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Roof deck etiquette: Dos and don’ts for hanging out on your apartment building's roof

Roof deck etiquette: Dos and don’ts for hanging out on your apartment building's roof

At some buildings, the roof deck is a beautiful, meticulously managed space with a long list of rules and expectations. In others, it’s the type of place you sneak into, or that your landlord lets you use with a wink and a nudge (despite a provision in your lease that says it’s off limits). 

In either case, listen to grandma and don’t do anything stupid. You don’t want to make an enemy of building management and lose access to the roof, or accidentally trigger your building’s alarm and annoy your neighbors. (Sure, the alarm could be a ruse designed to ward off unruly tenants, but it’s better to ask your fellow residents or landlord first rather than risk a mistake.) And you absolutely don’t want to hurt yourself or anyone else by being careless on top of a tall building.

Do: Be considerate of shared space

Buildings occasionally have rules about wearing proper attire in public spaces, although Miroslav Salon, resident manager at 20 River Terrace (also known as The Solaire) said he’s never had to enforce them. It's probably best that you don’t become the resident responsible for a building-wide dress code.

Don’t: Avoid things that could break or fly away

When you plan an al fresco meal, serve it on something other than ceramic plates and glass cups. The Manhattan co-op building at The Solaire requires that residents bring shatter-proof plates and cups if they want to cook out, said Salon, the property’s resident manager.

And make sure you don’t bring any furniture—like umbrellas for example—that could easily fly away with a heavy gust of wind. Salon said all the furniture at The Solaire’s 19th floor terrace is permanently secured, or weighted down.

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