If you’re living in an urban rental with an outdoor living space, you’re lucky! Outdoor space is a hot commodity for apartment dwellers, especially when you are sharing it with the rest of your neighbors. There are a handful of questions that come into play when considering furniture, etiquette, space and usage, but you can easily learn how to share your outdoor living space to ensure everyone is happy.


If you have an outdoor space with furniture from both you and your neighbor, make sure to take extra care of the items that are not yours. This communal space makes it easy for you and everyone else in your building to have barbecues and backyard parties, but try to stick to your designated area if you have one.

Planning to make any changes to the space? Check with your neighbors first to make sure that everyone is on board with the decision. If you are considering making improvements, understand that you may be the one who is financially responsible.

Be Respectful

Having an outdoor living space in the city is amazing, but is can get quite frustrating when neighbors flick cigarette butts into the yard or leave piles of doggy doo-doo right in the pathway to the garbage can. Don’t make these mistakes with your shared space. Always pick up after you have friends over, and don’t cause damage to any belongings that aren’t yours. Like the saying goes, “treat others as you wish to be treated.”


During the summer, you and everyone else that is using the shared outdoor living space may want to have friends over regularly. If you can all gather at the same time, great. But if not, you may want to plan a schedule of sorts. Always let your neighbors know if you’re going to have a gathering a week or so in advance, and ask them to do the same. By planning out these events in the beforehand, you won’t run into an issue on the day of the party. Similarly, talk to your neighbors about time limits, particularly during the week.

Consider Privacy

If you’re in a space with a backyard or rooftop deck, you may be bothering your neighbors if you are not the person living closest to the area. Imagine that you are living in the first floor, rear unit and your neighbors plan a backyard party on a night that you have to get some sleep or get work done from home. If your apartment is not closest to that space, make sure to ask those who are if it’s alright to have guests over and if there are any time restraints.


[Photo of Rancho Los Feliz in Los Angeles, CA]