Neighbours above, spit and throw rubbish on to our Balcony | Another day in paradise | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered
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I recently moved into a complex and have had consistent issues with the neighbours above our apartment, spitting (by far the most common and annyoing issue), throwing cigarette butts and rubbish (e.g. Beer bottle lids) onto our balcony. It happens about 5 times a week.
When I say neighbours, I am not sure which neighbours it is, as I have never witnessed it directly, just cleaned up the aftermath.
My balcony extends out further and is exposed to the 8 levels above. So the culprit/s are from somewhere above and usually do it at night.
I raised it with the O/C Manager and several of the other apartments were having similar issues, so they posted a notice in everyone’s mailbox and placed signs at the lifts and advised me if it continues that they will consider sending letters to the apartments directly above mine.
The frequency of issues has been unchanged since the notice was posted, so I will soon ask that letters are sent, but I am wondering what next? As I doubt it will stop the behaviour, unless I catch someone directly.
How far amI likely to get if I can’t identify the culprits?
Also do I have grounds on safety to request the OC install, a sail/awning or even enclose the balcony given I am legitmately concered about something coming from above whilst I am out there?
This is a much more common problem that you would think (and it’s one of the reasons I would never buy a terrace apartment).
But there is a simple solution. A relatively cheap web cam, positioned at the front edge of your terrace and pointing up, recording on to a laptop at, say, one frame a second, would not only identify the culprits pretty quickly but give you evidence to take to NCAT to have them breached and fined.
Cameras and software are cheap (the latter may be free) so all you need is a hand 14-year-old to set it all up for you.
Or, a notice in the lift saying you have installed security cameras pointing up at the balconies might have the deterrent effect you require.
If you can identify the balcony, then a Notice To Comply can be sent to the resident, whether it was them or a visitor, as they are responsible for the behaviour of people they invite into the building.
And before anyone says anything, no this is not an invasion of privacy, providing you are not filming people getting their kit off or doing anything they would otherwise expect to be private.
I don’t know where you live, but if it is in an area where there are a lot of non-English speaking residents (like my suburb) notices in the foyer won’t mean anything to them. A notice in the predominant language or languages may help, or even a photocopied note in that language in everyone’s letterbox. A drawing of what is not acceptable with a big X next to it may also be of use.
Good luck – living with other people can be very trying.
We have English speaking people in our building who can’t or won’t read notices and do throw stuff off their balconies. Cigarette ends are a favourite because, to smokers, the world is their ashtray.
But the idea of notices in other languages is good – just as long as it doesn’t feel like you are targetting them.
It’s a bit like people who complain about tenants when it turns out the culprits are owners.
Your strata managing agent with consent from the executive committee should be able to issue a penalty notice in breech of the bylaws on your strata scheme to the offending neighbour. Forms available from Dept Fair Trading Keep written records of conversation with the neighbours and images of rubbish.
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