Are you a victim of strata committee bullying or are you just a “known troublemaker”? Even if you’re not, chances are that if you live in strata, you know someone who is one or the other … and possibly both.
How can that be? If a person feels, rightly or wrongly, that they are being bullied, and their response is to exact some sort of revenge on the committee or strata manager – or just put their point of view a little more forcefully then necessary – then they can slip into the “known troublemaker” category very quickly.
My column a couple of weeks ago about naming, shaming and defaming generated a bit of discussion and there’s a response from a strata committee chair HERE.
There’s also some continuing debate in the Forum about whether a strata manager ignoring a tenant’s request not to have his name and unit number listed in the committee minutes represented a breach of privacy.
The issue was about a dispute that had gone to Fair Trading for mediation and the tenant believed he should not have been identified in this way. You can read more about that HERE.
All of which reminded me of an apartment resident who, many years ago, contacted me for advice about the chair of his building’s committee who, he claimed, had been bullying and harassing him and his partner.
I’m not sure what the original issue was – something to with parquet flooring, I think – but having sat on it for a couple of weeks (the problem, not the floor) I finally got around to giving the guy a call.
To my surprise, far from the effusively accusatory tone of his original email, he was evasive, defensive, suspicious and reluctant to speak. I couldn’t work out why he’d had such a radical change of heart until I read the newspaper the next day.
It turned out his partner had been in court charged with urinating on the neighbour’s front door. His outraged denials were rendered somewhat redundant by the fact that not only had the neighbour caught him in flagrante, but that he’d been filmed on a hidden video camera.
So yes, it seems, you can be both a victim of bullying (or think you are) and a known troublemaker.
Back in the here and now, also getting some attention on the Forum, should an owners corp allow a stair lift to be installed on common property stairs for an owner who has been immobilised by a stroke? That’s HERE.
Do neighbours have a responsibility to tell absentee owners that there’s been a power cut in their block, and they should check that their fridge hasn’t accidentally been switched off? That’s HERE.
Is a $10,000 bond before you are allowed to start renovations excessive? That’s HERE.
Why well-managed apartment blocks simply don’t allow Airbnb (even though they are prime candidates for exploitation). That’s HERE.
Have a look at the Forum yourself if you get a chance. All the questions and answers are ranged in order of “freshness” – which makes them sound like a deodeerant … but then, they’re usually someone kicking up a stink about something.
And if you have done so already, have a listen to our Podcast. It’s fun and informative and, most importantly, free.