I've read thru comments..just to update.. one of the body corporate guys came to look and he studied the vanity and the issue and he's suggested that I get a good handyman in..have him disconnect the pipes and literally move the vanity over and reconnect. There is 'space' under the flanges as they are and it may be enough. It was good to know at least that the vanity is sitting on the tiles and NOT surrounded by tiles. Moving the unit would make the space for the loo on the other side narrower but this is really just a guest or spare toilet for me as I have an ensuite. The shelf may need a little grind down but perhaps not.
Duct tape is a great idea! I was also thinking of sliding a sheet of cardboard down either side too.
Scratching does matter in the sense that if you take the paint off and then the bare metal winds up rusty..that completely affects warranty and insurance. I've spoken with insurers about rust marks on machines before and they are very touchy about them because they can assume things like " person has lived near ocean and has got salt spray in motor - rust suggests the possibility..nope..we won't pay out on motor repair".
This is a principle issue for me. If you have someone come to look at a machine and it looks like you've cared for it well, their attitude is different than if there are loads of marks and scratches.
There is also, as a lesser issue, my desire to respect the machine and the cost of it. $900 is not an amount I would have often for such an item and therefore I am motivated to care for it as well as I can.