Roundup: Should neighbours be given your email address?


Do you guard your email address like it’s a secret code to your bank account.  Or do you spread it around like confetti?

One of the recurring questions on the Flat Chat Forum is how to access other owners’ email addresses, presumably so you can invite everyone to tea or foment a revolution or something in between.

Now, it is one of the quirks of strata law that you are legally obliged to provide a postal address which goes on the strata roll and can then be seen by any other owner if they exercise their legal right to view the records of the owners corp.

However, since email addresses are not mentioned in this regard in the law, it is assumed by many strata managers that they should not be provided to owners in the same way.

The usual reason given is “privacy” which is a concept that we all but abandon in every other regard when we move into strata.

For instance, if your neighbour walks past your window and happens to see you dancing the Hula-Hula naked in your lounge room, you are more likely to be pinged for inappropriate behaviour within sight of common property than they are for seeing the unseeable.

But back to emails. One likely (but never stated) reason for strata managers and committees not wanting you to have everyone’s email address is that this could lead to uncontrolled communication and that can only result in people getting together and doing something about the way the block is run.

However, ironically, this topic reared its pointy head most recently on the Forum because an owner wanted to only have their email address, and not their physical address, on the roll.  This is, by the way, not allowed.

Another absolutely valid reason for not wanting people to have your email is that if you happen to cross swords with the building’s stratafascist, you could be subjected to a barrage of abuse every time you switched on your computer or phone.

The simple answer to the email or not email conundrum would be to change the law to require everyone who has an email address – and does anyone not, these days? – to register them but to include an item in strata law that forbids residents from using them inappropriately.

In any case, it’s very easy to block idiots’ addresses so that you never have to see any more than the very first missives aimed at your inbox.

And if you really want everyone else’s email addresses, just have patience – sooner or later your strata manager or secretary will forget to hit the “bcc” button on a group email and all with be revealed.

Meanwhile, while you’re waiting, you can read the latest discussion about emailing rights and wrongs HERE.

And here’s a whole pile of other correspondence to the Flat Chat Forum.

In fact, here’s another recurring question.  Do we really need a separate new by-law, written by a lawyer, each time someone wants to renovate their bathroom? That’s HERE.

What do you do (after you’ve called the police and checked the victim is alright) when a common property door gets smashed in a domestic dispute involving a tenant? That’s HERE.

I put down timber flooring without waiting for permission from the committee because they were stuffing me around.  No one has said anything.  Should I own up? That’s HERE.

I’m taking my strata committee to Fair Trading for mediation over a dispute.  What can I expect to encounter there? That’s HERE.

One of our office-bearers can’t handle all their duties but we don’t want to delegate everything to the strata manager.  Is there anyone else that we can pass the duties on to?  That’s HERE.

Every week when the Newsletter goes out, there’s a surge of posts to the Flat Chat Forum. Don’t miss out.

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