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  • #47440
    AvatarPalamino
    Flatchatter

    Really need advice on an issue that has been going on for a couple of years now and no matter how often I bring it up at strata meetings there is no resolution, only indifference and quite frankly an air of arrogance.

    I live and have for several years in a small block of 6 apartments in with the building being a lovely old 1930’s  structure.

    I am on the middle floor and a few years after me a couple bought the unit directly above us and proceeded to rip up the carpet in the front bedroom directly above ours and put down timber flooring which at the time I told them wasn’t really good as it will affect our peace and quiet as we sleep.

    This has become a nightmare as they show no respect for our rights to a quiet life in our bedroom and the noise is so loud it sounds like they are actually in our bedroom.

    I know what it should sound like as we had 3 different owners/tenants in the years prior to them moving in.  The previous owners we could hardly hear walking apart from the odd creaky board.

    They keep putting it back on me saying they have done nothing wrong and I have tried to remain on friendly terms every time we encounter them in the building or at meetings but it seems they care not a jot about us really.

    At the last meeting I asked  if we can all check the difference between walking around their bedroom whilst they stood in mine then cross reference by walking around mine whilst they stood in the Unit below my bedroom which I got recarpeted when I bought the place, it was refused saying they wern’t comfortable doing that whilst her partner wasn’t there, so that idea which would have shown everyone the stark contrast was not happening.

    I really wanted to show everyone including the strata manager that we are not just complaining for no reason, and show the owners above in their lofty top floor with all the peace in the world that what they done was wrong and needs amended and carpet returned.

    To make things way worse they are about to have a baby and guess where the baby will be, yes right above our bedroom with them thumping out of bed as the baby cries in the middle of the night.

    I haven’t had a full nights sleep in a couple years because of this and they don’t mind kicking off shoes in the middle of the night when they come home or dropping items on the hardwood floor creating a drum effect for us living inside their drum.

    They even rent their place out when they are on holiday and that has been not a good thing for us either.  Getting the picture?

    Can I force them to restore the carpet they ripped up without asking the owners corporation and how would you suggest I go about this?

    #47492
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Not involving the committee is tying your own hands behind your back.

    The committee has a duty to enforce the by-laws of the building as regards noise and residents’ behaviour, as well as maintaining common property.  The floor is common property.

    My advice would be to pursue a section 232 (2) complaint against the committee for having done nothing to remedy your issue. That will force them to take the action they should have taken years ago.

    But first, you could talk to a strata lawyer or, perhaps, StrataAnswers about what your options are at the Tribunal, epsecially if you’d rather take a case directly against the upstairs owners.

    And that is fair enough. People who are happy to destroy your peace and quiet to suit their lifestyle deserve no consideration or sympathy.  You’ve been way too accommodating.  Time to go Braveheart on their asses.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by .
    #47508
    AvatarPalamino
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    I really think we’ve been way to soft on this and I’m sure if you heard the noise level you’d agree. We ourselves are pretty quiet and my partner is very respectful and considerate, avoiding conflict where possible, my blood boils every time I’m woken up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning way before our alarm goes off.

    I can’t get back to sleep, just lying there stewing, but I don’t want a war in a small block where we used to have a little community and had bbq’s out the back.

    That spirit is all but gone with these people and other tenants who are here now. Thankfully we have a great relationship with the owner downstairs and are good friends who enjoy the occasional wine or two as well as being neighbours.  I got her to stomp around our bedroom whilst I stood in hers and hardly heard a thing.

    I was going to go to Fair Trading but I’ve been putting it off thinking they might change after my recent plea at the AGM in early December.  Since then nothing different and the baby is coming next month so we are in a very bad situation ahead.

    #47513
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Perhaps the first stage is to write to the chair and/or strata manager saying something like:

    “It is with considerable regret that your failure to take seriously our intolerable situation caused by the illegal flooring in unit X means I now have to take action at Fair Trading and NCAT to remedy the problem.

    “This committee had the opportunity to fix this problem right at the start and refused to do anything. As a result of your inaction, I now have no choice but to seek mediation at Fair Trading with a view to pursuing orders under section 232(2) of the Strata Schemes Management Act requiring the committee to seek the reinstatement of properly insulated flooring in the aforementioned unit.”

    And then apply for mediation.  Mediation is partly an opportunity to resolve the problem without resorting to the Tribunal, but it is also a mandatory prerequisite for applications for (most) orders at the Tribunal.

    By the way, do your by-laws have any mention of flooring or any kind of noise or nuisance?

     

    #47534
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I should add that if you don’t want to start a war with (rather than in) your block, you could take action against the upstairs neighbours directly.  This however tends to descend into “he said, she said” although it can lead to a more immediate resolution.

    Once again, I find myself advising Flatchatters to speak to StrataAnswers who will advise you on your best course of action for a modest fee, before escalating it to a strata lawyer, which may also be necessary. In the meatime look here and here for information about applying to NCAT for orders.

    #47671
    AvatarPalamino
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for the info Jimmy, I’ll check out what option I feel will be best for me before bringing out the big guns.

     

     

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