Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #7866
    briang
    Flatchatter

    I live in an apartment with a balcony large enough for a 6 person dining table. That combined with a fantastic view means that I spend a lot of time on the balcony and regularly have guests over for brunch and dinner parties etc.

    My upstairs neighbour will without warning or consideration regularly decide to clean down his balcony or water his plants such that so much water cascades onto my balcony as to make my balcony unusable.

    I have made it very clear to this neighbour that this has to stop. At first he apologised and if I yelled out when the water would start to fall from his balcony onto mine, he would cease.

    However of late he has taken a very belligerent attitude. This morning (Saturday 9am) he responded to my request to stop with “tough luck” and continued send water onto my balcony.

    My neighbours on the same level as myself has experienced the same issue with this fellow resident. They have had a least one instance of having to abandon a meal on their balcony when the upstairs neighbour decided to create a water feature down one side of the building. 

    Apart from writing to the body corporate, what other avenues are avialable to me?

     

      

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #14577
    Whale
    Flatchatter

    Regrettably, apart from the approach to your Owners Corporation (O/C) there's not much else that you can do! However your O/C is in a position to approach your neighbour about inspecting the balcony drainage (see next para) and about limiting “spillage” outside his/her Lot; particularly as that is affecting other residents and perhaps the Common Property (below). 

    Depending upon the age of your Building and the design of its balconies, there may be a drain through the bottom course of any bricks or render at the balcony edge, or better still a floor drain that's connected to the stormwater.

    Constant hosing-down and watering (of pot plants) can cause dirt and debris to block these drains, or again depending upon the age of the building, any drain hole/s just through the brickwork can have a spout extension added, so that excess water emerges say 300mm away from the outer edge of the balcony, thereby missing yours.

    #14579
    briang
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi Whale,

    thanks for responding to my post.

    My balcony has a floor drain and I'm sure that my neighbours does as well. This is a large part of my frustration – I can clean my balcony without creating a waterfall and I believe my neighbour should also.

    These cascades of water are being caused by his practise of simply hosing down his balcony or flooding his pot plants such that the excess water spills over the edge of his balcony instead of going down the floor drain.

    This has actually been going for several years. To a large extent he has been able to get away with this as I was seldom at home due to work and study committments. Now that I am at home more I expect to be able to use my balcony without having water suddenly forcing a retreat indoors.

    Having done some more research since my first post, is the CTTT my next escalation level if the OC can't bring this pest into line?

    cheers

    BrianG

    #14580
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Really, if your Executive Committee and/or strata manager can’t take this on, they are not much cop. This is such a clear breach of even the most basic by-laws that a simple Notice To Comply should be issued at the earliest opportunity – but they won’t do that if you don’t complain in writing. Get your neighbour who also suffers to back you up .
    Your next step, if they fail to get on board, is to apply to Fair Trading (tel 13 32 20) for mediation (which will cost $76 dollars or thereabouts) and then the CTTT if that doesn’t work. You can’t skip the mediation, by the way.
    As Whale says, it’s probably just a blocked drain (unless they are blithely hosing the dirt off their balustrade on to your deck). But, to reiterate, this is an issue that the EC should take on and I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t go to them with this problem.

    #14587
    Whale
    Flatchatter

    Hi BrianG – Jimmy's right, but try to keep resolution of your problem at the local level, as in my experience the formal mediation conducted by the NSW Office of Fair Trading is often superficial; all very frustrating!  

    Balcony drains are typically under-sized, and this combined with the grate at the opening often results in blockages — I'll bet that dirt and debris from your neighbour's pot plants has caused a blockage. 

    In any case and as Jimmy has said, any Strata Manager who's worth what you're Plan's paying them should be able to facilitate resolution of the problem.

    #14595
    briang
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    thanks for your advice guys but this is more than just a drainage issue. There is a 5cm parapet around the outside edge of each balcony that keeps water on the balcony until it goes down the floor-drain.This design feature enables sensible people like myself to clean their balconies without creating a waterfall. If his drain was blocked, even partially, his balcony would flood.

    My neighbours and I are getting his run-off because he uses a hose to clean his outside surfaces by firing the hose everywhere.

    I have sent a letter of complaint to the executive committee as advised, so I will see what comes back fom that. Apart from making a complaint I suggested the committee speak to the other affected residents. I also advised that I would be collecting video evidence and witness statements from now on. Lastly I made it very clear that if I had to take legal action I would be seeking compensation for costs and damages.

    Will let you know what happens next. Stay tuned.

    #14664
    briang
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    OK – glad to report that so far so good. I sent a letter to the Owners Corp and received a reply from the Strata Manager 2 days later acknowledging my letter and stating that they'd deal with the issue.

    I know that the OC contacted my neighbours on my floor seeking their comment. Great neighbours that they are, they supported my position.

    Since then I've not had any issues and today being the first fine day in ages I figured today would be the test. Low and behold I could hear the faint sounds of the upstairs neighbour cleaning his balcony by throwing water on it instead of hosing the bloody thing down. Glad to report that not a drop spilt over his balcony onto mine.

    Fingers crossed that this continues!

    #14666
    Whale
    Flatchatter

    Thanks for “closing the loop” – my fingers are crossed too!

    #58327
    user
    Flatchatter

    Hello, Sorry for pulling on an old thread, I have a relative who has a similar problem, but was wondering if a  more obvious solution can be considered; Like installing a flashing or a low profile gutter on the ceiling of the affected balcony. Basically a mechanical solution to human problems…

    Good fences (and other barriers) make good neighbours?

     

    #58331
    TrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    If you have had no luck with your neighbour and your OC has been similarly unsuccessful with
    him, then I suggest Mediation with NSW Fair Trading as a possible avenue. This I believe is a free service.

    First you need to determine who owns the balcony you use: you or the OC. This fact is needed, believe, in order to have the right party apply for Mediation.

    Under the SSMA, obligations for strata residents include that residents must not:

    * Interfere with or impact another person’s lot, including services provided to them or the common property. This includes doing anything to affect another lot owner’s water, sewage, drainage, gas, electricity, garbage, air conditioning, heating or telecommunications services
    * Cause a nuisance or hazard to another resident, such as playing loud music or
    * Use the common property in a way that interferes unreasonably with others in the scheme using and enjoying it.

    Before filling in the online request for mediation form, I urge you to call FT on 13 32 20 and explain the issue to them.

    As to your suggestion of installing a solution, if the balcony is OC property, it is not for you to interfere with it in any way without receiving written approval from the OC. And one would think if it is OC owned, then the OC and not you should fix the problem. After all, why should you spend time and effort fixing a problem caused by someone else to property you do not own, whilst you as installer will be responsible for any negative consequence of your installation.

    Good luck.

    #58360
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    … was wondering if a more obvious solution can be considered; Like installing a flashing or a low profile gutter on the ceiling of the affected balcony.

    I think you’ll find the strata committee is a lot quicker to jump on physical changes to common property that they are to deal with bad and selfish behaviour of residents.

     

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