Walls affected by water seepage | Common Property | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered
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At an EGM to be held next week – Item 4: That a special levy contribution be raised to the Admin Fund totalling $110000 in 12 instalments commencing 1/4/17 and ending 1/1/2020 (3 years).
This is a SEPP5 complex in Sydney. ALL 21 apartment owners will be asked to contribute however only 8 of the apartments are being repaired. The repairs though do not include removing the balcony tiles to stop the leakage over the balcony fronts so the problem will be ongoing and does not include ALL the many walls that are affected. That will not be tackled until after 2020! By then, the apartments in the front will sell and move on, giving notice to purchasers that a special levy will be required to be raised (again).
Also there are 3 quotes. Two are over $270000, and one at $171000. That in itself makes you ask questions as to the reason for such discrepancy. Also the sinking fund currently has $145000.
This cannot be claimed on the Builders insurance now as it has passed the allowed time period. By way of explanation, The Chairman at the time decided 3 years ago to spend $15000 repainting the water damaged bubble affected walls which have re-bubbled now. The Committee outvoted those who did not want it carried out that way but wanted to claim against the builders insurance.
Now the elderly owners are forced to pay the special levy but the repairs being carried out do not improve everyone’s apartments, just a chosen few facing the street frontage..
What do others think? Is this the normal way of doing things?
If the walls are common property walls then it is immaterial whether the repairs directly benefit all Lot owners or not. The Owners Corporation (i.e. the Lot owners) own the common property so all Lot owners benefit from the repairs, albeit indirectly.
An Owners Corporation has a statutory obligation to maintain and repair common property.
HappyNow – Without knowing all the details perhaps the repairs were prioritised according to the most urgent need.
If you want all the repairs undertaken at once then why don’t you raise a Motion at the next General Meeting? The special levies will be higher if all repairs are undertaken at once which may cause some anxiety – however, as an option, your Owners Corporation may be able to use a Strata Loan. See the details re Strata Loan from Lannock Strata Finance at the bottom of this page.
HappyNow, owners corporations have the ability to prioritise repairs to common property. Even though the Act does not stipulate this, it comes down to common sense. If a building has many large costly repairs, if they were all to be actioned at once, the increase in levies for owners would be astronomical.
I have seen orders made by the NCAT in similar situations where the OC made decisions to repair one part of a building over another, and not action all common property repairs at the one time. The NCAT upheld the OC’s decision to do this due to the reasons I mentioned above. As proudsceptic mentioned, we don’t all the details of your matter, you could try mediate with the OC as a first step.
Do I understand correctly that this is the outside wall facing the street being repaired first? If so, it does not sound unreasonable to repair the most visible face of the building as the first priority. That benefits all owners I would have thought. Even if your unit is on the other side, it makes a better initial impression to visitors or potential buyers.
In due course all should be repaired. Perhaps the plan is to see how doing this face goes then move on to the next section and so on. Thereby the cost is spread over some years.
Thanks everyone. Meeting held last night. They are going to do a destruction test of one of the front balconies and then monitor it for 6 months. It may mean taking off the render then painting directly on the bricks (or whatever is under the render). I suggested using textured paint which will give the front a clean look and save $100K in the interim
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