Flat Chat Strata Forum Living in strata Current Page

  • This topic has 17 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by .
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  • #60702
    reddant
    Flatchatter

    I did search the Flatchat fora before posting to see if anyone else has posted about this :).

    Does anyone experience “sexual harassment” on common property?

    There is a tenant who makes mock noises of appreciation or acceptance when I am unfortunate enough to pass him on the stairwell, as if he were responding to a free sexual advance from me. ”Oooh!” he exclaims suggestively, as if both surprised and pleased at being made an invitation. He also stops and stares at me as I pass in the stairwell, and arranges his body so that his hips and shoulders face me as I pass.

    Until I told him to stop it, if I passed the front door when he was unfortunately passing through it too, he would make an extravagant gesture of bowing and waving me through with a flourish: adding unacceptable courtship or romance to the everyday function of exiting or entering my home.

    Many years ago, before he moved into my building, he “sexually harassed” me on the street by engaging in the extravagant flourishing mentioned above. As he passed me on an empty street he stopped and bowed, flourishing his hand to beckon me to walk past. When he saw me taken aback, he flushed red and started shouting the F and the C word. I wrote the local police at the time, and still have a copy of the letter.

    This month a new owner told me he had approached her and said to her “have you met your neighbour yet?” and proceeded to gossip that I had made noise complaints in the past. A new tenant told me the man advised him not to hang his clothes on the shared washing line as people may steal them, a reference to something I had been falsely accused of years ago by a different harassing neighbour. No one steals clothes for the he washing line.

    Recently, I was exiting the front door while he was out on the street, and he shouted to imaginary people on the street “here she comes!” This was extremely offensive.

    Once, as I passed him on the stairs, he broke wind (flatulated) loudly.

    This behaviour seems to happen on weekends when he is drunk and lonely. He is old and repulsive looking.

    Please no legal advice, I don’t need to be told to get a restraining order, I’d just like to hear from people if they’ve experienced “sexual harassment” or sleaziness on common property.

    Thanks Flatchatters

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #60704
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Please no legal advice, I don’t need to be told to get a restraining order, I’d just like to hear from people if they’ve experienced “sexual harassment” or sleaziness on common property.

    OK, but I’d be interested in what committee members or ordinary neighbours would do if a neighbour complained about this kind of behaviour in their block.

    Or, if you have encountered the same kind of treatment, what have you done about it?

    #60705
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I am fortunate to have not experienced such a problem.

    Perhaps a starting point could be discrete enquiries to establish whether the behaviour is directed towards only Reddant or if this tenant is more widely known to be a pest. Especially if the latter, the committee might delegate one of its members to have ‘a quiet word’ about appropriate and respectful behaviour. That discussion could include reminding the tenant that it is almost certain that their tenancy agreement includes a requirement to comply with the rules of the Owners Corporation. Such rules generally include a catch-all requirement that residents must not interfere with the use and enjoyment of the common property by other residents – any sort of non-trivial annoyance and harassment is covered. The ‘quiet word’ might include advice that further inappropriate behaviour could become grounds for a rule infringement notice (or whatever the term is in other states) that would be served on both the tenant and the landlord and that this could put the tenant’s tenancy at risk.

    #60711
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    In my opinion, the strata manager or OC is limited to applying the bylaws of the building and the SSMA.

    I don’t know what by laws you may have, but I can’t see that the behaviour, whilst disturbing, does not violate ant of the standard by laws.

    So I think that neither the strata manager nor the OC can act against the tenant.

    Your other Avenue is through civil action. Unfortunately the laws punishes people retrospectively. That is, an offence needs to be committed before the police or the courts get involved.

    Its unfortunate that you are subject to such behaviour but it appears that no offence has yet been committed.

    If this was your workplace, you would have some success in having an employer take action, but thst is only because the harassment laws specifically identify workplaces,but not living locations in their jurisdiction.

    Im sorry thst I have no solution for you, save to say to keep a detailed diary, inthe hope the tenant one day oversteps the mark andyiu can take civil action.

    #60713
    reddant
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks Sir Humphrey, that’s a good idea.

    Yes he is a known pest, he harassed another woman, but she’s a pest too, and won’t help, and harasses people herself. But that’s another post. The Committee is dominated by one owner who owns the majority of the Strata scheme and that owner tolerates and permits this harassment.

    I have asked the Committee for a Zoom meeting about this with the odious creatures’s attendance, in the unlikely event they’ll all acquiesce I’ll ask one of them to have a quiet chat to him.

    Thanks again Sir H.

    #60714
    reddant
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks Jimmy. Agree with you, but NSW Courts see it as neighbours arguing, not violence, so an AVO arguing I’m scared for my safety (which I am not) won’t gel.

    And in my experience these type of people lie and manipulate well in that system, so without evidence it is not a good idea.

    I’d have to spend 2022 filming every time I use common property to gather evidence! That would require me to live under a siege mentality in my own home.

    From what I read in Flatchat and other sources, neighbour harassment is common, and the courts don’t want to know about it.

    People who harass and bully are old fashioned, so there needs to be an old fashioned response.

    I could write an open letter to himself and the Committee.

     

    Thanks

     

    #60723
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Thanks Jimmy. Agree with you, but NSW Courts see it as neighbours arguing, not violence, so an AVO arguing I’m scared for my safety (which I am not) won’t gel.

    Not me. However, a motion to your next AGM, even if it failed, would put it on record that you were being harassed by this person

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by .
    #60763
    Sujenna
    Flatchatter

    Unfortunately this does happen in apartment blocks. When I purchased my first apartment in Sydney some years ago, an upstairs neighbor constantly harassed me but not on common property. He had suffered a stroke and was wheelchair bound.

    It had apparently affected his masculinity and when his wife told him a young female had moved in downstairs I was subjected to all sorts of filthy behavior with them inviting me upstairs for a meal (so they could get to know their new neighbor) where he would masturbate in front of me, invite me to watch porn movies with him, ask personal questions about my private life and ask me to come to a nudist colony with them etc.

    The obvious reaction to this would be not to go to their apartment again. However, the AGM, and any directors meetings were held there because of his physical impediments to leaving the unit. I was more surprised at the wife’s behavior of being a complicit accomplice to his dirty intentions.

    I recall telephoning the wife from work one day to ask if she would go downstairs and check from the outside if I had shut my bedroom window as I thought I may have inadvertently left it open and it was bothering me that I could be burgled ( I was on the ground floor). I could hear her husband calling out in the background “get her work number off her! get her work number off her”.

    Another older female resident had told me he opened the door to her in the nude when she knocked for some reason.

    I was very young and naive at dealing with such a situation. In hindsight I would have written a letter to them asking them to stop and put it in their letterbox. My father was on the verge of speaking with them about it as it was obviously causing me a great deal of distress.

    If it takes a legal letter from a lawyer or you proceed with lodging an AVO, that may be a sufficient deterrent to having the bad behavior cease without a formal court order. It can be really unpleasant to have to live with neighbors who cause unnecessary distress this way.

    Spend a few hundred dollars and pay a solicitor to write a legal letter to scare this dude from re-offending. If that doesn’t work then get the committee/ strata manager behind you. From what I have read of your post he may be even unaware that he is causing any trouble. Some people just have warped personalities. Go and see a solicitor.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by .
    #60766
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Yes he is a known pest, he harassed another woman, but she’s a pest too, and won’t help, and harasses people herself.

    It sounds like you live in total bedlam there.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by .
    #60768
    reddant
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks. Yes some people have warped personalities,

    #60769
    reddant
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter
    JimmyT said:
    It sounds like you live in total bedlam there.

    Well perhaps a diverse society, and a lack of legislation, causes bedlam for some people.

    I think it’s time sexual harassment legislation extended itself to other parts of life other than work, like recently was legislated in UK.

    Hey I got an idea, I’ll argue as I WFH that the SDA applies!

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by .
    #60774
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I’ll argue as I WFH that the SDA applies!

    Sexual Discrimination Act, I get (I think). But “I WFH”? We try to limit the use of initials and acronyms here.  Please explain.

    #60775
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    Below is the standard by-law dealing with behaviour on common property, your scheme should have a similar by-law.

    This person is breaching that by-law. Assuming there is a by-law of this nature, you should write to the Committee and request that they take immediate action, which would include advising him that he is breaching the by-law and if he does not stop further action will be taken. If they fail to do anything then you should take steps to require the Committee to enforce the by-law.

    7 Behaviour of owners, occupiers and invitees

    (1) An owner or occupier of a lot, or any invitee of an owner or occupier of a lot, when on common property must be adequately clothed and must not use language or behave in a manner likely to cause offence or embarrassment to the owner or occupier of another lot or to any person lawfully using common property.

     

     

    #60782
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    WFH: Work from Home. Usage seems to have become quite common the last 2 years.

    But more people have a chance of understanding it if you just type it out. JRTFI.

    #60777
    Boronia
    Flatchatter

    Sexual Discrimination Act, I get (I think). But “I WFH”? We try to limit the use of initials and acronyms here. Please explain.

    WFH: Work from Home. Usage seems to have become quite common the last 2 years.

    On the actual topic:

    I am no psychiatrist, and don’t know the full extent of his actions, but I’m wondering if this man is suffering from some form of mental illness? Perhaps he is not aware of the concept of “sexual harassment”, but is just acting to get himself some attention. I see similar behaviour from people in shopping centres and on public transport.

    If this is the case, talking to him directly may not help; perhaps his landlord/agent should be advised?

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by .
    #60779
    Sujenna
    Flatchatter

    I really think Reddant’s remedy lies in having a ‘cease and desist’ letter on a legal letterhead posted to the amorous miscreant. I could almost guarantee that a threat of legal proceedings from a lawyer if the behavior continues will be sufficient to ‘nip it in the bud’ before you need to get the strata committee involved or threaten breach of by-laws (although your lawyer could include this in their letter). The offender should be sufficiently intimidated by your legal stance, at then avoiding meeting you at all costs on common property; or maybe moving out altogether to avoid further confrontation. Spending a few hundred dollars $$$ on a lawyers letter will be worth your trouble. It’s my experience that most committee members and managers don’t want to get involved in other residents conflict issues. Plus you may find involving other people in such a personal issue embarrassing. So get a lawyer!

    Post a task on Airtasker calling for a lawyer to undertake this very simple task for you. The cut price rates for bidding on Airtasker by competitive lawyers who are desperate for work, might lessen the financial burden on you and permit you to enter 2022 harassment free! Let the forum know how you go as I am anxious to find out having suffered unwelcome sexual harassment from unattractive and unappealing male neighbors myself.

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