Nosey EC members who want to tell tenants what to do | Executive Committees | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered


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Nosey EC members who want to tell tenants what to do
03/08/2012 - 11:39 pm
Member Since: 06/01/2014
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apples45 said

The EC wants to communicate with tenants and tell them of "duties" that they should be participating in - like rubbish removal etc.

I don't agree with EC members/strata manager communicating with tenants. It should be left to the strata manager/EC to communicate with the real estate agents/owners. The EC and strata manager are not managing the tenants. It is the owners responsibility to inform them of by-laws and duties.

Tenants are subject to the same by-laws and properly constituted rules as any other resident. The Executive Committee and/or strata manager, as representatives of all the owners, are perfectly entitled to inform them when they have breached them. 

If it's just a building's unwritten rules, like taking turns to put out the garbage, and they aren't covered by their lease or in by-laws, then they are entitled to ignore the requests. But if there is a problem, do you really want their rental agent and landlord to get phone calls and letters from the Executive Committee and Strata Managers telling them that they are bad neighbours?

Trust me, even if the landlord starts off sympathetic to the tenants, in a city where rental occupancy is below 0.5 percent, the easiest way to make the phone calls and letters stop is to ask the tenants to leave.

If they feel they are being unfairly treated r harrassed by their neighbours, the tenants can certainly ask the landlord to tell the EC members to back off. And the tenants can get good advice on their rights (and responsibilities) at the Tenants Union website.

But it's standard practice in most buildings for the Executive Committee or strata manager to tell tenants directly if there's a problem.  They will then take it up with the landlords if their complaints are ignored.

When they get a Notice To Comply, a warning which can lead to a fine if they don't pay heed, it comes from the Executive Committee or Strata Manager, not the landlord. 

Ignore one of those and the next communication they might get from their landlord may be the one informing them that they have breached the terms of their lease by breaking by-laws, and telling them that they have to leave.

There's a fine line between informing tenants of their responsibilities and harrassing them or bullying them.  But surely a gentle reminder from someone in the building is better than a letter of complaint to the landlord or agent. I'd personally prefer a quick chat with a neighbour to a letter of complaint being sent to my landlord.

16/08/2012 - 6:13 pm
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considerate band fair
17/08/2012 - 8:04 pm
Member Since: 14/12/2010
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19/08/2012 - 5:44 pm
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CBF - no, we're not in a large strata plan with an onsite manager.  Our plan has circa 60 apartments and townhouses and is run with a very hands-off strata manager.

We're just lucky enough to have a EC members who include retirees, those who work from home as well as a couple top tier lawyers who can quickly draft and manage correspondence (e.g. notices, warning letters, letters to property managers).

As a number of tenants are foreign students or new migrants, there was a big issue with educating residents when the strata plan began early last year.  We partly solved this by preparing a detailed "residents guide" which we're now in the process of converting into a website, hopefully like the one we found here:

One of our EC members also monitors apartments which are newly tenanted to ensure that the new residents receive a welcome letter enclosing a copy of the by-laws and residents guide.  The main real estate agent managing the majority of tenanted apartments also keeps a copy of this to provide to new tenants.

It's quite a bit of work for the current EC members, but it saves us a hell of a lot on strata manager disbursements (especially in the early years when levies tend to increase exponentially) and ensures that we're always on top of things. Smile

considerate band fair
22/08/2012 - 6:33 pm
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Strata Plan of 4 by the beach
15/10/2012 - 12:41 pm
Member Since: 04/10/2012
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I live in a 4 lot plan with 2 owner/occupiers & 2 tenants (1 of which is mine, next door).

The owner of the other tenanted lot felt free to 'instruct' my various tenants about all manner of things including that they are not allowed to have a washing basket on top of their washing machine in the common laundry as  well as telling another one to "Do something with that garden", referring to the COMMON PROPERTY garden bed in front of their unit.

However, now that this owner has moved out & has tenants of his own, we have strict instructions not to communicate with his tenants despite them repeatedly coming to us with questions about what they are allowed and not allowed to do.

Our managing agent has told us to tell these tenants to contact their real estate agent about any questions they have as this is the specific request of the real estate agent and the owner.  We are willing to do this but we are thinking that if this is an issue for the tenant - apparently they don't like us telling them yes or no but don't stop asking - we can't make sense of that bit, the real estate agent and the owner, we wonder why the agent/owner don't instruct THEIR tenant not to approach the owner/occupiers with questions and requests.

Anyway, it's actually preferable to us to have it all go through official channels as it makes it easier to say no to the tenant and maintain a positive relationship with them - they have asked for all manner of things from storing their 4 bikes in the common laundry, to having a compost bin and vegetable garden on common property to storing gym equipment and outdoor furniture, including a fire on comon property.  They didn't ask about the cat though - funny that.  They also tell us about (the many) repairs that are required in their unit and at first, we were active in assisting in having these repaired by arranging quotes (via the Managing Agent) for the EC to approve etc which their owner would have input to of course, but now, they are on their own and can wait for their (lax) owner to finally get around to it.

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