Two common themes for me are customer experience and community spirit. These are matters for all aspects of life but are exacerbated when it comes to communal living of any sort. The number of clips on the internet of people overreacting, bullying, arguing, and incident rage are extraordinary. Of course, from any totally objective perspective, it is easy to be rational or controlled. However, when caught up in a moment rationality tends to disappear faster than Boris Johnson for a Heathrow runway vote.
Communal living should not be a flash point and should not give rise to such incidents, but what it does do is offer an opportunity for matters that irritate or frustrate to get compounded and extrapolated into major dramas. This is all understandable and typical human reaction, but at the same totally irrational.
I am sure you will have all had situations where you have been on the receiving end of someone’s ire. It makes you react negatively and it makes you less inclined to help someone. Both of these reactions do nothing to resolve a situation. In fact, it probably engrains it further. If we have experienced the negative feeling why then do we all persist on speaking badly to people, reacting angrily or throwing our toys out? Surely, we would be better all the time to engage and seek resolution.
I have a number of cases on where conciliation and engagement would resolve matters far easier and cheaper than the confrontation and aggression that is being experienced. Although there are times where motives can have a big impact on the persons stance however illogical it looks. Motive brings a whole other dynamic in to play. But when we are talking about people’s homes then there should be little room for the shenanigans and game playing that is frequently seen. Most of the cases I have on are acting for the leaseholders and quite a few will quite naturally want to pay the absolute minimum in service charge even though what is being sought is reasonable and fair.
To see how much game playing can be done in business you only have to pay attention to Donald Trump for a couple of days. A man not known for moderation or conciliation; he is always taking an extreme position in the hope and expectation that what he achieves will meet the needs of that situation. The tariff issue is a perfect example. He has polarised himself to resolve what he perceives as inequity. Of course, we just haven’t seen this approach in politics and on a World stage before so the consequences and impact longer term will be the interesting part.
Where you have a building owner or a leaseholder who wants to extract an unfair advantage it will end up in Court or Tribunal. Both costly and not to anyone’s advantage really. If you can discuss and negotiate then you will be better served. It is not about winners and losers; it is not about right and wrong; it is about fairness and harmony. So as Take That would say, try a little patience!
Roger Southam, Residential Expert & Problem Solver