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.

 

For a first-time committee member, the task of managing a complex on top of managing your personal life can seem daunting. You’re not sure where to go for advice, or how to handle emergencies as well as the daily business of running the complex.

Sometimes, committee members have become so entrenched within a complex and are so operationally involved that they make it extremely difficult for new committee members to join. They also expect new committee members to do things exactly as they did. 

All committees, across all types of complexes, whether sectional title, HOA or shareblock, must accept that the role comes with a certain level of responsibility. But they must also acknowledge that people are working longer and harder. They may want to contribute positively to their complex, but cannot do so if they are expected to be operationally involved. 

The reality is that there is such a thing as doing too much.

Be actively involved, not operationally involved

In our view, committee members should be actively involved in running their complexes rather than operationally involved

The way to achieve this? DELEGATION.

We define being actively involved as being willing to engage with the committee, debate issues and be willing to make a decision. The committee should act as a decision-making body that’s empowered to delegate certain tasks to a contractor or professional managing agent, which then carries out their decisions and takes care of operations … after all, this is why our profession exists. 

Here’s some practical advice on how to make this work for your complex:

  • All instructions and communication should go through the office of the managing agent.
  • A good managing agent will advise on the best course of action. A very good managing agent will tell a committee what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. 
  • If the committee takes a member to task, the managing agent can control this to ensure the issue does not become personal. 

Delegating operational tasks to a professional managing agent will alleviate pressure on individual committee members, ensuring their role does not encroach on their family lives more than what is absolutely necessary – after all, family and home life come first.

Feel free to contact us should you wish to hear more about what we offer and how we have added value to our clients.

 

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