What happens to abandoned goods in a strata property?
Disposing your rubbish correctly and taking care not to abandon your goods and household items on common property is key to enhancing community living.
According to the NSW regulations, strata rules have gotten stricter about household items being abandoned in common property. Here are tips on your rights and responsibilities as a property owner and committee member around abandoned items:
Be responsible for your own goods
Being sensitive to your neighbour’s enjoyment of their property is crucial to strata living. Leaving your items in common areas can result in them being lost, stolen or worse, thrown away as garbage. You could also be breaching the by-laws, so ensure you’re on top of what you can do and what is not allowed.
Dispose your rubbish in the right way
In strata properties, there are usually designated areas for proper disposal of garbage. Make note of these areas and ensure you dump items in the bins assigned to you or common area bins identified for this purpose.
Schedule garbage disposal with your city’s council
If you’re looking to dispose your old furniture or other large household items, make sure to schedule a collection with your city by keeping track of the days they collect larger items.
If you don’t act responsibly, your committee can take action on behalf of the owners corporation. They have certain rights and responsibilities as follows:
Disposing the abandoned goods
Your committee can throw away unclaimed items, give them away to charity, auction or sell them as they see fit. If these goods are sold, both the owners corporation and the buyer are entitled to the proceeds from the sale and monies may be paid into the administrative fund.
Offering a notice of disposal
Before the committee does away with abandoned goods, a disposal notice needs to be placed near or on the item so that the owners are aware of intent of disposal at least five days in advance. This notice should be clearly outlined on a sheet of paper no smaller than an A4 size. It should describe the goods, the date and time the notice was issued and include the contact details of the person delegated to dispose the items such as the building manager, strata manager or committee member.
Keeping records of goods sold
The committee should maintain a record of the goods sold and retain them on file for at least a year from the sale. All relevant details such as what items were sold, when, where and by who needs to be captured.
While the law allows to do away with abandoned items on common property, remember to follow the protocol for disposal and record keeping. Considering your neighbours in small ways, can go a long way in making a big difference to the quality of community living.