NSW Resident Dispute Leads to $120,000 For The Chairperson of The Strata Committee

The story below was published by The Sydney Morning Herald on 22 May. It refers to an owners dispute that has had real and financial consequences for the parties involved. It is a timely reminder that strata communities do not exist in isolation to those outside of the strata environment.

Living in a strata community has many benefits however, on the rare occasion that disputes occur, your Bodies Corporate/Owners Corporation Manager should be contacted directly.

$120,000 in damages has been received by the Chairperson of a Manly apartment strata committee. The court ruled in Gary Raynor’s favor as he was insulted by fellow tenant, Patricia Murray, in an email that was written insinuating he was a “small minded busybody”.

The email dispute began in May 2017 after an email sent by Patricia Murray to Gary Raynor and their neighbors where she asked him to stop emailing her in relation to locking her mailbox.

The NSW District Court received evidence that Gary Raynor had sent numerous emails to Patricia Murray to inform her that her mailbox had been left open and requested that she kept it locked.

Patricia Murray informed the court that Gary Raynor was attempting to publicly shame her through the use of technology. However, the Judge ruled that there was no evidence that Gary Raynor had sent any emails that were directed towards Patricia Murray to any other residents. The emails that were sent to all residents were in relation to mailbox break-ins in the Manly area. The emails did not mention specific residents.

The Court were aware of reports of gangs stealing mail in the Manly area. The building where residents Gary Raynor and Patricia Murray are located had two reports of mailbox break-ins which started from April 2017.

The original email sent to Patricia Murray from Gary Raynor began due to Mr Raynor suspecting that the culprits may have examined the lock on Ms Murrays mailbox to be able to cut a master key.

Patricia Murray responded to this email stating that Gary Raynor had a “fixation on the issue,” and suggested that the emails were directed from an “email hobby.” Despite Patricia claiming that Gary Raynor was “attempting to shame her publicly” and he was “harassing and menacing through the use of technology” Judge Gibson ruled in Gary Raynor’s favor awarding him $120,000, plus legal costs.

SSKB promotes civilized and positive strata communities and works in your communities favour to stop issues from occurring before they escalate. Click here to contact SSKB today.

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