spaces, such as Margaret Pace Park. Young professionals have access to cultural jewels, such as the Perez Art Museum and Frost Science Museum in nearby Museum Park.

Edgewater is also close to the Wynwood and Downtown Arts Districts and the Design District. Rents for a one bedroom average $2,200, making this one of the area’s more affordable new neighborhoods.

Property Size Edgewater Average Miami Average
1 BR $2,201 $2,502

4. Coral Way

Coral Way Miami

Coral Way Miami

Photo courtesy of https://www.apartmentguide.com/apartments/Florida/Miami/Grove-Station-Tower-Apartments/100027774/

This shady tree-lined neighborhood is reminiscent of a laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle, with walkable access to shops, boutiques, restaurants and cultural amenities.

Coral Way rents are slightly steeper than other areas, largely due to the area’s upscale architecture and its history as an exclusive enclave for professionals. Rent for a one-bedroom in this family-friendly neighborhood averages around $2,600.

Property Size Coral Way Average Miami Average
1 BR $2,631 $2,502

5. Overtown

Overtown Miami

Overtown Miami

Photo courtesy of https://www.apartmentguide.com/apartments/Florida/Miami/Modera-Riverhouse/100034834/

Overtown is a historic neighborhood in the heart of Miami. It’s been recently redeveloped and renovated to accommodate a more upscale population. With walkable access to lush green spaces, such as Lummus Park and Gibson Park, the area is also close to the artsy happenings in Wynwood and Edgewater. It also has slightly lower rent prices than the Miami average at $2,303 for a one-bedroom.

Property Size Overtown Average Miami Average
1 BR $2,303 $2,502
The rent information included in this article is based on current rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
Header Photo by aurora.kreativ on Unsplash

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What to Do With Mail For a Previous Tenant

If you’re a new resident in a house or apartment, you’ll likely get snail mail sent for the previous tenant(s). What are you supposed to do with mail for a previous tenant and how do you stop it from showing up day after day? Because at some point, the task of taking care of it gets old.

Stuffed mailbox.

Stuffed mailbox.

Open, toss, shred?

In a word, “No.” It’s a federal crime to open or destroy mail that is not meant for you — even junk mail.

If you do open something by accident, not to worry, you won’t immediately hear sirens. Someone would have to prove you intended to steal something in order to involve the authorities.

If you know the previous tenant or the person whose name is on the envelope and that person told you to open the mail, then it’s all right to go ahead and do so. FindLaw cautions that if you get charged with “obstruction of correspondence,” you should contact a criminal defense attorney right away.

Trashing the mail is the same as destroying it. Plus, the sender will never know the person is no longer at that address. Also, the previous tenant may have filled out the correct forms, but this piece of mail fell through the cracks. That person might appreciate getting that $14 check from Great Aunt Gladys.

Note that you are not responsible for holding someone’s mail. If a previous tenant tells you that, reply with a hard “no”; they need to fill out a change of address form.

Looking at mail from the mailbox.

Looking at mail from the mailbox.

Send the mail along

If you know where the person now resides, you can forward the mail to them by crossing out the address only — leave their name — on the envelope. Write the new address near the incorrect one. Then, on the same side of the envelope write something like, “Please forward; not at this address.”

In addition, if there’s a bar code on the envelope, cross it out. This is part of the USPS’s automated system and removing it makes the system register the mail as “undeliverable.”

Thinking you’ll be a good citizen by filling out a change of address form for the other person is not a good idea. Again, this is a federal crime. Who knew? You do, now. If you fill out a change of address form for the person, they will get a notification in the mail, and you’ll be in hot water.

If you have no idea where the other person lives, write “moved,” “not at this address,” or “return to sender, address unknown” on the envelope. This lets the post office know that the person is no longer at your address, but the post office will not necessarily return the letter to the original sender.

Eventually, the post office will get all this information into the system and the wrongly addressed mail should stop coming to you.

What about junk mail?

It’s still mail and falls under the heading, “it’s a federal crime to open or destroy mail that is not meant for you.”

If you know that the intended junk mail recipient is deceased, you can report the death to the Direct Marketing Association. Click this link for “Deceased Do Not Contact Registration” to stop the junk mail from coming to you.

Mail.

Mail.

How can I make wrongly addressed mail stop coming?

If sending mail back doesn’t work, you can put a note into your mailbox. In the note, write to your mail carrier the names of the people who no longer live there. For example, “Former Tenant’s Name is not at this address” or “Please deliver mail only to Current Tenant’s Name.”

You can also speak directly to your mail carrier and explain the situation. Since you may not always have the same mail carrier every day, you have to hope that they bring back the news and share it with the office.

What should I do when I move?

You don’t want to annoy the next person who takes over your address.

As a first step, you should fill out a change of address form.

But there are entities you might want to contact directly. Consider reaching out to utility providers, the newspaper, schools, the IRS, Social Security Administration, DMV, election offices, the Department of Veterans Affairs or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Filling out the change of address paperwork and submitting it online is easy and painless. It takes 10 business days for the change to become effective. The USPS delivers to 160 million residences, businesses and P.O. boxes; they’ve got a lot on their plate so be patient.

Show some courtesy

When deciding what to do with mail from a previous tenant, you should do the right — and legal — thing by either forwarding the material or returning it to the sender. Don’t forget — you’re going to move someday, too, and would want the next tenant to show the same courtesy to you.

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How to Charge an Electric Car at Your Apartment

Plugging a car into a socket to charge it instead of filling it up with gas once was something of a sci-fi fantasy. Now, electric vehicles — or EVs — are becoming more and more popular. From Nissan to BMW to Tesla, you’ll see all major car manufacturers are creating fully electric vehicles.

If you’re jumping on the trend and are considering purchasing or already own an EV, that’s great. However, you’ll want to consider how and where to charge it if you’re an apartment dweller.

Whether your apartment has electric car charging don’t worry! Here are some ways to fully charge your car at your apartment with — or without — EV charging on site.

Electric vehicles charging on the street.

Electric vehicles charging on the street.

Apartment electric car charging

It is slightly more difficult to own an electric car if your apartment doesn’t offer EV charging, but it’s not impossible. With a bit of creative thinking, you can give your car a jolt of energy and be off cruising in no time.

Find a supercharging station located near you

When your apartment doesn’t have an option for electric car charging, you’ll need to find car charging stations in your area. To do this, download apps like PlugShare or OpenChargeMap where you can type in your location and find supercharging stations near you. This is a great option because you’re likely to find several EV charging stations near your apartment. You can plug in your car to charge while you’re grocery shopping, running errands or at the gym.

Charge at your office

If you still commute to an office and aren’t solely work-from-home, you can charge your car at your office building. A lot of companies are installing EV charging stations for their employees, so you can drive to work, charge during the 9-to-5 and leave work with a fully charged car.

Electric vehicle charging.

Electric vehicle charging.

Run a heavy-duty extension cord from your apartment to your car

If you’re lacking apartment electric car charging options, you can create a makeshift charging station by purchasing a heavy-duty extension cord and snaking it from your apartment to the car itself. This isn’t an ideal option because you may not have enough voltage for a full charge. However, if you’re in a pinch this can work.

Look for apartments with EV charging

If you currently lease or own an electric vehicle and you’re looking for a new place to rent, it’s smart to search for an apartment with EV charging stations already included. This will save you time and energy as you can simply plug your car in to charge at your dedicated parking spot.

When searching for apartments with specific amenities, you can use a search finder tool to narrow your search and find the perfect place for you. Put in the features you’re looking for — like two bedrooms, on-site gym, swimming pool and apartment electric car charging — and you’ll get a list of available rentals tailored to your needs.

Why not include the exact features you’re looking for so you can charge your car while at home?

Ask your landlord to install an EV charging station

The green movement and electric vehicle trend are here to stay.

Over time, landlords will start installing apartment EV charging stations on their properties. While some have already started doing this, as the tenant, you can also push for this and ask your landlord to consider installing an apartment electric car charging station. There are companies like ChargePoint that will work with property owners to install EV charging stations on site.

It may seem like a big ask to get your landlord to install an EV charging station, but it benefits both the tenant and the landlord in the long run. First, you’ll be a satisfied tenant. And second, it’ll make the property more appealing to future renters.

Electric vehicle charging station.

Electric vehicle charging station.

Types of EV charging

Just like there are different types of gas to purchase (regular, premium, diesel), there are different types of charges for EVs.

  • Level 1 charging: This is the basic level of charging and can use a standard 120V household option. If you’re using a heavy-duty extension cord from your apartment to your car, you’re going to get a level 1 charge. Typically, this will get you around 4 to 5 miles of range per hour. If you’re driving here and there but mostly stay at home, this is a sufficient charge.
  • Level 2 charging: With level 2 charging, you’ll get more mileage, typically 12 to 20 miles of range per hour. This type of charging requires 240 volts.
  • DC fast charging: This is high-voltage charging, typically 800+ volts, and allows your EV to rapidly charge. This is a great option but you won’t find this at your typical apartment complex in most cases.

Understanding the different types of charging options can help you decide how and when to charge your electric car at your apartment.

Go green at your apartment

As electric vehicles increase in popularity, you’ll start to see more and more rental complexes offer apartment electric car charging stations as an amenity. Until it becomes common practice though, you can still go green, drive an EV and rent an apartment with EV charging options.

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Swimming Pool Etiquette: Staying Safe During the Pandemic at Your Apartment Pool

Now that warm weather is upon us, we long for beautiful days outside enjoying ourselves under the sun — this definitely includes hanging out at your apartment complex’s pool so you can cool off. However, there’s still a pandemic, so your usual swimming pool etiquette will look a little different this year.

Because the pandemic is still a concern, many communities are reopening their pools with a long list of rules designed to keep renters safe and healthy. Here’s what you need to know when visiting the apartment pool this season.

apartment community recreational area

apartment community recreational area

Is it safe to swim in a pool during a pandemic?

While COVID-19 can spread through airborne droplets, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there’s no evidence you can catch the virus through the water in a swimming pool. However, outdoor swimming pools rank less risky than indoor ones, which are not as well ventilated.

Because the chlorine in the pool is a disinfectant, experts say the main risk is being in close contact with other people around you. Following public health guidelines designed to keep you safe is the way to go — so here is what you need to know about the swimming pool rules for your building.

Know the swimming pool rules

Some apartment pools might post information online about swimming safely. If not, call the pool management team or building manager. Most local officials have implemented rules for public pools based on CDC guidelines. You might want to ask:

  • Is pool management restricting the number of residents using the facility or staggering arrival times?
  • Is there a reservation system in place so you can book swim time?
  • Are locker rooms and restrooms open?

Pool cleaning supplies.

Pool cleaning supplies.

Ask about the pool’s cleaning routine

Aside from the pool water itself, tested by the staff, everything else in the area needs disinfecting too. Find out how often equipment such as lounge chairs, outdoor tables and chairs undergo cleaning. You might want to bring sanitizing wipes with you to clean things yourself.

Follow instructions for entering, exiting the pool area

Your apartment building might assign separate entrances and exits to the pool so that people move in one direction and stay six feet apart — just a few inches longer than a typical pool noodle.

Time your visit to the pool to avoid crowds

Try swimming at off-peak hours so you can easily stay six feet away from people you don’t live with. Your apartment pool might have signs and markers on the property reminding residents about physical distancing.

Avoid gathering at the edge of swimming lanes, on the stairs, near the diving board or on the pool deck, unless it’s with the people in your household.

Pool day.

Pool day.

Don’t invite friends to your apartment’s pool

Most buildings strongly suggest limiting visitors during the pandemic. Anyone not living in your apartment should not accompany you to the pool.

Arrive at the pool ready to swim

To avoid indoor areas as much as possible, come to the pool ready to swim: Shower and put on your swimsuit in your apartment. Skip the pool’s locker room!

Pay attention to signs about limited capacity

One safety standard required for reopening pools is the number of people in the space — so everyone can stay six feet apart. If you get to the pool and it’s crowded, come back later.

people wearing masks bumping fists

people wearing masks bumping fists

Wear a mask

Until you actually go into the pool, wear a face mask to protect yourself and others on the pool deck.

Do not wear a mask while you’re swimming — the CDC warns that a wet mask makes it harder to breathe. If your mask gets wet, it’s less effective for protection too — so pack an extra one in case yours gets a good splashing.

Bring your own pool accessories

Even if your apartment pool has goggles, snorkels, life jackets and noodles available for residents’ use, you should bring your own. These items are difficult to disinfect and most come in contact with your face — so unless you find out how often they’re cleaned between uses…avoid taking this risk!

Stick to your own lane

Pay attention to your surroundings before and after entering the pool so you can avoid people coming in and out right beside you.

Once you’re in the pool, leave plenty of room for other swimmers and don’t try to pass anyone if you’re swimming laps. This is basic pool etiquette anyway. Some pools might limit the kinds of strokes you can do to avoid excess splashing, such as the butterfly.

Forget pool games

Whether you love playing Marco Polo or pool volleyball, it’s harder to keep your distance when you’re throwing a ball around. It’s best to avoid close-contact games this season.

Keep your hands clean

Just as you would in any public space, wash your hands before and after touching things. If you’re using sanitizer, wipe off your hands with a towel first because greasy sunscreens reduce how well sanitizer works.

Don’t bring food and drinks to the pool

Because you need to take off your mask to enjoy refreshments, the CDC discourages eating and drinking at the pool unless you can distance yourself from anyone you don’t live with.

person in tube in the water

person in tube in the water

Use pool etiquette common sense and keep everyone safe

Many pools have staff on site who will ask if you are feeling healthy. Be smart and respectful of other residents and follow pool etiquette. Please stay away from your apartment’s swimming pool if you have a fever, cough or any other coronavirus symptoms that could put people at risk.

Last but not least — don’t forget to wear SPF! Kill two birds with one stone — protect yourself from COVID-19 and sun damage.

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10 Tips for Washing Your Car at Your Apartment Community

Don’t let random passersby deface your ride with “Wash Me” scrawled in windshield dirt. Instead, avoid the old “drive of shame” and give it a good old-fashioned scrub down with an apartment car wash.

Even if your apartment doesn’t have a car wash station on its list of amenities, that doesn’t mean you can’t still DIY this wet and wild chore. It just takes a few supplies and a little bit of strategy to get the job done.

A dirty car with someone writing

A dirty car with someone writing

How do I wash my car if I live in an apartment?

Sure, you could drive somewhere for a car wash, but where’s the fun in that? Hand-washing a car is a great workout and an even better way to cool down in the summer months. Just follow these easy tips for an apartment car wash and you’ll soon have the ultimate clean car. Bonus points if you detail the inside, too!

1. Use a spigot and hose

The water’s going to have to come from somewhere, right? Even if you know where the spigot is already, it’s probably smart to check with management to make sure you can use it. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even spot you a hose for the job! If not, pick up an expandable hose at the local hardware store. Those are easier to store than the old-school variety.

2. Go waterless

A waterless car wash product is a solid option for cars that aren’t filthy to start off with. So, if you’ve just gone muddin’, skip ahead. These products are not for you. Waterless car wash is available in concentrated form (so you have to dilute it), or ready-to-use. Some even have built-in wax! To use, simply spray the product on and wipe it off with a soft towel. When the towel section gets dirty, use a different part.

3. Use a no-rinse product

Split the difference between waterless and a full wash by using a no-rinse product, like Optimum No Rinse. This three-in-one product functions as a rinseless wash, as well as a detailer and a lubricant. Just add the recommended amount to one or two gallons of water, then apply with a wash mitt or microfiber towel.

Car wheels being washed.

Car wheels being washed.

4. Be wheel wise

The wheels are not the same as the rest of the vehicle, so don’t treat them like they are. Clean them first because they’re the dirtiest parts of the car.

Spray with a good hose to dislodge dirt from crevices. Use a tire-specific cleaner and a towel/mitt to scrub it down. Don’t use that towel on the rest of the car because it’s likely pretty gross.

5. Go with waterless wipes

The waterless car wash product community is booming. There are waterless wipes already primed with cleaners available for purchase. Pick up a pack each for general washing, tire and trim and wax, if you want to go full-out.

Man washing his car.

Man washing his car.

6. Pick up a pump sprayer

Here’s another idea on the waterless front. If you want to avoid the hassle of a spigot and hose (or don’t have access to one), purchase a small pump sprayer. Such a device helps evenly apply a coat of waterless cleaner. Then, you just clean as normal with a mitt or microfiber towel. It can also rinse the car off with plain water (fill it up inside first), but the water pressure isn’t as good as the average hose.

7. Use a duster

If you can’t do a full wash apartment car wash at your complex or just don’t have time, use a California Duster to quickly get rid of dirt and dust and bring back the shine. This tool will buy you more time between washes, and is usable during full washes, as well.

8. Wipe aways bugs with dryer sheets

Sometimes dried up, dead bugs just don’t want to come off. Without the power of a professional car wash it is extra challenging. Before you start washing, use old dryer sheets to wipe bugs off. Then wash as normal.

Toothpaste on car.

Toothpaste on car.

9. Apply toothpaste (no, seriously!)

No need to buy a pricey product to put the finishing touches on your headlights. Squirt some toothpaste on a rag and polish up those headlights until they shine.

10. Create your own all-natural cleaner

For the final, streak-free rinse, opt for a green cleaner. Wash the car as normal. Then rinse the soap residue with a hose. Mix three parts vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle and spray the car. Then wipe down with a newspaper for a shiny, squeaky clean finish.

Hand washing a car.

Hand washing a car.

General apartment car wash tips

Specific techniques aside, there are some general things to consider when doing an apartment car wash. Minding these suggestions make the whole process easier, not to mention more effective and enjoyable.

  • Do a quick once over: Before setting up for the apartment car wash, make sure your car isn’t leaking any fluids or oils. That won’t go over well with management.
  • Steer clear of storm drains. It’s bad for the environment, local wildlife and drinking water if soap from the car wash gets into the storm drain. Do your best to find a spot far away from storm drains to prevent any issues, or use an eco-friendly cleaner that is non-toxic and doesn’t have chlorine, fragrance, phosphates or petroleum-based ingredients.
  • Seek out the shade: It seems counterintuitive, but the sun causes streaks. So for the best finish possible, find a spot in the shade to do your apartment car wash.
  • Get your towels: Grab a few towels or wash mitts to get the job done. Make sure to have one each (at least) for the tires, body wash and for drying.
  • Conserve water: Don’t just leave the hose on indiscriminately. Doing so wastes about 10 gallons per minute! While you’re doing the wash — turn it off whenever you’re not rinsing or filling the bucket. Make it easier on yourself by attaching a nozzle that will automatically shut off the water when not in use.
  • Clean up after the clean-up: Other than waiting for water to dry, no one at your apartment should see any residue from your apartment car wash. Resist the easier, but less responsible urge to dump dirty water in the street. Instead, carry the bucket inside and dispose of it in a sink or toilet.

Other than these tips, use your common sense. If all goes well the first-time management is more likely to let you keep doing car washes from the comfort of your apartment parking lot.

Lather, rinse, repeat

Each and every time you wash your car by hand you’ll come up with ways to make an apartment car wash more efficient and easier. Eventually, you’ll be a well-oiled machine for…well, your well-oiled machine.

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