Detested investors

I never fail to be amazed by readers stories about how the selfish schemers in this world make life difficult for the rest of us.

Entries for our New Laws competition have been rolling in, each one a new twist on the recurring theme of bad neighbours.

Absentee investors have copped a bit of a hiding in the first few entries. There’s the tightwad who owns three apartments in one small block – all rented out – but refuses to pay his levies. As a result, essential work on the building can’t be done. And, because he has no job, he has managed to wriggle out of a bankruptcy order to force him to clear his debts. What a charmer.

Then there’s the bloke who rents out his penthouse in a small apartment block as an illegal backpacker operation. Because he holds 25 percent of the unit entitlements and a couple of other investor owners don’t care, he always has a majority on the Owners Corporation so nothing ever gets done about the backpackers on the top floor.

A third entrant suggests investor owners should have to pay an administration fee if they don’t live in their apartment. The logic is sound: Bad absentee investors never do any work for the OC, preferring to sit back and let everyone else do their share; they often don’t even bother to send proxies let alone take an interest in how the building is being run; they only want levies to be lowered, regardless of the consequences; and, especially in the case of short term rentals, their tenants cause more problems and wear and tear on the building than owner-occupiers.

Of course, that makes you wonder if you really would want these parasites on your Executive Committee anyway, so maybe a financial slug – an extra five percent on their levies, perhaps – is the way to go.

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