This question about feeling unsafe due to a threatening neighbour has been answered by Flavia Ger, Ace Body Corporate Management.
Question: I feel unsafe due to a threatening neighbour in my apartment block. The situation has gotten so bad, I regularly do not stay at the unit as I am too afraid. I’m not sure how best to proceed.
I am renting a unit in a block of flats and have been having problems with a threatening neighbour in the flat below mine ever since I moved in a year ago. They aren’t renting but the apartment is owned by a relative. I live on my own and have been too scared to call the police as I didn’t know what the resident would do if they found out I had called. I know in the past they have been called but nothing has really resolved these issues. I have contacted my landlord numerous times threatening neighbour and they say they are aware of this resident and not to approach them, only call the police.
The resident plays their music all hours of the day and night and has it up extremely loud. So loud in fact that sometimes the floor even shakes. As well as this they yell and scream, swear, laugh and slam doors multiple times. I have filmed at the front of my flat to show how loud it gets and have kept a list of dates and times of what happens. I have been doing this for the past few months.
I am at the point where I am sometimes too scared to walk out of the flat and now on weekends I leave my flat to stay with my partner just to get away. It is also impacting on my work as I am kept up at night with loud music.
I was just wondering if there was anything I could do or who I need to contact to hopefully help me sort out this problem with my threatening neighbour.
Answer: Under the Real Estate Tenancies Act 1995 in South Australia, tenants are considered to be breaching a lease agreement if they cause the comfort, peace and privacy of other people to be disturbed.
Under the Real Estate Tenancies Act 1995 in South Australia, tenants are considered to be breaching a lease agreement if they cause the comfort, peace and privacy of other people to be disturbed.
The Strata Titles Act 1988 and The Community Titles Act 1996 also have regulations regarding noise and creating a nuisance to other occupants. Under both the Acts, every occupant has the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their unit and common property. It does not matter if this a tenant or an owner of the property. All occupants are expected to abide by the Strata Title and or Community Title regulations.
If your Body Corporate is professionally managed, you must talk to the Body Corporate Manager about the issues you are facing with this threatening neighbour.
It is possible that other occupants in the apartment block are also affected by the noise.
The Body Corporate manager will be able to guide you on the best course of action. They can check the By-laws/ Strata Schedule 3 and issue a breach notice if necessary. They can also contact the landlord of the offending unit and advise them of the disruptive behaviour causing nuisance and safety concerns for all occupants.
The Body Corporate manager can assist by sending a letter to the landlord and the property manager about the occupant’s disruptive and nuisance behaviour and warn them of potential breaches or penalties that may be issued.
If you feel threatened or there is a risk to your safety, the police should be called. Remember police report numbers/ dates and times should be kept. A record of dates/times of disruptive behaviour should be kept as well.
Sometimes drastic measures are needed in dealing with difficult occupants/ owners. The Body Corporate Manager/ Owner can make a formal complaint to the Tenancies Tribunal. The Tribunal has the power to make a restraining order where there is a risk that a tenant or a guest of the tenant may cause serious damage to the property or a person.
- SA: Q&A Dealing with disruptive tenants in apartment buildings
- SA: Q&A Can I do anything about nuisance neighbours who are renting?
This post appears in Strata News #216.
These articles are not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.