A big thank you to everyone at Somerset Gardens for helping make our building safer as the pandemic marches on. Most of us are carefully fol- lowing the mask mandate and elevator occupancy guidelines. People continue to help their neighbours in a number of ways. For many, the building is now an office space as well, and people have been mindful to keep daytime noise down for the benefit of those who are working. Al- though it seems that this pandemic has been with us forever, and we are now managing a local spike in cases as winter draws closer, we will con- tinue to face this together as a community. Thank you also to our Property Manager Liz Marples, our cleaner Eugene Stanley and our intrepid bottle fund volunteers, Peggy Lister and Bruce Marshall.
Water issues for one person can quickly become a headache for us all. If a preventable leak from your unit damages other units as a result of an owner maintenance issue, you will be financially responsible for the damage not only to your unit, but to all other affected units as well.
Here are some tips for preventing water damage:
The building is nearly 13 years old, and it may be a good idea to have a plumber in to check all of your pipes, your toilet and the connections to your washing machine and dishwasher to ensure they are in good working order and do not need to be replaced.
The original hot water tanks have by now reached the end of their lives. If yours is rented, it should be replaced by Reliance. Several owners chose to purchase their own hot water tanks and end their service with Reliance.
The water monitors provided by the property manager have proved effective in alerting residents to hot water tank leaks. Please note that their batteries need to be replaced annually.
We are generally polite and helpful. Unfortunately, this can sometimes work against us when it comes to building security. The front door entry has been a continuing area of concern. It is important that residents follow building security protocol and avoid letting others into the building when we enter or exit (even if they are uniformed workers). Any person wishing to enter the building must be buzzed in by a resident or use their own fob.
You may find the following helpful:
1. Ensure that your contact information and buzzer code are working and updated, especially if you regularly receive guests, deliveries, or outside services.
2. Be available when you expect guests, deliveries, or services. This will minimize crowding in the front door area and reduce stress for workers.
3. You may also chose to have your parcels delivered to nearby stores (such as the White Cross Dispensary or the Shoppers Drug Mart), espe- cially if you cannot guarantee you will be home and would like to assure the safety of your package.
4. If you receive a negative reaction, restate the building protocol and as- sure the other person(s) that this is not a personal issue with them or necessarily your own choice, but a security step that you are required to follow.
5. Use the back door to reduce your interactions and avoid potential con- flicts with non-residents.
6. Contact your property manager should you have any questions or con- cerns about building safety and security.
We have been doing a better job flattening our cardboard boxes to make room for the increased volume of deliveries—thank you!
There have also been some new issues with recycling. Recently, foam padding, plastic and used furnace filters were thrown into the cardboard and paper recycling bin. These items cannot be recycled with paper products, which means that the bin contents are now considered contaminated and will be sent to the landfill instead. To avoid this please carefully read product labels and the City of Ottawa guidelines to ensure your items are sorted correctly. https://ottawa.ca/en/garbage-and-recy- cling/apartment-and-multi-unit-programs/residents-and-tenants/
Lastly, please do not leave items outside the bins. If your items do not fit in the re- cycling that week, please keep them in your unit until the bin has been emptied, or take them to be recycled elsewhere.
Dogs must be leashed in the common areas and cannot be taken to relieve themselves in common areas, which include the roof and the parking lot.
Winter holidays will be upon us in no time. Please remember to only use artificial trees when decorating, as natural trees are a prohibited fire hazard and create a mess for our cleaner when they are thrown out. As the health and safety of our res- idents is forefront on our minds, we have, sadly, decided to forgo our annual Christmas gathering. We will work with the volunteer bottle collectors to explore possibilities for our bottle funds. For example, we could offer another gift to our dili- gent cleaner or make a donation to the food bank or other charity. We welcome any additional suggestions, which can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, a warm welcome to new members of our condo community. We hope to meet you in person in the not too distant future.
We wish everyone a good fall and winter.
Your Board members - Allyson, Sonia, Susan, Asia and Philippe