Is It Appropriate That an Individual Has a Master Key to All The 15 Units Where I Live?

The complex of 15 units where I live are managed by strata and also have a residents' committee (who are able to make quick decisions and pay for petty cash items when necessary). It is generally an over 55s complex with mostly owner-occupiers.
The complex is 20 years old and I have been here nearly 2 years.
It seems that at least one (maybe more) of the residents' committee members have a master key to all units.
IS THIS APPROPRIATE?
Recently the person with the master key entered someone's unit, without permission from the owner (who wasn't home at the time), to shut a few windows because a tradie was there to do some outside cleaning.
I will bring this matter up at the next residents' meeting, which is happening soon.

Comments

  • +5 votes

    Breaking and entering, literally a crime

    OR check your body corporate agreement, this is probably allowed.

  • +10 votes

    what does your body corporate strata agreement say in regards to keys?

  • +21 votes

    Change your locks? Problem solved.

    • +1 vote

      I was under the impression that in a strata complex you can't do that. Or if you did, you'd have to provide new keys to the management.

    • +16 votes

      Would you rather they left the windows open and had water all inside the house?

      They are not the only options.

      • -6 votes

        They are not the only options.

        do go on then….

        • +12 votes

          Calling the tennant, letting them know beforehand to keep windows closed, pushing them closed from the outside, coming back later.

          Surely you didn't need someone to tell you these?

          • -5 votes

            @onetwothree:

            Surely you didn't need someone to tell you these?

            Well the tenant would have been advised in advance to GASP

            keep windows closed

            and yet they failed to do that.

            The OP would complain if water got into their place if the windows hadn't been closed correctly by 'pushing' them closed.

            coming back later.

            Yeah tradies don't work like that, if they come back later they charge a new fee.

            Again I'm sure the OP had notice and failed to act, so the issue is with them for failing to follow directions.

  • +10 votes

    I guess it is more of a safety thing if your complex has mostly over 55's, incase one of them falls over, gets sick etc..

    •  

      Yes, agreed with the above
      and as long as body corporate had agreed to such arrangement…

    • +3 votes

      It is over 55, not over 70 or whatever!

      The vast majority of people over 55 are very active, working full-time, healthy and living normal lives. I don't know why OP thought the general age group of the residents was relevant, maybe to indicate that it isn't one of those dens of iniquity that those young hipster people live in, with their loud Courtney Barnett music…

      Over 55s went through punk, protest movements, invented the internet, etc.

      • +1 vote

        If they are living in a retirement community there might be different rules

      •  

        Yeah, over 55's is quite a general statement, it could be 1 @ 55ish, 20 @ 75ish. Kinda sounds like a retirement community given the complex and age groups.

  • +2 votes

    I will bring this matter up at the next residents' meeting, which is happening soon.

    Please report back on the substance of your discussion.

  • +2 votes

    It's appropriate if, and only if, everyone is aware, there are clear agreed/published rules for circumstances of use, a system to address complaints/unauthorised use, and all keys are accounted for (periodic audits).

    If you didn't know they had keys and would be entering because they were worried about dust blowing in, definitely inappropriate. Also a legal minefield - imagine if they were injured in your apartment because you left a sharp object lying around, or if you accidentally left some of your bizarre porno playing and they got traumatised, or if you left a window open for some paint fumes to disperse and your pet budgie died because they closed it…

  • +2 votes

    Yeah I'll let you know what eventuates.
    The thing is, the person that entered could have just rung the owner and asked if it was ok….hmmm…too easy hey?…

  • +2 votes

    I'd be more concerned about how secure the keys are. Are they in a lockbox? Who has access?

    • +3 votes

      more secure than your medical records

      •  

        I would find it a bit amusing if some unsuspecting person looked at my medical records. I'd be angry afterwards. In reality they shouldn't all be in the one place, I have opted out of My Health Record for now at least and have moved around a bit and had to change doctors a bit.

    •  

      yeah thats it :/

  • +1 vote

    I guess if it isn't resolved satisfactorily at meeting, you could change your lock. Then the master key won't work on your door

  • +1 vote

    Bring it up at the meeting and the people who are concerned can change the locks. It isn’t a great look, I would be concerned about people coming in and letting the cat out, etc. Sounds like having a camera installed, might be a good idea. See what they get up to when you aren’t around.

  • +1 vote

    discreetly change your locks.
    then in a few weeks or when ever it comes up when u are asked did u change your locks?
    u can ask how do they know that…
    and why were they trying to enter your apartment at that time.

    • +1 vote

      You don't need to do it discreetly. If you own the place you can do what the hell you want. There is certainly no way I would live anywhere (I owned) that provided someone else with a key to my property. The first thing I did when I moved in to my house was change all the locks.

      •  

        i agree. but doing it discreetly adds to the fun. because at some point u will be asked, "did u change your locks?"

      •  

        Not always in strata, for good reason. Ie flood/fire etc from your apartment threatening others.

    • -3 votes

      What poor and irresponsible advice.

      This is like changing locks on a Hotel room.

      You need to understand how over 55s compexes work
      Read up then come back with an appropriate reply.

      • +4 votes

        how is telling someone to change the locks on something they own irresponsible and anything like changing the locks on someone elses property,also why would knowing how an over 55's complex works be important when the op hasn't said that it is an over 55's complex

  • -1 vote

    I think it's appropriate that someone is able to enter the unit in an emergency. A lot of people give their keys to a neighbour or family member, it's just in this case the keys are given to a mystery person who may/may not be trustworthy.

    Now in this case, I think it could be classed as a low level emergency case. If there was a chance of something coming into the unit from the tradies: water/dust/whatever, then I personally would appreciate someone coming in to close my windows.

    It's a shame we assume the worst in others. Of course sometimes it happens, just it's a shame we are all so guarded and cynical. Makes life less joyful.

  • -1 vote

    Would you complain if said person didn't shut your windows during work/storm or that'd be ok?!

    • +2 votes

      It does make me wonder what notice was given on the works?

      My neighbour has our key, and my phone number, and we have hers. If there is an issue we ring and then fix it. She went on holidays and her roof top garden watering system went nuts at one point and continually ran water. We called her, then used a ladder to climb up and turn off the tap.

    • +2 votes

      they never do that anyway…its not like they are going around checking 14 other units every time a storm threatens :/

  • -1 vote

    Generally Over 55s complexes have a PANIC button installed in each unit should an emergerncy such a heart attack occur.
    Its no point having a PANIC button if nobody can gain access.
    Every second counts in such emergencies.
    If nobody can get in YOU just DIE on the premises…Do you get it OP ?

    Then you also have onsite cleaners and maintenance people that readily need access.

    So lets not forget that over 55s complexes are all about COMMUNAL LIVING.
    There exist to provide a specific service to older people.
    They are NOT your typical residence.

    I suggest OP should move out if they are not happy with the situation.
    However most other Over 55s complexes would be the same situation and if not, one must question thier relevence.

    •  

      It is not an official over 55s complex like that Amayzingone - we are all independent unit owners and the complex is just described as 'over 55' to keep the 'ambience'.

      • +3 votes

        Thanks, that was how I read your post, especially as you mentioned “strata”. Love the username, one of my favourite films.

      •  

        OK But the principal still applies.
        Works in your favour
        Obviously the appointed person is one of very trustworthy character

  • -1 vote

    Does the key have band28 or NFC?

  •  

    Seems like a standard practice at a retirement complex for seniors. A building manager being able to access units which may be leaking water into other units while the owner/tenant is away is very important. Worse, fire.

    If the owner signed forms saying they would abide by the BC rules then having a committee member with a masterkey to all units is something they agreed to. Sure, you can ask for notifications if they are entering (if that isn't already a standard practice which the resident forgot), but them having a key to the unit is pretty standard across apartment complexes. I know my building manager has a key for the ~200 apartments in my building and I signed forms when purchasing the place stating that.

  •  

    I work in apartment construction. Generally master keys are not allowed. Once an owner uses their key for the first time, pins drop in the lock cylinder disabling any master/builders keya. Don't know if there's written laws on this though.

  • +1 vote

    I thought it is a common practice. Mr. Treeger

  •  

    i only go to over 55's nights

  • +2 votes

    If you're worried about someone entering your building to stop water from being sprayed into your apartment you may have a complex complex complex.

  •  

    When I was young “Ol’ 55” wa a band now it’s a description :).

  •  

    take things into ur own hands.

    add a 2nd deadlock that only you have the key to.

  •  

    Point a motion activated webcam at your door if you're concerned.

  •  

    Appropriate.

    Over 55's so safety issue.

    Yes, most over 55's are fit an healthy, but most fit and healthy people only move into a 55+ when they lose their health or become lonely.

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