Should I seek an NCAT Order to stop a General Meeting close to Christmas? | NCAT - the NSW Tribunal | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Should I seek an NCAT Order to stop a General Meeting close to Christmas?
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Merrick N Sniper
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05/12/2016 - 12:28 pm
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I think I need to urgently seek an order to stop a General Meeting. Our Executive Committee has sneakily called a General Meeting for December 15, very close to Christmas, when many may be away, or shopping or celebrating or not interested in going to a nasty meeting where bad vibes will abound. Proxies circumventing the new proxy rules are sure to occur.

The EC want to ram through a controversial project with little support worth over 80 grand and another worth nearly 20 grand which is unheralded. They want approval for special levies. They have not supplied enough information or details of the finances with the agenda. Both projects are 'pet projects' being driven unilaterally by one member, the rest being compliant seat warmers.

If there was time, we could get the strata roll and let all owners know but we don't have enough time. We're a Sydney block of 40 units, half let, half resident owners and most apathetic or scared to be involved for various reasons including gossip, 'gaslighting', bullying etc.

Should I just get all the facts down and send it off to NCATT with the fee, please, or is there anything else I should do? 

The other thing is, there are reasons the current Executive Committee is probably dysfunctional and this could also be mentioned or part of an application.

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Sir Humphrey
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05/12/2016 - 11:34 pm
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Our OC once had a proposal for some substantial works which were to be put to a general meeting. We gave more than the minimum notice and it was not close to christmas but otherwise, the person who objected characterised our situation almost exactly as you have. I was on the EC so on the 'other side' of a closely similar situation. The objector applied to the ACAT (we are in the ACT) for an order to halt the meeting. An urgent hearing was called. She could show no procedural defect so the tribunal ordered that the meeting go ahead. Having gone ahead, if the vote went against the objector, she could go to the tribunal seeking an order deeming the motion to have failed on grounds that it was unreasonable for it to have passed. IE a merits review. The tribunal took the view that the motions should be put to a meeting since it was possible that the owners themselves would decide that the motion should not be supported. Alternatively, the motion might pass with such strong support that the opponents would be convinced that this was the wish of the owners. IE the tribunal took the view that it should not preempt the democratic process. 

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JimmyT
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06/12/2016 - 12:28 am
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Your only shot is to apply for an interim order delaying the meeting on the grounds you have mentioned, basically that the timing is to facilitate a decision that would otherwise be rejected.  It's a roll of the dice.  Are you feeling lucky?

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Merrick N Sniper
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06/12/2016 - 12:24 pm
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Thank you for the suggestions.

I have discovered (by phoning NCAT and being flicked to the OFT) to seek an Interim Order I need to make two applications at the same time; one to NCAT seeking the Order and one seeking mediation at the OFT. Two fees also, that's a total cost of just under $200.

An NCAT Adjudicator would look at the application for the Order and decide one way or the other, only if the OFT application for mediation is lodged.

An expensive and onerous process for an individual, even if I have support amongst other owners.

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JimmyT
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06/12/2016 - 1:56 pm
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Do you have a supporter who is a pensioner?  It's a lot cheaper if they make the application and you "support" them.

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