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3 steps for dealing with nuisance neighbours in a sectional title scheme

If you live in a complex, you have to come to terms with the fact that at some point you will be annoyed by your neighbours and your neighbours will be annoyed by you. 

Neighbours need to learn how to approach one another regarding various issues and cannot shy away from issues in an effort not to address them.

The most important thing to remember is to be courteous and considerate at all times, and ensure that you approach every situation with a cool head.

Here’s a process we recommend people follow when they have a problem with nuisance neighbours:

1. Ask whether you have a valid complaint. 

  • If the nuisance is consistent and persistently interferes with your rights in your property, you have a valid complaint. 
  • If your neighbour is in contravention of the conduct rules, the body corporate can lawfully enforce its rights against the neighbour.
  • If your neighbour is not in contravention of the rules, and the issue exists only between you and them, you will need to find a way to resolve it without involving the body corporate or managing agent. The managing agent and body corporate can’t use body corporate resources to fight a battle between two neighbours.

2. Ask how you would like to be handled in the situation if the roles were reversed. 

  • We recommend that you don’t go to the managing agent directly. 
  • Chat to your neighbour and raise your concerns in an informal manner. Explain how their behaviour is interfering with your use of your property.

3. Should your informal chat fall on deaf ears, then raise your concerns with your neighbour in writing. 

  • Send a copy to your managing agent for record-keeping purposes. 
  • You can also ask your managing agent if there have been other complaints about regarding the neighbour.

If numerous complaints have been received by the managing agent, they have sufficient evidence on which to act. With the authorisation of the trustees, they can write to the nuisance neighbour on behalf of the body corporate and ask the neighbour to comply with the conduct rules.

 

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