Living in a strata community offers a wealth of benefits, including amenity, convenience and affordability. However, shared communities can have some drawbacks – most of which relate to people living in proximity to each other.
Here are the most common strata complaints and how good management can resolve them.
The big issues
When it comes to the top issues that many strata communities report, all tend to relate to disturbing or inconveniencing other people in the strata community. This sees noise, parking and pets among the top three complaints.
The art of resolving these issues is clear rules and guidelines, along with policies that outline what actions should be taken when by-laws are breached.
As strata buildings tend to be situated in built-up areas where parking is limited, illegal or inconsiderate parking can be a bugbear for many strata communities. Sometimes it’s residents parking in the wrong spot, sometimes it’s guests who overstay they’re welcome, but on other occasions it may be outsiders using visitor parking illegally.
The best way to handle potential parking problems is to have clear by-laws set out for how and where building occupants can park. This should cover items such as whether they have a designated space, how many vehicles are permitted, and where their guests should park and for how long.
The penalties for breaching these by-laws and the course of action that is undertaken in response to a breach should also be clearly defined.
Meanwhile, signage is key when it comes to deterring illegal parking on the premises. NSW Fair Trading notes strata managers and committees can apply to have their local Council police illegal parking for a fee, and should a vehicle be blocking public or emergency access, they can have that vehicle towed.
Whether it’s loud music, arguments or a noisy motorbike departing in the early hours each morning, noise is another issue that quickly gets strata neighbours offside.
Most noise issues are governed by common law, in that general noise restrictions apply.
Domain explains that in NSW:
Loud music that can be heard from any habitable room of a neighbour’s property is prohibited between midnight and 8am on Friday, Saturday and any day preceding a public holiday. It’s restricted from 10pm to 8am on any other day.
Use of power tools is prohibited between 8pm and 7am on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, they are not impermissible before 8am and after 8pm.
Excessive vehicular noise is prohibited between 8pm and 8am on weekends, and 8pm and 7am on weekdays.
Meanwhile, the strata committee should clearly communicate the laws that apply to their residents. This communication should include the course of action residents should take if they feel these rules are being breached, and any penalties that may also apply as part of a strata community such as the issuance of compliance notices.
Under recent NSW strata management laws, strata committees can permit pets at their discretion, but that doesn’t mean four-legged friends understand how they should behave.
If your property permits pets, be clear about the rules involved and especially clear about the course of action required should those pets prove a problem.
Often residents have little idea their pets are misbehaving when they’re away, so a kind word can work wonders, along with working with the parties involved to resolve the issue effectively.
About United Strata Solutions
United Strata Solutions is a NSW-based company with over 20 years real estate experience and specialist expertise in strata management.
Our services extend from property appraisals, sales and marketing through to comprehensive strata management throughout New South Wales.