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The Good Oil

Here at Flatchat Mansions, we’re sure that if you counted up the number of times different subjects were raised, parking would be numero uno. And as much as we try to pour oil on troubled waters, sometimes oil is the problem, not the solution.

QUESTION: Living in a new CBD strata complex in Newcastle, ‘Flatchat’ has become one of my favourite reads as I pysche myself for battle with other members of our owners corporation.

My 15-year-old car leaks a little oil. Someone in the Executive Committee asked the Building Manager to photograph all of our car spaces highlighting those with the worst oil stains and send out emails identifying the unit numbers to which the spaces belonged.

Never mind the cars that park three metres out from the wall, five metre long tray bed trucks in 4 metre long spaces, those who park in someone else’s spot, or car spaces with bikes, oil cans, cardboard boxes, surfboards, rags etc. And don’t get me started on sub-letting of car spaces, secret car space reallocations and illegal short-term apartment rentals.

No – the EC is more concerned that oil stains are an eyesore and there is a possible health and safety issue. Perhaps they would be better off organising an annual steam clean of the spaces or supplying drip trays. Any suggestions?
The Oil Man, Newcastle.

ANSWER: The EC can ban anything in car spaces, even privately owned ones, that doesn’t fit in with the “look” of the building.

But I think you’ve answered your own question. Ask them to steam clean the garage every six months and tell them that you’d be happy to put down a drip tray (but they’ll have to give you a list of approved designs and manufacturers).

Meanwhile, tell them that you will comply with the terms of a comprehensive management plan that also lays out their policies on ALL the other things you mentioned above.

Until they devise this management plan, tell them you refuse to be victimised as the only problem in the car park.

If you have questions or thoughts about apartment living, write to flatchat@jimmythomson.com.au and include a nom de plume and your suburb (if you don’t wish to be identified).

Or use the comments thingo below.

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