Not everyone has common sense!


I had dinner with a good friend of mine who said he hated the saying ” use your common sense”.

He doesn’t like that saying because what one persons common sense is may not apply to another … I had to disagree with him on this because I believe that most humans are born with an element of what is general common sense (or so I thought), we learn it from watching others and I suppose much of it can be related to your socio economic background but generally speaking, there is a common understanding.

That’s enough of the psychoanalysis, the reason I start with this little tid bit is because it seems that Marcus was right, not all people have “common sense” and I learnt that the hard way. I have come to this conclusion by a recent turn of events relating to an alarm sounding in an apartment building, let me paint the picture.

Tenant lives in a high rise apartment block, she arrived home one night and upon entering the apartment she finds her husband by the stove stir frying some vegies for dinner. He has the balcony door open together with the windows for air flow. She changes her clothes and walks into the kitchen to chat about their days only to hear the building alarm sound. The Melbourne Fire Brigade are called to the site and advise that it was a false alarm that was most likely caused by these tenants cooking dinner.

The owners Corporation manager receives an invoice in the vicinity of $1,500 to which they seek payment form the landlord. The landlord does not want to pay this invoice and wants the money reimbursed from the tenants bond (by this stage the tenants have vacated). I then speak to the REIV for advise on this matter as it seems preposterous to me that a tenant could set off a building alarm by cooking dinner, particularly when their own internal alarm did not sound.

The advice I was given fell in line completely with my thinking. They believed that the O/Corp were passing the buck and that the invoice should be covered by their insurance or perhaps they should be looking to have the alarms re-set so they weren’t so sensitive. Anyway, they said that the o/corp would need to get the landlord to pay, or take them to VCAT, then the landlord would have to take the tenant to VCAT if they wished to be reimbursed.

My thinking is that the O/corp would be laughed out of the hearing room due to the ridiculous nature of the claim. I advised the landlord of this information (trying to protect them and the tenant) however in their haste to not be liable for the account and under the strong, and I must say really strong advise of the owner corp manager (who is employed to protect the owners corp) I have been instructed to take the tenant to VCAT to cover the cost.

Am I losing my mind here or is something very wrong about this?