Forum: resident vents over neighbour’s scents


Sometimes the dumbest problems in strata are cause by the simplest, most innocent actions … usually allied to people not thinking things through.

Take Flatchatter Wangdang whose small block has a communal extraction vent for its windowless bathrooms. That vent is probably connected to other bathrooms and a fan on the roof, ensuring that stale air, condensation and bad smells are drawn out where they can’t cause any offence.

Enter a new neighbour for whom the air isn’t being pumped out sufficiently efficiently and she asks the strata manager if it would be okay to attach an electric fan to her vent.

Because the strata manager is probably not a ventilation engineer, they said OK. Or, at least, she says they did.

The result: instead of our Flatchatter’s share of used air being drawn out of his bathroom, Wangdang is getting the stink pumped in from the bathroom downstairs.

Even worse, the neighbour is more than partial to wearing perfumes and Mrs Wangdang is allergic to the artificial scents that are now pouring into their privy.

What can he do, asks Wangdang?

Well, there are two things wrong with this.  The fragrant neighbour has changed common property without an appropriate by-law – it seems the strata manager may not be all that crash-hot on strata law either.

Also she is probably breaching Section 153 of the Act which means you aren’t allowed to “use or enjoy” your lot or common property in a way that creates a nuisance or hazard to other residents, or unreasonably  interferes with other residents’ enjoyment of their lots.

That’s pretty much a triple whammy of strata law breaches (or a fragrant disregard for the law – ouch!).

If it were me, I would suggest that the strata manager pays for the removal of the fan because he or she allowed it when they shouldn’t have.

And then I’d get someone who is a qualified ventilation engineer to find out why the  vents aren’t working efficiently and fix the system.  You can read the original post HERE.

Also in the slimmed-down post-Christmas Forum a Flatchatter wants to know what happens about a vote for a special levy that takes place after he’s exchanged on a sale. And who pays the special levy once it’s been set.  Those posts are HERE and HERE.

Right now is the best chance you’ll ever get to have your questions answered on the Flat Chat Forum.  Get in now before everybody sobers up and swamps us with queries again.

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