Strata time, and the living is easy
Throw 10 people into a room and you’ll likely get some varied opinions. Throw 100 into a strata community and you’ll get a whole lot more; from what equals appropriate behaviour to what volume of noise is acceptable and how late is too late to use the communal pool.
The bottom line is every neighbourhood requires a little give and take when it comes to sharing space. And nowhere is this more important than the tight-knit communities of strata title living. Here are 8 top tips to make sure that living is easy.
Know your rights
Whether you’re a tenant or resident you have certain rights in a shared living environment; the right to peace, the right to use communal amenities and the right to privacy. Many of these rights are covered within your building’s by-laws and you should be aware of what they extend to. It may also include the right as an owner to vote at body corporate meetings, or the right as a resident to have a representative vote on your behalf.
Know your responsibilities
With rights, come responsibilities, and these too are covered in your by-laws. By knowing and adhering to what is expected of you as a resident of a strata property, you avoid overstepping the mark and ticking off the neighbours. By-laws differ from property to property but cover issues like parking, hanging washing on balconies and whether or not pets are permitted.
Know the right course of action
Not everyone in a community will see eye-to-eye 100% of the time. This means sometimes you may need to make others aware of an existing or potential issue. The key is to know the correct course of action, whether it’s to first raise the issue with your body corporate manager and where you can legally go from there if it’s not resolved.
Talk first, action later
On that note, it’s always best to calmly raise an issue in person before pulling out the big guns. Sometimes a neighbour may not even realise their actions affect you. So, politely alert them to it, and hope that a word to the wise helps. If not, by all means follow the appropriate and commensurate course of action.
Seek permission when required
As your actions in a strata community may affect others, there will be times when you need to consult with the strata manager or committee before jumping into a situation. This may include seeking permission to undertake renovations within your unit.
While the works you conduct within the four walls of your apartment are technically your business, if they affect the structure of the building, or any common areas, or if the noise impacts neighbours, it becomes a body corporate matter. So check in before priming the jackhammer and pounding out that polished concrete floor.
A little mindfulness goes a long way in shared environments, and often that’s just about common courtesy and consideration. So before leaving your anxious Yorkshire Terrier on the patio barking feverishly while you pop to the shops, consider the impact. The same goes for firing up the Harley at the crack of dawn or parking your 20ft yacht in the visitor parking space.
If you don’t like it, change it
If there’s a rule you don’t like or think is unreasonable, then NSW Fair Trading suggests doing something about it. That could be as simple as attending the next committee meeting and putting the matter to the vote, or raising an issue politely with the body corporate.
Finally, be flexible. Everyone has needs within a small community, and sometimes you have to compromise yours for the greater good. Who knows, that may mean next time you need a favour, those same neighbours you gave an inch to in the past could give you a country mile right when you need it?
Our aim is to foster a sense of community in strata environments. We do this through our cloud based software that allows residents to interact, post social events, enjoy shared spaces and facilitate the sharing of information.
To learn more about our services for strata communities, see here.