One unit in our block is infested by pests and has an unpleasant smell. What can we or strata do? – Maurice, NSW

Q: One unit in our block has an infestation of cockroaches. The owner is an alcoholic hoarder with cats. The smell is noticeable outside the unit. It’s like old rotten food, an unpleasant smell. Pest controller tells us is cockroaches. What can we or strata do?

The close proximity of living arrangements in strata schemes means the actions of owners and tenants naturally can have an impact on others around them.

Every lot owner has the right to enjoy their property in their own way. That said, they must not interfere with or impact another person’s lot or cause a nuisance or hazard to another resident.

Here is what you can do…

Communicate your concerns: The first step is to have a friendly, honest conversation with your neighbours and tell them how their activities are affecting you. Often, communication can solve many neighbour problems.

Refer to your by-laws: Each strata scheme has its own by-laws, which are a set of rules that cover the behaviour of residents. It’s important to check with the owner’s corporation on your individual strata scheme’s current by-laws.

If your current by-laws are unclear, you can have your by-laws amended by filing a motion in an annual general meeting (AGM) and seeking a decision through special resolution.

You can read the full description outlined by NSW Office of Fair Trading here.

Also you may want to take a look out out e-book on NSW Strata Legislation here.