Strata Garages have become 'Mens Sheds'. | Neighbour noise | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Strata Garages have become 'Mens Sheds'.
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Costa
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28/11/2016 - 8:11 am
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The latest problem here in our block of 36 units in Manly Vale NSW, is a couple of resident owners are treating their garages as ‘mens shed’ workshops. This is a problem because of the noise; power tools, hammering, even chatting. It sometimes goes into the evening and some things they do seem like low key commercial projects.

One’s a Russian and one’s a Pole, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it enables them to play ‘the race card’ when there are complaints. (This from a Greek Aussi.)

Our building is three levels, 18 units up one side and 18 up the other with 18 lock-up garages opening into the central area. (Not all units have garages.) They are meant as garages, not as workshops. Because of the design and architecture the noise is amplified. The work and incessant chattering (some in foreign language) is upsetting many other occupants and, rightly or wrongly, these blokes have a certain scary aura about them; most occupants are too frightened to complain.

Any suggestions to stop this please?

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Sir Humphrey
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28/11/2016 - 8:32 am
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Power tool noise is one thing, but concern for “chatting”, “sometimes into the evening”, “some in foreign language”, does sound to me like it might have a bit of of an odour about it.

Perhaps residents could propose a curfew for power tool use and hammering or place a limit on the number of hours in a day. There are at least 34 residents that are not these two gentlemen. While noise can be a serious issue, people living in close quarters can’t expect total silence either. 

Perhaps these guys could be enlisted to make some outdoor furniture for the grounds?

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Costa
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28/11/2016 - 9:07 am
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Your cloaked accusation of racism is misplaced PeterC. You’ll have to accept that and please apologise.

The rest of your post is unconstructive, unhelpful and your final paragraph. an attempted bon mot, is condescending and flippant.

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JimmyT
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28/11/2016 - 12:21 pm
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Let’s get back to the issues and leave the personal stuff be.

There are legal restrictions on the use of power tools, basically from to 7am to 8pm on weekdays and before 8 am on Sundays (see below).  However, these can be supplemented by by-laws restricting noise even further.

In any case, you will probably have a catch-all by-law in place that prevents residents from disrupting the peaceful enjoyment of other owners’ lots.

Also, if the garage is designated as such on the strata plan for which the development approval was based, it should not primarily be used for any other purpose other than parking a car.  

Any or all of these issues could be the basis for action against the owners either through NCAT or the courts.

However, a better approach might be to invite these residents to identify a space on common property that they could convert into a shed (with secure lockers) where they and other residents can share equipment and do their male bonding without disturbing other owners.

Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008

50   Power tools and equipment

(1)  A person must not cause or permit a power tool or swimming pool pump to be used on residential premises in such a manner that it emits noise that can be heard within a habitable room in any other residential premises (regardless of whether any door or window to that room is open):

(a)  before 8 am or after 8 pm on any Sunday or public holiday, or

(b)  before 7 am or after 8 pm on any other day.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units in the case of a corporation, 50 penalty units in the case of an individual.

(2)  A person is not guilty of an offence under this clause unless:

(a)  the person has, within 7 days after causing or permitting a power tool or swimming pool pump to be used in such a manner, been warned by an authorised officer or enforcement officer not to cause or permit the tool or pump to be used in that manner, and

(b)  the person causes or permits the tool or pump to be used in that manner within 28 days after the warning has been given.

(3)  In this clause:

power tool means any of the following:

(a)  a powered garden tool (that is, a tool powered by a petrol engine or an electric motor), including a lawn mower, a lawn trimmer, a blower or sweeper, a garden mulcher, an edge-cutter or a chipper or shredder,

(b)  an electric power tool (including battery-operated power tools),

(c)  a pneumatic power tool,

(d)  a chainsaw,

(e)  a circular saw,

(f)  a gas or air compressor.

 

swimming pool pump includes a spa pump.

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Pamster
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30/11/2016 - 11:34 am
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I would check first to ascertain if these residents are tenants or owners. It might be easier for the Strata Manager to send a letter to advise a tenant to toe the line rather than an owner.

I’ve always found that including pictures in the letter – with a big red tick indicating the correct behaviour and a big red cross on a picture denoting bad behaviour helps if there are language problems getting a written message across.

Also as stated – check your By laws.  They may state that permission and/or a new By-law has to be in place in order to change the use of a garage from normal “residential” use to commercial if you feel that they are operating a quasi commercial operation from their garage/s.

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JimmyT
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30/11/2016 - 6:01 pm
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Pamster said
I would check first to ascertain if these residents are tenants or owners. It might be easier for the Strata Manager to send a letter to advise a tenant to toe the line rather than an owner.

 

It really shouldn’t make any difference whether or not they are owners.  Yes, it’s theoretically easier to pressure renters to behave (because breaches could lead to them being evicted) but the same by-laws and laws apply to everyone and should be imposed as such.

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reddant
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08/12/2017 - 11:52 am
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The council is the place to inquire. The council requires a change of use application for it being used than anything other than tonparl a car.

Council also investigates noise from garages being used in this way. If you look on NSW EPA website there is a noise book which has a case study exactly like this where council issued them an order.

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scotlandx
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08/12/2017 - 12:45 pm
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This thread is a year old?

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JimmyT
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09/12/2017 - 10:00 am
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scotlandx said
This thread is a year old?  

Yup … but the problem isn’t going away any time soon, from what I hear.

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excathedra
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10/12/2017 - 12:39 pm
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I like to think of by-laws as a guide to how things should be done to facilitate living in a community rather than a collection of ‘don’t’s.  The model by-laws do no cover the car parking issues described in earlier posts.  Accepted standards of civilised behaviour should stop offenders, but clearly there are people who do not live according to these standards.  

In my submission to the review of NSW strata legislation, I suggested “Something that cannot be legislated in detail, but would be desirable in some sort of preamble to the Act, is an expectation that occupants observe not just the letter of their Scheme’s By-laws, but also the spirit of those that are (or should be) intended to facilitate living at close quarters and sharing facilities.”  I appreciate that “spirit of the by-laws” is subjective and open to discussion.  

It would be good if a draft by-law could be devised starting with a positive statement that allocated parking spaces are intended for parking of standard passenger vehicles and that storage of other items must be limited and subsidiary to the prime purpose.  The dimensions of the spaces provide for doors to be opened and for people to have access to their vehicles, and it is unacceptable for vehicles to be parked in a way that will compromise this use of the spaces.

Most civilised people will acknowledge this and behave accordingly, but unfortunately there will always be exceptions who will behave as they please in the absence of a by-law explicitly prohibiting what they are doing.

I don’t have a ready solution, and perhaps there will never be one that works in all cases, but I hope this may start a discussion.

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