Rubbish left on common property | Rental rants | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered


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Rubbish left on common property

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28/11/2012 - 6:22 pm
Member Since: 02/02/2012
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02/01/2013 - 12:43 pm
Member Since: 15/12/2010
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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).  

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