Abandoned goods and rubbish on common property is not only an eyesore, it can be a health and safety issue. Garbage blocks thoroughfares and prevents day-to-day movement around the complex. While most owners and tenants take pride in the common areas, you may experience isolated episodes at your scheme. Here are the appropriate steps to remove the rubbish and how should you handle the situation.
If it’s a chip packet, banana skin or another piece of garbage, the chances are that it’s been dropped accidentally or if it’s outside, maybe the wind has blown it onto your property. In these circumstances, it’s always best to just pick it up and throw it in the bin. This will help prevent anyone from tripping on the offending rubbish and injuring themselves.
Maybe check that the lid on the communal bins is closed securely to prevent any rubbish from escaping.
If you happen to see another owner or guest deliberately littering, we’d advise that you have a quiet word with the perpetrator. If they become a repeat offender, then it’s best to lodge a complaint with your Managing Agent.
On the other, abandoned goods can be removed by the owners corporation if a disposal notice has been left near or on the goods giving five days warning. This notice must be A4 size and resistant to weather. It must also contain a description of the goods, the date and time it was issued, the date and time of the disposal and contact details for the strata managing agent or representative.
After five days, the owners corporation has the option of selling the goods or throwing them away. If there’s a sale, the proceeds need to be deposited into the scheme’s administrative fund and the records must be kept for 12 months.
As a rule, it’s best to never leave personal items in common areas because not only do they have the potential of being a health hazard, they may also be identified as being abandoned.
A similar process should also be followed for motor vehicles that block a thoroughfare or prevents normal use of the common property. If after the five days, the original owner hasn’t moved the vehicle, the owners corporation is entitled to relocate the obstruction. At this point, the owners corporation becomes the legal owner of the vehicle and can apply to the Tribunal to recover any associated costs.
If you have any other questions about rubbish and abandoned goods, contact your Strata Managing Agent at Netstrata.