Executive committee chairperson constantly harassing my tenants

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Gockie, 15th Dec, 2014.

  1. Gockie

    Gockie Life loving Big 4 Banker

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    Hi,
    I've had a townhouse in the Canterbury Bankstown area of Sydney for about 4 years. My tenants have been in there for about 18 months. They are lovely people, and I always get paid my rent on time and they always pay the water usage charges on time, they let me know of any issues and are helpful and very cooperative. They have 2 young sons, approx 2 years and 4 years.

    The husband fixes cars for money (I don't think it's his primary occupation). Therefore he has cars which are not necessarily registered sometimes either parked in the carspace or somewhere near the complex (he tells me he doesn't park them in the visitor spots).

    Now, the executive committee chairperson lives next door. He is constantly watching what the neighbours are doing. While he can be nice, he can be overstepping his boundary. For example, for the person I bought the place from, I feel she sold up partly because of him. He helped erect a shelter in her back yard and apparently in return she was supposed to cut a tree (Palm type tree) down in her back courtyard (would drop large fronds which was a noise or possibly very unlikely OHS issue) but she didn't follow through. Therefore he had it in for her. When she sold I said have nothing to do with that problem.

    So anyway, apparently this neighbour who heads the executive committee would always take pictures of my tenant and his kids while they are doing things. Photo evidence of the cars, the kids playing on the driveway (I said to my tenant they shouldn't play there).

    But also, when my tenant had his mother over for two days, she parked her car in a visitor space for two days! He said she wasn't allowed to park there! I think it was a misunderstanding of the visit. Anyway, the tenant tells me the neighbour keeps sneakily taking photos of my tenant and his family (apparently even over the back fence), when he thinks they don't see him.

    My neighbour is feeling harassed so he called me and told me everything the neighbour is doing. He asked if he could call the police. I said that's fine and he can give the police my details. Anyway, he comes back and apparently the police said to tell the landlord to sort this out.

    Anyway, from these phone conversations, I told my tenant that I didn't want to approach the neighbour just yet.

    1. About the cars being unregistered on or near the lot, I need to understand if it breaches any bylaws.

    2. The neighbour taking pictures of my tenants? Can anybody give advice on the legalities of that?

    It becomes tricky because this man is the executive committee chairperson. Anyway, I need to approach my strata manager, but thoughts and input please?

    I'd hate to lose these tenants due to the behaviour of the neighbour (and the neighbour been there a long time, feels like he owns the complex and can bully people....)

    Linda
     
  2. pinkboy

    pinkboy SS Lookerafterer

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    So the guy keeps pictures of the next door neighbours kids on his computer? Without permission Im assuming?

    Hmm, that in itself is worrying.


    pinkboy
     
  3. perthguy

    perthguy Member

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    I went through a similar situation with the chairman of my strata committee. I could not find a way to resolve my issues with him and I ended up selling the property.
     
  4. Gockie

    Gockie Life loving Big 4 Banker

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    Perthguy, don't tell me that.... :(
     
  5. perthguy

    perthguy Member

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    Would it cheer you up if I told you I made good money in the sale? ;) (I actually did by the way).

    Really, the guy was a jerk and the other owners could not stand him either. I don't know why we let him bully us and push us around, but it wasn't just me, it was all the other owners (4 in the complex).

    The only solution is for the owners to band together and stand up to the bully. You could also report him to your relevant state authority.
     
  6. Gockie

    Gockie Life loving Big 4 Banker

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    :) On the profits.
    I don't want to be forced to sell, I only just refinanced it 3 months ago.
    (It too has had a good capital gain in the last 12 months simply as its Sydney).

    I'd have to know which other owners/tenants have encountered this behaviour. I'm sure the tenant can tell me...
    Thanks :)
     
  7. kathryn d

    kathryn d Member

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    Give your tenant a whistle...and every time he sees this person watching him..go up to him and start blowing the whistle...just to annoy him.
     
  8. miss green eyes

    miss green eyes Member

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    Many other things you can blow at him to annoy him ;)
    I think it may actually be illegal to take pictures of people and especially children.
    I don't mean the pictures where you're taking a one-off selfie in front of the Opera House and other people are there.
    The ones where the people and the kids are the main target of the pics.
     
  9. Gockie

    Gockie Life loving Big 4 Banker

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    Thanks all.
    Just spoke with my tenant, he can give me names, addresses and contact details of at least 3 other households in the complex being harassed.

    Apparently this has been going on for 3 months for this family and he told me he hasn't told me all of it...

    Anyway, I've asked him to put it all in an email to send to my property manager and myself and from there I plan to work with my property manager to take it to the strata manager.
     
  10. perthguy

    perthguy Member

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    This sounds like a sensible approach. Really, the chairperson has no right to bully tenants like that and needs to be called out on it. You may work with your PM to find out if there is a proper dispute resolution procedure for your state. I hope you can get it resolved because I know personally how awful it is to try to deal with a bully.
     
  11. neK

    neK Member

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    I would informing the authorities that he is taking pictures of the tenant's children.

    While on the surface it main seem he is "doing his job" to "enforce strata rules", who knows what else lurks beneath the surface.

    I am assuming he has been asked not take photos of the children and he persists in doing so.

    Have the tenant report the matter to police and see that it is promptly dealt with.
     
  12. Terry_w

    Terry_w Member

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  13. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo Member

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    If you want a happy ending, you have to face the music.
    IMO you need to speak to him respectfully and calmly and point out that:
    you're not selling
    the tenants aren't moving
    times have changed and it is not acceptable to take photos of people without their permission
    taking photos of children is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped now
    he's coming across as a bully and you're not the only one who thinks so.

    This can all be done politely and calmly. Maybe practise what you're going to say before you get there.
    To be fair, perhaps your tenants will have to keep their extra cars elsewhere -that's kind of dodgy, let's face it. You'll have to find a way to tell them, too.
     
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  14. pinkboy

    pinkboy SS Lookerafterer

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    Super post!


    pinkboy
     
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  15. Gockie

    Gockie Life loving Big 4 Banker

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    Thanks Terry W.
    WattleIDo: I still plan to go through the Strata Manager. Because it's not just my tenant having the issues.
    But even if he stops taking pictures of the people and kids, I don't think he will ever be pleasant to be around. I have a feeling he acted the same way with the previous owner of this property.
     
  16. property_girl

    property_girl Banned

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    I agree with WattleIdo. But if you can't face the man (and I would find it difficult too) ring the police as this is clearly a form of harassment. If he's the cantankerous sort, a police visit might put him back in his box. If the police get complaints from other tenants as well, they will be more likely to believe that yours is a legitimate complaint and that you are not being vexatious. Good luck.
     
  17. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Member

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    Diary!

    Dear Gockie,
    Ask your tenants to keep a diary of events.
    Time of day, if anything said, etc.
    Photos taken..
    kids
    adults.
    Be careful because your tenants do have a right to feel safe.
    The Diary may need to be sent to Fair Trading,

    You need to be seen to do something about it.
    Also,
    I would be telling your tenant that they need to abide by the strata rules.. to the letter, so that there is no come back on them!
    Find the bit in your lease that says about fixing cars, so that they abide by the rules.
    I do hope this helps
     
  18. S.T

    S.T Member

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    I don't think the owner is responsible here at all. It's clearly a Police matter if the tenants are being harassed. it should be properly reported to Police and they should follow it up with a word to the chairperson.

    Just because this person is in the same block of units, does not mean it's not a Police matter.

    I had something similar happen with some sisters renting a property of mine, the neighbor at the back used to try and talk to them, harass them, even came and knocked on there door for no good reason once. The only thing I could do, was tell them to report it to Police and ever episode after. They had a chat to him and he ceased.
     
  19. Simon

    Simon Living the Dream

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    Maybe the police misinterpreted this as a simple tenancy issue.

    I think it is more than that and I'd be calling them myself to try and at least get them to Take some action.

    I was being harassed by an old fellow who'd ring me when he was drunk late at night. I walked in to the Police Station and asked what I could do re AVO etc.

    They were super helpful and said they'd knock on his door and tell him to stop. I never heard from him again.
     
  20. onesixseros

    onesixseros Member

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    Your tenant is holding on very well. If it were me, I'd be knocking that guy's front door down for a decent "chat".

    Hope it works out for everyone!