Anti-social neighbours in Strata Buildings

Inger Brettle

What to do about anti-social neighbours? When they are tenants you would normally contact their rental agency and demonstrate they are in breach of their lease terms. But what if their parents own the property and there is no lease?

Strata laws differ from state to state, and by-laws (or rules) from scheme to scheme, but some basics are pretty much universal. One is that residents are not allowed to disturb their neighbours' peace and quiet. The other is that owners aren't allowed to let the occupants of their lot breach by-laws.

In NSW, as well as action through ''notices to comply'' with by-laws and NSW Civil Administration Tribunal orders, there is a legal precedent for slamming the owners as well as the occupants. 

A ruling a couple of years ago said that if the owners of a unit are in a position to stop the occupants from behaving badly and they fail to do so, they - the owners - can be subject to legal action such as a noise abatement order. Noise abatement orders apply to houses as well as apartments and breaching them is a crime