REQUIRED READING FOR ALL NEW TENANTS
Speaking on behalf of Reliance Properties, myself and the other ARC inmates Welcome to the ARC!!! We are all so happy that you have chosen the ARC has your latest place to develop your work to the next level. The following manual is full of important bits of information that will make your stay here as pleasurable as possible. Reading it top to bottom will save you a lot of time, trouble and money. Not to mention could also save you from the discomfort of "early parole" aka: eviction. It will also make getting along with other inmates here a lot easier.
In the event you ever have conflict with your neighbors for any reason it can likely be resolved by turning to this manual. We have a really cool crowd in here right now. Partly because everyone knows the rules. As a newcomer it is important to remember you are not the only one hoping/expecting to hit the big time in New York City any day now. Though until the world realizes your greatness please make the effort required to play nice during your stay.
1. City bylaws require that a minimum of 70% of your space be dedicated exclusively to the production of some form of art. The accepted parameters of "art form" are very wide and include music, photography, painting, drawing, print making, sculpture, ceramics, dance, theater, performing arts, graphic arts, textile arts, film making, creative innovation and writing. Although our parameters are wide, the spirit of the bylaw WILL BE ENFORCED. Tenants who are not producing art in their space will be asked to vacate.
2. Sound. The builders exceeded the bylaw requirements in sound insulating our walls, and you should therefore hear very little, if any noise from your neighbors. However, various forms of amplified sound can seep through the walls and doorways. Policy on noise is as follows:
If you are producing sound, which is annoying to your neighbor then it is too loud, and it is your responsibility to reduce its level. If complaints persist, you will be given a warning in writing. Failure to heed the warning will result in termination of your lease. Please remember that there are two sound reduced music practice rooms plus a large general activity room in the basement. Therefore there is no excuse for bothering your neighbors, who have the right to pursue quieter art forms (such as writing). This rule is strictly enforced after 11 p.m.
If you are doing some other form of noisy work in your studio then the goal is to negotiate with your neighbors. Find out if your noise bothers them before they have to complain. If so the goal is to negotiate. Maybe they work strange hours and you can make your noise at times they are not there. Most tenants here are pretty dam easy as long as you don't just blast your noise with out consideration of others.
3. Parties. Your guests are your business. However, if your party guests cause aggravation to other tenants, or cause vandalism or damage to our building, or leave messes on the floors or walls, etc., then it becomes the business of the building manager, in this case me. It must be remembered that the actions of your guests are considered the actions of you. Any action that violates the contract by either you or your guests could qualify you for eviction. In the interest of good neighborliness, we suggest you give your neighbors ample warning if you plan a party. Once again remember that you will be held completely responsible for the behavior of your guests and for any resultant problems.
4. Building cleanliness. A maintenance person is paid to keep our building clean. They are here three times a week but their work is defeated without the cooperation of our tenants. If you want to be proud of the ARC, do your part to keep it clean. Please do not litter, leave your junk in the hallway or garbage on top of the dumpster etc.
Now I realize if you are on the verge of becoming world famous, like I know you are, being "proud" of the building might be the last thing on your mind. That's fine but a lot of other tenants here depend on the building having a clean and professional look for the clients they are dealing with. By doing your part it will make getting along with them a lot easier. This could turn out to be quite a benefit in the case that the world or New York is a little slow at catching onto your greatness and you have to live around those "whiny neighbors" for longer than you first expected.
You also have to remember that one mans junk is another man's crap. You may think your pile of crap is cool but others likely won't feel the same way about it.
5. No smoking is permitted in ANY of the building's common areas. This includes hallways, laundry areas, and basement amenity areas. Our smoke detectors here are very sensitive and in the past have been set off by smoking in the stairwells etc. This gets ugly since the fire alarm goes off (very loud), the fire department is sent immediately, and the building must be evacuated. Tenant causing alarm immediately loses popularity not to mention faces possible eviction.
Smoking in your studio is fine but anyone caught throwing a cigarette but out the window will be immediately given a 48 hour eviction with no exceptions!!!
Thus you want to make sure that your visitors are aware of this. So far we have had two small studio fires caused by butts flicked out the window and blowing into a lower open window. We show no mercy with this regard.
The ARC's passenger elevator works well 99% of the time. Every so often it will try to eat someone but that is quite rare. The main problem we have is it is run by a small computer, which will shut down if:
a. The door is held open longer than 20 seconds. This happens when someone using it keeps blocking the door so they can talk with the person staying on that floor. Either that or place a box to keep the door from closing completely. After a couple of times the elevator figures out someone might be dead there so shuts down. When this happens it means we have to call the elevator repair guy the next day. It also means that I have to tell everyone that you were the moron who shut it down!!!
b. Dirt or lint accumulates in the door grooves. This rarely happens but if you see something in the groove that could block the door please do everyone a favor and move it.
c. It is overloaded. I am not sure I have ever seen this happen but in the event you are moving a very heavy milling machine up to your studio you may want to check with me first.
d. In the event of a fire alarm. Whenever the fire alarm goes off the passenger elevator automatically returns to the main floor and shuts down. So in the event of a fire alarm you will have to take the stairwell.
The ARC's freight elevator. Our freight elevator here is a real classic gem!! It dates back to 1932 and still works like a charm when used properly. Of the two elevators here at the ARC the freight elevator is the most valuable. If the passenger elevator goes down well most can just take the stairs. If the freight elevator goes down that sucks big time!!! Moving a 600 pound Honda Davidson Glide King down the stairwell seven flights would be exhausting and likely take all day. The same with moving forty sheets of 3/4" medite up to your studio. This is not a pretty picture. You have to remember you might not need it that often but some tenants here depend on that elevator.
Thus it is very important to only use the freight elevator if you really have to!!! Also it is very important to make sure none of your visitors use the freight elevator!!! There are tricks to using it that I show you when you move in that they might not know. Way more than once have visitors shut down the freight elevator due to improper use.
The freight elevator doors are very old, classic and fragile. They must be opened carefully or will jump out of their tracks shutting it down until the repair guy comes. Doing this is a very fast way to take your popularity down a notch or two with the other tenants here. Parts for this old beast are getting harder and harder to find and in some cases have to be specially manufactured for it. Most of these old elevators have been banned, destroyed, or put out of commission so we are very lucky to have it still.
To those that don't care about "classic" that's fine but you should note that a new freight elevator would be extremely expensive and like all added building expenses they always turn into rent increases. On top of that if Reliance does not have to spend a fortune on a new elevator the more likely they are to do other building improvements that are more of a benefit to all of us.
If the freight elevator happens to be out of service when someone is moving in or out and they must use the passenger elevator instead, it may be put into service mode to facilitate their move. In that event a sign indicating this is the case will be posted on the passenger elevator door.
7. Your lease agreement here is a commercial lease, not a residential one. Your studio is a working space that you are allowed to live in (as long as you are still producing your artwork.).
It is not an apartment that you are allowed to work in. The difference is that if you are late with your rent, or causing some other problem, or in violation with any part of the lease agreement then the owner has the legal right to give you a 48hr. Notice to Vacate, in other words kick your butt out of here. Does it happen often? Almost never in the last twenty two years. But the point is it could. Will it happen to you? Highly unlikely if you are a serious artist with intentions to get anywhere. Just the same though it could. You just have to remember that we are not (thankfully on your part) governed by the landlord Tenancy Act. You see the Landlord/Tenant Act does not apply to Artist live/work studios in industrial zones. These disadvantages are minor in comparison to the advantages we enjoy. We have a building here that allows us to do things that could never be done in a residential building governed by the Landlord Tenancy Act.
Thus the bottom line is to be on time with your rent, and pay attention to the terms of your lease. If you have read and understood what has been said here you will be fine.
Please remember any NSF cheques must be immediately replaced with a money order or a certified cheque. A $40.00 + gst NSF charge must also be added. Any rents unpaid in full by the fifth of each month, for any reason, will mean that a forty-eight hour eviction notice will be issued. If a money order is received within the forty-eight hours then the eviction will be cancelled. Also we do not take partial payments for rent nor do we ever take cash.
8. Laundry rooms are provided on the 2nd, 4th, and 6th floors. The machines are $2.00 or so per load. These use smart cards so no change is needed. Please take note of the instructions provided in the laundry rooms. The most common reason for problems is using too much detergent. Liquid detergents must be used. Also never put laundry detergent pouches n the soap drawer of the machine! They won't dissolve in there. Powdered detergents do not work in these machines. After using the washing machines please leave the doors open! Laundry machine designers have never had to wash their own laundry before so don’t quite understand the process. The machines stink really bad for the next user if you close the doors after using. Please be courteous and clean the machines after use.
When using the machines always use the timer on your smart phone so you don't tie up the machines for other users. If you are smart enough to not own a smart phone then just put a note on your beer fridge or a place you frequent often so you will notice it. No one likes to pull you dead laundry so they can use the machines but no one also wants to wait for two hours for you to remember either. If someone has pulled your laundry don't go holding grudges as they can't tell when the machines quit.
9. Storage lockers: It is very important to remember to use only the storage locker that has been assigned to you! Using any other locker will result in the loss of your stuff or a fifty dollar charge to reclaim your stuff. Some tenants only use their lockers every few weeks or so. If they go down there and find stuff in it their lockers they call me. I quickly cut the lock and heave the stuff in the dumpster without questioning the value. If for some really strange reason I am in an incredibly good mood because all tenants have been following the rules then I may stash the stuff and charge you fifty dollars for my time to move it. Remember if you live anywhere in Vancouver you are desperate for more space so crying to me with your excuse will be completely futile.
10. Pets. The building now has a strict “NO PETS” policy. This applies especially to cats and dogs. Pets other than cats and dogs may be permitted but only with the written permission of the building manager. As of now the last legal pet in the building is my 35 year old parrot who was grandfathered in because she moved here before the rule change. Anyone getting a pet will have their lease immediately terminated whether they get rid of the pet or not.
It should be noted that the "No Pets" rule was changed due to so many complaints from the building tenants. Many artists in the building depend on their clients getting a positive image from the building. Dog droppings, dog bites, dogs barking, cats marking their territory etc. do not give a good image. Since artists depend on selling to their clients to pay the rent the rule had to change. Some artists have lost serious sales due to dog problems.
11. Tenant parking: Parking next the building, when available is presently $85. plus gst a month. The south lot, across the street and down a bit is presently $80.00 plus gst a month. There is NO FREE parking next to the building!!!!! Make sure your friends and visitors know that!! If it says 24 hour RESERVED, NO PARKING ZONE, or similar you will be towed immediately, no exceptions. Towing charges are now around $100.. The only advantage to having DRAKE tow your vehicle is that they are only one block away so you won't need a taxi to retrieve your car. Also because they are so close it only takes them a couple of minutes to get here to tow you or your friends car. Even if he is just quickly dropping off something.
Anyone parking in the Handicapped stalls will also be towed immediately. I should also note that I love towing people from handicapped spots. I also collect excuses as to why the towed victim thought they were special enough to be above this rule.
The Loading Zone: To avoid getting towed from the loading zone it is important to have an easily visible dashboard note indicating your studio and phone number. This could save you towing charges. What people often do is park there then ever twenty minutes come out and check on there car. If it is still there and no one is waiting for the spot they think it was fine. I though happen to see on the camera three people come up to unload, curse and get mad, have to fight unloading way harder than they would have and finally. Leave. All the while the illegal parker comes out and thinks great!!! Everything is fine and no one is waiting!. This is why I am so quick to tow from there now.
REMEMBER THE LOADING BAY IS FOR LOADING AND UNLOADING ONLY!!!!!
You want to remember that the loading bay gets used lots!!! Often for only a couple of minutes and then they are gone. Most people see the loading bay sitting empty so think it is always that way which is never the case.
Cafe Parking Spots: Often your friends needing to quickly drop something off will try to use the cafe spots. The problem is the cafe is already short on parking spots and their livelihood on having those spots. Thus they will also tow you. If your friends want to park there tell them to buy a coffee first and then ask if it is ok to leave it there for a few minutes. Could save them a $100. !!! These spots are also reserved 24/7. Don't think because they are empty at night that you can get away with using them. Also café parking spots are for café customers only and are reserved 24hrs 7 days a week! Now if your friends lack common sense, self respect and thus respect for others make sure you tell them that buying a coffee and then parking there all day will not work.
Another very important fact to remember... the hard drive between my ears is very small... too many concussions in my life have shorted out a lot of the memory in my system. This means no matter how many times I see you driving your Silver Ghost or Dodge Viper... I will not remember it as yours and will likely tow it. Usually after I tow a vehicle I then remember who's it was. All this boils down to the fact that you are probably going to get towed so please be prepared.
Remember Drake Towing is not trying to "fix the world" they are trying to make money so would love it if you just ignored this section. That's your choice I guess. But personally a hundred bucks is a lot of fermented grape juice!!!
Oh... in case your car is missing please call Drake before calling me...
DRAKE TOWING 251-3344
12. Heat and hot water are included in your rent, so your monthly hydro bill will only reflect your lights, fridge & stove and etc., and should not vary much from month to month. A typical hydro bill is $35-50 per month but of course will depend on how many cookies you bake or if you have a kiln etc.
Now the free heat does have some drawbacks. First off it a boiler system and thus once we turn it on the whole building warms up a notch or so whether you turn your heat on or not. Because of this in the fall and spring we have to stall before turning the boiler on or off. In the fall if we turn it on too soon and then it warms up again the building turns into a sweat lodge!!! Or if we turn it off too early in the spring and it gets cold again we are freezing. Thus please remember this spring and fall issue to save me having to give a long winded explanation as to why this is the case. It is not Reliance is trying to cheap out on the heat or isn't concerned about you sweating in your studio.
The second draw back with the boiler system is the pipes can sometimes make strange noises. In fact the most popular sounds exactly like someone is dropping steel marbles on their floor above you. I know I know... "it really is someone dropping marbles or tapping on the floor above you as you can tell". That the same story I told the plumber who stood their laughing at me. Of course every spring that guy seems to quit dropping marbles on the floor until the fall right about the time we fire up the boiler.... Thus please don't bug me about the marble dropper etc.
13. Garbage: the garbage bins are located at the building's rear. There are 2 green bins for non-recyclable garbage, and a third green bin is for flattened cardboard only. We also have a recycling program in effect, with blue bins for glass/plastic/metal, newsprint, and other paper. It's not that complicated so please be careful not to mix them up. Lastly there is a green bin out there with a yellow lid... you can't miss it because it stinks like hell. That is the food recycle bin. Again please make sure you don't throw any plastic or plastic looking material in that bin. The City of Vancouver along with most people with more than half a brain want food scraps to be recycled.
I keep my compost bucket in the freezer. Makes for less smell and love the fact that my regular kitchen garbage no longer smells like someone died in it!!! With your compostibles frozen it makes it easier to dump also.
PLEASE NOTE: All garbage going into the dumpsters here has to come from inside the building. These dumpsters are not for dumping garbage created off site.
14. Lockouts. If for some reason you are locked out of your unit, I keep a master key on hand at all times. Depending on my mental state at the time I may first have to check your file to make sure I am letting in the right person. Please note I can never let in friends or guests unless you have emailed or phoned me in advance and can answer a skill testing question to prove it is you. Remember I make NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.
Also please remember Reliance pays me well to deal with emergencies that come up. If you get home in the middle of the night only to find you don't have your keys make sure you knock on my door. I don't mind one iota!!! Mind you if you do this more than once or twice I am going to be tempted to bring out the "reminder bat" If you don't know that the "reminder bat" is all I can say is you don't want to know.
15. Illegal activities of any nature are not allowed in the ARC. As per the terms of your lease, tenants found to be engaging in any illegal activities (such as growing or selling prohibited substances) will have their lease immediately terminated. In case you have not learned this yet... legal crime... ie banking, politics, health care and phone/internet services are way better money and usually have deluxe pension plans anyway. Just the same criminal activities will get your lease quickly terminated.
16. Regarding Emergencies: As your building manager I want you to know that I am available at all times for emergencies. Like I said above they pay me well so am not worried about having to get up in the middle of the night to let you in etc.
At the same time you need to remember I am not your butler. Emergencies are things like locked out of your studio, water leaking into your studio, Marilyn Manson rehearsing next door to you after midnight, gunshots or explosions especially when around or near my vehicle, someone trying to break into a studio especially my studio, flames or fire especially near or around my studio or vehicle etc. Needing shop access so you can finish your dying grandmothers going away gift you made her is not an emergency on my part!!!
For non emergencies and issues that will need my further attention please email me first before knocking on my door or phoning. That will give me time to formulate an excuse... or a solution to your issue before you knock. On top of that I won't have to pause my youtube video.
Regarding Phoning: If you have a simple question or something that does not need my follow up then it is likely better to phone me first. I don't mind non emergency phone calls between ten am and 8pm.
Regarding Texting: There are a couple of reasons I don't use texting for building stuff. The first is I need easily accessible and sortible records to be able to tell me what still needs done regarding your issue. I use email as my back up memory and even though not that great it is far better than my memory alone!!! Someone will phone me and tell me their issue then before I can get out the door I get two more calls and someone knocking on my door. Those new tasks tend to overwrite the task I was about to do for you! With email when I go back to check it I get reminded. With your phone call I might forget completely or not remember until I am just about asleep.
The second reason is there are around 120 people in this building. Most people these days are textamaniacs. I would have hundreds of texts to deal with every day. I don't have that time to waste. I don't mind texts though if it is just something unimportant that you wanted to tell me that will not require my follow up in any form. I do check my texts every day or two.
Thirdly, emailing is harder as it takes a few seconds more. This pre-screens everyone's issues. Thus I only get emails regarding more serious issues. The fact that a cloud blocked the sun or their neighbor was being rude is not worth taking the time to email. If their toilet broke though they don't mind the extra time it takes to email me. My memory is shorter than my ambition and time. At least with the email there is a chance it stays on my brain a little longer. If not I will eventually spot it again when I dive below the screen to see what emails I have not dealt with yet. Email also gives me an easily sortible list of any communications we have had regarding your issues for future reference if needed.
17. Fire Alarm. The building has an elaborate fire alarm and sprinkler system. Along with other factors that make the building extremely safe fire wise. It must be noted that in the event of a fire a speaker alarm will go off in your unit. This alarm is usually above your entrance door. Tampering with this alarm in any way can lead to eviction at the worst and a $300. charge at the best to reset the system. Any tampering done to an in-suite alarm speaker is detected by the main control panel.
There are two things that set off the main fire alarm, one is smoke or fire in the hallways etc. and the other is one or more of the sprinklers in a unit being activated by heat or fire. I have been told on numerous occasions that this building is beyond fireproof. This is great for us living here.
The main problem we have here is False Alarms. These force fire fighters to race over here wasting time and money in order to "babysit" us artists. Normally if they are slow it might not be that big a deal. But their time is far better spend attending to real fires saving real lives. We don't want one of our false alarms to be the reason someone died in a house fire because the fire guys were here instead.
THUS IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: When burning toast or other food in your kitchen, do not open your studio door as this will set off the main fire alarm. The same applies with fake smoke, incense, cigarette smoke or very fine dust etc. This in turn calls the fire department and their crew of men and trucks! Instead you can avoid the embarrassing situation of causing everyone to evacuate the building. Just turn on your kitchen and bathroom fans and open your windows. Your smoke alarm will be screaming but at least it does not call the fire department!!!
Regarding The Sprinklers in your studio they are activated in two ways, one a fire near the sprinkler or a large flash of heat like you would get when opening a kiln or forge, two banging the sprinkler with something you threw at your boyfriend... or significant other. The first way is great since it will put out or control the fire. The second way is ugly since large volumes of totally rancid water come out and ruin everything in its path. Both ways will set off the main alarm automatically calling in the fire department.
Most of the sprinklers are up high enough and have guards so there should be no problem with banging them. The ones that you have to watch though are the ones in your closets and bathroom. So please, be careful when piling your closet full of junk/stuff etc. Make sure you don't bang your ski's against the sprinkler... if you do it will be the worst day of your life.
18. Security The building now uses fob readers for building access through the front and back doors and into the basement. There is also an access code for the elevator. It is very important for the security of everyone here to not give codes out to anyone.
The only code you give to your friends is the one you use for the front door Enterphone. That number when pressed calls you at your phone. You then have the option of pressing “9” and letting them in or if you need to talk more and the phone starts beeping then press the “#” key. This will extend the time that you can talk to them. When you do press the “9” key they will be cut off and you will hear a buzzing sound at your end. They then have a 30 seconds or so to get to the elevator and press the regular call button.
Back door. The back door must not be propped open unless someone is there at all times. If you are leaving for only a minute make sure the door is closed. It takes virtually no effort to do this and is vital to building security. As striving artists we do not want to be easy targets for low life thieves. Though it is a little uncomfortable at first it is wise to not let anyone follow you into the building. It takes them two seconds to swipe their own fob to let themselves in. They should thank you for not doing so. After all it is for their benefit.
19. Complaints, suspicious activity or other problems, if you notice anything that looks suspicious or unusual feel free to let me know any time of the day. The same with any problems you have. The more we all watch out for each other here the safer and cleaner the place will be. Also the more I am informed reminded about problems the quicker I can resolve them.
ARC AMENITY FACILITIES
From the beginning the ARC was designed to give artists a safe, clean, legal and practical place to live and work in the same studio. This was a massive jump up from the old illegal rat infested fire trap warehouses that artists used to live/work in. A place where artists of all types could pursue their work without keeping one eye out for the law, rats or catching the place on fire. The ARC has been that and then some!! Here we can live in comfort and do almost any art form we can imagine. In the beginning various members of the arts community were called upon for their advice during the ARC's initial planning to insure the project would adequately serve its tenants needs. We have clean cool spaces that are specially designed for an artist of almost any style. We can now live in comfort and work in a level of safety that was not available not that many years ago.
In order to create as much harmony as possible a few operating systems have been put into place. These systems, rules and regulations are designed to keep these rooms as workable as possible. Much thought has gone into these in order to provide equal and fair access to all tenants along with providing safety and security. We have features that normal buildings cannot come close to matching. These systems rules and regulations are required in order assure the future of these rooms. Some are a small inconvenience but worth it in order to have the amenity rooms we have.
Please note that all dues collected from the wood shop and kiln room do not go to Reliance. All dues collected go back into these rooms in the form of new tools, blades, maintenance and general upkeep.
With this in mind please read the following completely.
1. Amenity rooms are for use of tenants only. Non-residents will not have access unless they are working with, and are in the presence of, a user tenant. The only exception is the wood shop which no one from outside the building is allowed.
2. In most cases, tenants intending to utilize amenity spaces must become part of a "user group". Before gaining access to amenity rooms, tenants must comply with "user group" requirements, which may include: attending instructional courses, learning safety requirements, sharing costs of upkeep and extra maintenance, liability waivers, and etc.
3. Tenant users are responsible for keeping amenity areas tidy and clean. Anyone found being irresponsible in this regard may be requested to do special cleaning, or be required to pay for such cleaning, or may have their user privileges withdrawn.
4. In those areas where a user time schedule is in place, tenants shall agree to abide by such schedules, and will willingly relinquish their time when it has expired. Any contention regarding scheduled times will be arbitrated by the user group leader, or by the building manager.