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Removalists on common property
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Paul2000
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17/04/2018 - 11:38 am
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We are in a 4 apartment block and have successfully managed this ourselves for 15 years at huge savings for everyone. The property is well maintained and if something needs doing it is done. Two of the apartments are now tenanted. One owner has never been seen for more than 20 years (!) but snipes away if given the opportunity from interstate if any money needs to be spent. Easy to ignore her. The other owner moved interstate 2 years ago and has let her apartment to a pair of up themselves wealthy corporate lawyers who have the idea that they are smarter than everyone else and did comment when they moved in “I know we are renting but we do own real estate you know”. Ho hum.

So they gave notice through the agent that they would be moving out and I took the opportunity to remind the agent that under the By-laws they could not park a removal truck in the small driveway or block the common property. Which is what they did when they moved in. Flurry of emails arrived via the agent who seemed to think she was acting for the tenants and not the owner. ”We did it before and therefore there is a precedent”. Uh no. You were in breach before, gave no notice and inconvenienced the whole building for half a day. Next request was well, under by-law x we can apply for permission which we are doing. Answer…no because under the next by-law you are not permitted to block the common property.

Today the removalist arrives and parks truck in the driveway blocking access. Tenant questioned as to why he was letting the truck park there and says by-laws don’t apply to me. Things obviously different in the Qld legal swamp from which he emerged. Says put a notice on the side of the truck and we’ll get back to you in 5 days. Then unleashes torrent of foul abuse with his hands behind his back obviously encouraging me to deck him. Reluctantly declined.

Erics removal guys equally charming. ”Go and pull your fn head in mate”…”people like you just want to make our job hard”. Refused to move truck. Called Council rangers who told them to get their truck off the footpath. They told the council they would only be there for 15 minutes. That was 2 hours ago.

I suppose we can issue a Breach of By-law notice to the owner but as it’s a small block not much point and she might then agitate for a managing agent as she doesn’t really give a stuff as it’s just an investment unit for her.

The removalist said there was no notice on the building about trucks. Would that make any legal difference? If the tenant says up yours, the real estate agent is ineffective and the owner couldn’t care less……I guess there is nothing that can be done to stop this appalling behaviour.

 

Any thoughts?

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VicRes
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17/04/2018 - 8:17 pm
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So how do you expect people to move their possessions in and out of the property?

While parking in the driveway is an inconvenience when planned properly it is minor. Also, moving in and out of apartment blocks is common.

It seems you have a blanket ban on anybody parking in the driveway. Have either of the resident owners ever needed to have a delivery and blocked the driveway even for a short period of time? If so were they spoken to the same way?

Noting there appears to be no legal way of parking and removing their goods the departing tenants took the path of least resistance and just broke the by law knowing there was very little in a practical manner you could do at that time.

Perhaps develop a by law for how to handle departures and arrivals covering planning and advising the other residents of when and how long.

This situation is a bit of bull headedness on both sides but I actually have more sympathy for the departing tenants. You made their life harder than it needed to be and paid the price.

Plan ahead for the next resident transition and have  an easier time.

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Paul2000
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18/04/2018 - 7:45 pm
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Thank you for your considered reply VicRes. When these tenants arrived they gave no notice to the Owners Corporation, just parked their truck in the driveway for 5 hours and blocked everyone in. The truck also damaged tree branches. For the duration of their tenancy they have been nothing but difficult and over impressed with their self importance. continuously lodging complaints with the owner and the Owners Corp. Normally when people move in and out, which is rare, proper notice is given and everyone acts reasonably. The truck could have parked a short distance away on the street. Their attitude was we’ll do what we want to do and screw you.

And we paid the price??? What are you talking about actually?

You are obviously not an owner and also have no regard for any laws which don’t suit you.  

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VicRes
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18/04/2018 - 11:03 pm
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Paul2000 said

And we paid the price??? What are you talking about actually?

You are obviously not an owner and also have no regard for any laws which don’t suit you.    

What I’m talking about is that you’ve paid an emotional price in an adversarial encounter.

When the tenants signed the lease they should have been given a copy of the by laws so they knew what the expected behaviours were for residents, owners and tenants alike.

Did you address their blocking the driveway on arrival? If not then it is arguable that they have a realistic expectation that a temporary disruption is acceptable.

I don’t think it is reasonable for the truck to park ‘a short distance away’ when there is a driveway they could use temporarily.

Would you park there when moving out? If not then why do you expect a tenant to do so?

Paul2000 said
 For the duration of their tenancy they have been nothing but difficult and over impressed with their self importance. continuously lodging complaints with the owner and the Owners Corp

One of the joys of being a Secretary is dealing with difficult people.

As an Owner, and Secretary of my Owners Corp I get to deal with these and other matters as required. Very little conflict, I make sure people know what is required and resolve conflicts in a constructive manner.

I have on one occasion had to go formal and issue a notice to comply. With the other residents supporting me compliance was forthcoming and the resident concerned now understands what communal involves.

A recent example was renovations in one unit that necessitated tradespeople in the driveway over a fortnight.

With consultation and planning it wasn’t a problem. We all want to live here in peace and understand that the disruption might be caused by any of us depending on our circumstances.

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JimmyT
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19/04/2018 - 11:32 am
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I am very close to shutting this discussion down because of the entirely unnecessary adversarial turn it has taken with both sides making assumptions they are not entitled to make.

It sounds to me like the tenants blocked the driveway for several hours, impeding access and egress to other owners for that period.  They then lied to a council ranger who had ordered them to move. 

If that is the case, it’s entirely unacceptable and shows utter disregard bordering on contempt for their erstwhile neighbours.

That their attitude might have been a result of simmering conflicts with the other residents is neither here nor there – it doesn’t excuse unnecessarily selfish behaviour.

I am more concerned with what residents can do when departing residents behave in such an ignorant and selfish way.  Any further posts that deviate from that specific issue will be deleted.

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Paul2000
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19/04/2018 - 1:31 pm
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Thank you Jimmy – agree totally.

The tenants were given a copy of the by-laws before they moved in and ignored them as they did when they moved out. The removalists were emboldened by the tenants attitude and they then also indulged in verbal abuse of two of the owners.

There are no ”Strata Nazis” here. Every move in the past has been without issue and everyone has cooperated harmoniously. The lawyer tenants put up legal arguments at every turn and when they lost that argument simply said ”don’t care we’ll do what we want to do – see you in court”.

My original questions were along the lines, if they can be addressed without ad hominen comments (apologies for mine!)……

1. How do you stop this sort of thing happening

2. If it does happen what action can be taken

3. Does placing a sign on the entrance have any legal effect? The removalists also said ”There was no sign on the gate, pull your fn head in”. 

There are a few buildings in our area that have similar signs but they look unsightly in my opinion.

Thanks

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