Life in strata can be brilliant – you can have access to great amenities at a fraction of the cost and enjoy a harmonious neighbourhood thanks to your strata by-laws. Of course, there can be times when strata living becomes a little less harmonious and this is often due to a handful of similar concerns. Here are five of the most common types of strata complaints in NSW, and what you can do about them next.
Noise from neighbours
Perhaps you have neighbourly noise impinging on your right to live peacefully in your strata unit, whether it’s a neighbour who likes to start the party at 2am or what sounds like a herd of elephants stomping upstairs. The specific source of noise will determine your next steps, but generally speaking the best first option is to speak with your neighbour about the issue. If this isn’t successful then speak to your strata manager or strata committee, who may be able to arrange noise testing or issue a Notice to Comply if the issue is breaches by-laws.
If you have a neighbour letting out their cat every night and it’s causing a ruckus, or the dog next door is howling despondently while their owner is at work, the first best step is to check your strata by-laws for any specific rules regarding pets. A friendly initial conversation will often alert the neighbour to the problem so they can address it, while unresolved issues can be escalated to your strata manager or strata committee.
Parking complaints are common in strata. If a fellow resident is parking in your spot or blocking entryways and isn’t amenable to talking about it, then it may be time to speak with your strata manager or strata committee about issuing a Notice to Comply. If escalated, this could ultimately result in a penalty from NCAT. If the issue is non-residents using your parking bay or area, then you might consider raising a motion at your next general meeting to implement signage, parking barriers or a security key card system.
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From drifting cigarette smoke to the haphazard hanging of laundry, there can be a number of issues with neighbours using their balcony in a less-than-neighbourly way. Remember you have the right to peaceful enjoyment of your unit, and if you have a complaint the best step is to speak directly with the neighbour and ask them to be mindful. If this doesn’t work, then you can take your complaint to your strata manager or strata committee secretary.
An under-responsive strata manager
Your strata manager is there to help make strata living easy and to ease any disputes you might be having, but where should you turn if you have a complaint about your strata manager themselves? Ideally, taking your complaint against a strata manager to their managing director first will help to rectify the problem. If not, you might wish to change strata managers to a more proactive provider. You can also go through formal channels and lodge a complaint with the NSW Office of Fair Trading or the Strata Community Association if the issue is more serious in nature.
If your complaint about strata management is going unheard and you are thinking of changing your corporate manager, Jamesons can help. With multiple branches across NSW, comprehensive body corporate services and over 55 years in the business, we’re focused on providing proactive, experienced strata managers who actually do answer the phone. Contact us today to make the change.