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Flat Chat

Parking Madness

Our strata dispute procedure is great - in theory. But it's less fantastic in practice, especially when you are dealing with selfish bastards who have no interest in doing anything other than exactly what they want.

The neighbour who will deafen you with loud music, park in your car spot and put wooden floors down with no sound insulation is exactly the same kind of person who will gum up the mediation/resolution works by the simple tactic of not taking part.

Remember the owner who was refused permission to build storage in her car space then went ahead and did it anyway? It meant her neighbour can't open his car door but she had her "rights" as a property owner.

Then some dunderhead adjudicator at the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal decided that those "rights" took precedence over community needs, in this case, being able to use car spaces for ... d'uh ... parking.

It is more than a year since the Executive Committee involved appealed against this ludicrous decision, in which time the offending owner has, coincidentally, been unavailable every time the matter has come up for a hearing.

Now the latest CTTT adjudicator appointed to hear the case has withdrawn and the storage owner, apparently, is likely to be out of the country again when the next hearing is due.

Meanwhile her neighbour has to choose between chipping his door paint on the storage unit or throttling himself as he gets in and out of his car, with no prospect of a resolution any time soon. And other selfish owners are waiting for the green light so they can build storage too.

Forgetting for a moment how easy it is to get round the CTTT adjudication system, surely there could be a few simple principles established so these anachronistic, anti-community decisions aren't made in the future.

When individual demands conflict with community needs, the community should always win. If people aren't prepared to give and take to share the many benefits of living in apartment blocks, townhouses and planned communities let them go and live in houses and leave the rest of us in peace.

All we need is for our decision-makers and legislators to see beyond the picket fence and quarter acre block. Watch out for flying pigs.

First published SMH April 2007

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