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How to deal with a nasty neighbour
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07/07/2012 - 11:49 am
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QUESTION: We live in a small apartment block where fewer than half the units are owner-occupied. My wife has been secretary of the Owners Corporation for a number of years but recently one of the owners has been spreading malicious comments to other owners and tenants, accusing her of tampering with her mail and embezzling the Owner Corporations funds.

She has also been stirring up trouble with one group of tenants in particular who have verbally abused my wife calling her all sorts of foul names and last year one of them tried to kick our door down.

Apart from seeking police and legal intervention, can anything be done through the Owners Corporation to address this toxic situation? – Tiaeki via Forum.

ANSWER: This is a tricky one but it strikes me that a show of solidarity from the rest of the Executive Committee could stop this nonsense in its tracks.

“Come right out and say you have heard that there are rumours and you wish to deal openly and frankly about them, and that you invite owners to talk to you and others on the EC,” says Forum StrataGuru PeterC.

The EC could also write to the tenants telling them their behavior is a clear breach of by-laws which means they are in breach of their lease so they’d better pull their heads in.

However, despite your reluctance, it seems that one way or another, the law may be your best option.

Forum regular MattB suggests getting the police involved with the tenants.  “Their behaviour is intolerable and illegal,” he says, adding, “Try and obtain proof about the malicious owner then threaten civil action.”

“Walk into your nearest Police station and seek an AVO,” agrees Chris from forum sponsors IBC, adding that it won’t endear you to the culprits “but, hey, they don’t like you already.”

By the way, if the EC won’t support your wife, she should quit.  Forget any notions of winning and losing; nobody needs that kind of abuse in their life.

What would you do with spiteful neighbours stirring up trouble? Read some more suggestions HERE.

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