It was recently reported that a Japanese condominium has implemented a rule that prohibits residents from greeting each other while on the condominium property. This rule was adopted out of concern for the safety of elementary school-age children living in the condominium.
As parents were instructing their children to run away if they were greeted by strangers, it was decided that it would be better for all residents if everyone in the condominium complex refrained from extending greetings to each other. In large condominiums, while residents may know those who live on the same floor, the reality is that a great majority of the other residents are people that they don’t know. So, although they may be neighbours, they are also strangers.
Not surprisingly this rule has stirred up some controversy. The other side of the coin is that a friendlier condominium community is a safer community as residents will look out for one another. One online commentator noted: “If they say hello to each other every day somewhere along the way they stop being strangers.”
Aside from being a bizarre rule, from a practical perspective it will be difficult to enforce.
In Ontario, condominium boards have the power to enact reasonable rules to promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and of the property and assets of the corporation. While the Japanese rule was enacted to promote safety, it is unlikely that such a rule would be considered to be reasonable in Ontario.