Rubbish left on common property | Rental rants | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered
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One problem we have in our complex when people move out, is not so much dumping rubbish, but actually putting it in the bins. The Council allows us the equivalent of 1/2 large bin per unit per week, so with 20 units we have 10 bins. Normally this is adequate but when people move out they simply fill up ALL the available bins, with small furniture, bedding, clothing appliances,etc, leaving no room for other resident's rubbish. This becomes a real problem if the rubbish is dumped early the rubbish pick up cycle.
Birdgirl – We installed a CCTV System in our self-managed Plan about 7 years ago, although only partly to address problems of rubbish-dumping in our bin area.
One (1) of our four (4) cameras was positioned near the bin area, and every time those usual rubbish items of furniture, mattresses, and boxes (that people are simply too lazy to rip-up and placed in the recyclables bins) turned-up there I'd play-back the stored vision in fast-forward until I identified the rubbish and then the culprits.
I'd pause the vision, take a few "snap-shots" off the System, and deliver that to the culprits together with a polite note suggesting that they removed their items from the bin area, or in the case of departing tenants I'd e-mail those "snap-shots" as gifs to the Property Manager/s advising that if the dumped items weren't removed, the Owners Corporation (O/C) would have them removed and invoice the costs of doing that to the Lot Owner / Landlord. I'm not sure about the legality of that, but as best I can remember dumped items have either been removed by the tenants or more often by the Property Manager who would send one of their cleaning people around, and presumably recover costs from their tenant or from the Bond.
There's very little dumping these as all the Residents think that I'm looking – even though I never do unless there are reported issues like people parking incorrectly in visitors' spaces, or security lights out of service, or sprinklers not working when they should. As one recent example, I had a call from an Owner who complained that there was a strange car parked in his space, and once he gave me a timeframe, a quick perusal of the recorded vision from a couple of Cameras revealed which Unit the driver went to. A knock on the door by the complaining Owner saw the contrite visitor moved her car, and the problem was resolved; easy!
As for the System, there a many more available these days but I'd recommend purchasing from someone who manufactures in Oz or who at least has a local installation / maintenance / repair capability, as setting everything up is not as simple as the brochures indicate.
We purchased a NESS System comprising an 8 channel Digital Video Recorder (DVR) with a 1 terabyte hard-drive and 4 high-end Cameras that give really crisp vision both day and night, and as I don't live permanently at the Plan our System is networked so that the Chairman and myself can access (live) vision and make adjustments to the DVR and Cameras remotely. These days I can do all that via an App on my smart-phone; invaluable in our circumstances.
As for the installation, your O/C will need to position the Cameras to suit its own requirements but also so that they don't look directly into any Lots (except from a distance), it will need to display suitable signage on its Common Property, advise all incoming residents of the CCTV monitoring, and in accordance with the WorkPlace Surveillance Act (in NSW) all persons working on the site have to be advised that surveillance exits; I just include a footnote on all Work Orders that we issue, and that suffices.
I know that you / your O/C will want to know the costs, well I just checked the Invoice and our System and its professional installation cost $5,600 in 2005. There are Systems that are advertised at much cheaper prices now, but as I said be careful with product support and with the capabilities of the System – consider camera resolution, frames per second video range, movement activation capability, record storage before over-write, networking capability, and whether the DVR powers the Cameras (because if it doesn't cabling costs escallate).
We have a similar problem – people put food (or anything) into the paper recycling bins, likewise the glass etc bins. More info on digital security camera would be welcome, please.
We could also use that for collecting evidence for our case against the BirdMan, who despite giving a verbal assurance to the Tribunal member that he would stop feedng the birds, continues.
Once upon a time, in my complex, the generous members of the EC took the bins out each week. They took it in turns or did it together. The lucky residents of this complex rewarded the EC members by dumping rubbish on the ground in the bin area or placing rubbish on top of the bins. In many instances this was done eve when there was room n the bins. It didn't matter, it was for some else to take care of.
Luckily most of these people generally threw out some identifying documents of papers in their rubbish. EC members actually found out whose rubbish it was and left it back at their door step. Then they instigated a garbage roster where each unit had a turn each week to take the rubbish bins out. And guess what? No rubbish was left anywhere in the bin area. It wasn't someone else's problem anymore. They may actually have to pick up the rubbish themselves so this problem was virtually eliminated. Except when we had people move out. Ad we did take photos, and found identifying documents confirming whose rubbish was dumped and did send them a bill all to no avail.
We now have a company come and do out bins for us. And the problem is starting to creep back a little. When it is someone else's problem then anything goes. I am waiting for the problem to get even bigger than it was before because now we pay someone to do it. We have servants. It's for them to worry about now.
It is so annoying, and so inconsiderate, why do people do it? We have had similar problems but not to the same extent, it sounds like you are in a relatively large scheme?
We have had one owner recently who seemed to think it is ok to dump his rubbish wherever he pleases, and throw pieces of meat in the courtyard for his dog. This culminated in three of us confronting him, and him using some disgusting language in response, but he doesn't do it now.
Some of the things we have done:
1. in the case of tenants moving in or out, you would know which lot they come from, if they dump rubbish photograph it, and have the strata manager send the bill for removal of the rubbish to the agent. At the same time send an email to the strata manager noting that the residents of Lot X have dumped rubbish so you have a record. If it isn't paid, make sure it is recorded as a debt against the owner.
One thing a friend's scheme did was require a bond from any owners who rented their units out, to cover this kind of thing. You need a by-law for that.
2. If you see someone doing it, challenge them. It is very difficult to justify when you are caught in the act.
3. Rather than putting a sign up on the notice-board, put signs up where the bins are.
I am not sure if any of that will help, we still have difficulty getting people to understand the recycling bins, surely it can't be that hard.
We have a recurring problem of residents in our building leaving rubbish on the street verge and on the common property rather than putting it in the bin. It usually happens when people are moving in or out but there have been instances where people have just been too lazy to put their rubbish in the bin.
We've written letters to all residents reminding them of the bylaws on rubbish and put notices up in the notice board asking people to do the right thing but this doesn't work. We really can't issue notices to comply because we don't have any evidence of who dumped what, unless we employ a policeman or install a security camera to guard around the clock.
I am looking for practical solutions to this problem. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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