Five apartment complexes in the West Sydney suburb of Rhodes have been inundated with trespassing complaints. The developments near Peg Paterson Park have seen crowds of over 1,000 people at night with some people jumping fences, leaving rubbish behind, causing property damage, and disturbing the peace while in search of Pokemon on their smart phones.
You may have seen them on the street, on the bus, public landmarks (Sydney Opera House), and all over social media. While Pokémon are turning up in some amusing places, they’re also starting to cause a nuisance near apartment blocks.
With the game’s popularity showing no signs of slowing, now is the time to verse yourself in the lingo, and understand how the game could affect your strata schemes. Here’s the rundown.
Pokéstops (invisible hotspots for Pokémon remember?) and Pokémon Gyms
Check if there are any on or around your property. You might need to download the game or ask someone who has it to check for you. They can appear just about anywhere, and you’ll need to plead your case to the developer Niantic, like the City of Canada Bay Council is doing, if you want them removed.
Players will have their eyes glued to their smart phones. If your building manager or residents are noticing an increase in strangers to the property, you might need to take some precautions. Although players’ safety might not seem like your problem, there are numerous stories of players injuring themselves, so putting up signage and installing sensor lights could be insurance against a potential negligence claim to the owner’s corporation.
If you find that you do have a lot of new people around the property, your owner's corporation might be concerned about potential privacy issues or trespassing. Pokémon GO utilises the camera on the player's smart phone, so when playing the game people might be taking photos of Pokémon, with someone's apartment unintentionally appearing in the background. Security cameras, or signage asking players to be respectful of residents' privacy could go a long way.
So what can you do about it? You could take the approach of one apartment dweller, and put out a note to Pokémon GO players asking them kindly, to move on.
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Contact Editor: Ross McIntyre