- This topic has 16 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago by .
31/12/2019 at 8:25 pm #47149AnPo88Flatchatter
We’ve been experiencing lots of problems with our upstairs neighbours regarding noise, water and dirt thrown into our balcony, parking right at our parking spot… we reported it to their Property manager and ours (both renters), and so to the secretary of the committee as the chairman doesn’t live here anymore. Apparently lots of ‘complains’ have been sent to the tenant upstairs, who now seems to be doing it all on purpose. Our agency says ‘there’s not much they can do as this is a Strata issue’ – Strata manager told us we are not to contact him directly.
They also let their boys (4 and 6) run around on their own in the parking lot, common stairwell and front door. My partner almost reversed into the little boy as he came running towards our spot.
What can we do? I am not sure a notice to comply has been issued only informal ones.31/12/2019 at 8:46 pm #47164
Ah, the old “it’s a strata issue” excuse. First of all, your landlord needs to put a rocket up the strata manager for treating you (and there for the owner) like second-class citizens.
Secondly, sending miscreants feeble warnings then not following them up, simply encourages them to behave even worse.
So I would begin by telling the strata manager that you are reluctantly taking the owners corporation to NCAT because of their inaction, with a letter copied to the chair. In a situation where the chair is not resident, it should be expected that the strata manager would be reasonably didligent in protecting the interests of all residents. This would be under section 232.2 of the Act – failure to fulfil their (the owners corproation’s) duties (see below).
You will have to undertake mediation (which is free) before you can proceed to NCAT, but that might be enough of a scare in itself. If need be, you can pursue this to NCAT asking the Tribunal to compel the OC to take all reasonable steps to deal with an issue that they have conceded is a problem for you.
Another option would be to take action directly against the neighbours under section 153, but that puts you directly in the firing line with little or no support to be expected from the owners corpSection 232: Orders to settle disputes or rectify complaints
Orders relating to complaints and disputes The Tribunal may, on application by an interested person, original owner or building manager, make an order to settle a complaint or dispute about any of the following—
Failure to exercise a function For the purposes of this section, an owners corporation, strata committee or building management committee is taken not to have exercised a function if—
it decides not to exercise the function, or
application is made to it to exercise the function and it fails for 2 months after the making of the application to exercise the function in accordance with the application or to inform the applicant that it has decided not to exercise the function in accordance with the application.
By the way, as a tenant, you are legally an “interested person” and entitled to pursue this case.02/01/2020 at 5:10 pm #47247
Thank you so much for your very well informed response. Appreciate it.
We are tired of all of this back and forth with these tenants upstairs as they don’t seem to be surprised when we’ve spoken to them – once with a bottle of wine, chocolates and lollies for the children. She argued that since the building is made out of concrete, noise and fire shouldn’t travel through.
No one seems to care. This morning I texted the Secretary explaining that they’ve been really loud lately and the reason behind all my complaints (I have a brain and sight issue that leaves me blind from one eye if my brain vessels pressure the nerve and come with really hard headaches) and because of it I was instructed to prioritase my sleep. No answer. I asked for the notice to comply too.
Is there a way out of our tenancy? We feel our real estate doesn’t care! – despite always being on tike with rent, property still looking like new after 3 years here, reporting issues on time…
A very desperate tenant.06/01/2020 at 8:43 pm #47404Flame TreeFlatchatter
Of course you can directly discuss this with the neighbors involved, if, you feel it safe and productive to do so. Just keep in mind though that a kids job is to make a mess and make noise, it’s what they do, but the practice seems little appreciated by those of a different bloodline. Unfortunately, in these politically correct times you can no longer punish other peoples kids! So the direct the approach to parents as often as you feel to sure can’t hurt. Sometimes the people are crazy, some times compliant, and sometimes even unaware that it is them being a bad neighbour until you kindly advise them of such. Good luck.06/01/2020 at 8:48 pm #47434
Breaking your lease may be the easiest option and you can do that with the landlord’s permission.
It’s when they refuse that you go to the Tribunal.
So the process would be:
1. Ask the landlord if they will approach the committee to do something about the noisy neighbours. It’s in their interest to do so as otherwise they will have a series of unhappy tenants.
2. If the landlord declines or their efforts fail, ask if you can break your lease because of the disruption.
3. If the landlord refuses, then you go to Fair Trading and NCAT.
Remember at stages 1 and 2 to impose a reasonable deadline for action.06/01/2020 at 9:33 pm #47447
Thank you once more!.
Sure, we’ll love to be out of thise nightmare. Today, I emailed our PM, and the two principals in charge asking them to provide a solution to this. I also asked for our LL to issue a letter to the Committee as a member of OC. I am waiting for their reply.
Last time we asked for it was back at the beginning of december and followed up a week after, but didn’t hear back.
Our PM said in his last email that it’s up to the Committee to reinforce the by-laws and that Strata doesn’t have to listen to him. Which left us wondering who or how would the Chairman be contacted? Would it be him? Or the Strata manager?.
Another question, if you don’t mind.
Can our RE/LL argue that they’ve done all they can (after 3 months) and that’s not their fault anymore, but Committee’s?06/01/2020 at 9:34 pm #47445
Yes, we have tried in three different ocassions with no luck!. Almost reversing into the boy made me really scared and then mad when the mum didn’t care and they’re still let to run around alone.06/01/2020 at 9:38 pm #47459
It seems you have already reached the stage of asking the landlord to allow you to break your lease.
have a look at this factsheet which explains how to do it legally and without any comeback: https://www.tenants.org.au/factsheet-16-ending-tenancy-early
06/01/2020 at 9:45 pm #47471
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
Flame Tree said:
“Of course you can directly discuss this with the neighbors involved, if, you feel it safe and productive to do so.”
It’s been established (in the post immediately before yours) that this has been tried to no avail. And there’s nothing “politically correct” about not punishing other people’s children.
06/01/2020 at 9:55 pm #47479
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
Thank you Jimmy.
I have brought it up before at the very beginning of these complaints, just to see if hat would make him more interested in working it out, but all he said is that our LL was not breaching the lease since he is not the one causing the noise and has not power over the tenants upstairs. However, Fair trade says that his power is to bring this up to the Committee, but all our PM has done is to email it to Strata and that’s all. No follow ups.
In your experience, would that be considered the LL breaching the lease? – what our PM said got me worried.
Also, what would happen if the tenants upstairs are gone by the time we get to have a hearing? Would that matter?06/01/2020 at 10:02 pm #47486
Owners are responsible (to some extent) for the peaceful enjoyment of their lot by their tenants. If the owner is not prepared to do anything to persuade the committee to moderate the other tenants’ behaviour, then you can argue that he has failed in his responsibilites.
I would lay odds that the property manager hasn’t even told the landlord about your complaints. Why? Because that would mean more work and it’s easier to let you suffer than it is for him to pick up the phone or write a letter and give the landlord the impression that not everything is sweetness and light with his property.
Just make sure everything is documented. If the tenants go before you get a hearing, celebrate and withdraw the application. Tell the landlord it’s all the property manager’s fault and enjoy your new peaceful existence.07/01/2020 at 6:18 am #47498
That makes sense Jimmy. I was wondering the same, too! – all we know about our LL is that they live in Hong Kong and have never dealt with him directly.
I wish I had known about this before, we could have been out by now…
Thank you once more. Really appreciate your input.07/01/2020 at 11:44 pm #47552
Hi Jimmy. It’s me again, sorry!.
After having spoken to my partner about it, he left me wondering whether it is worth to go to Tribunal (ie. children running and stomping, mum screaming from the balcony and water thrown into our balcony at any time from 6 am to midnight)? In one side we are not taking our neighbors directly to the Tribunal, but our LL due to his inaction (not following up with the issue and not communicating with us), and in the other, our LL can argue that our PM has contacted Strata´s manager in three different occasions with no luck, is that enough grounds to get away with it?.
Thank you once more!07/01/2020 at 11:55 pm #47577
We can’t adjudicate on this. You have to decide what you want. Do you want to stay and fight the noise, or do you want to break your lease without penalty? Until you make that decision, any advice is pointless.
Alternatively, how about applying to Fair Trading for a rent reduction because of the noise factor. The worst thing that could happen would be that it was granted and then you would be stuck until your lease ran out.08/01/2020 at 7:03 pm #47613
Sure, I understand.
Yes, we’ve gone ahead and applied for the tribunal to terminate our lease. Our hearing is on the 23rd this month.
It’s just hard as every single time I ring Fairtrade I get pointed in a different direction. Anywhere from there’s nothing we can do to ending our lease, so that made me a bit insecure.
Reading to other posts in the chat I saw one of the Tribunal terminating someone’s lease early due to renovations next door and, whilsts, they’re two different scenarios, made me realize this can be an option.
I’ve also explained to our PM that I have a medical condition re something in my brain that requires me to prioritaze my sleep/stress level our I end up partially blind in one eye and lose vision. No answer. All I was asking him is to bring it up to the Committee’s attention, but he won’t push it forward…
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