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Who pays OC fines
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JimmyT
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24/04/2012 - 1:02 pm
Member Since: 06/01/2014
Forum Posts: 3293
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Whale said
Whilst I'm not for one minute suggesting that an Owners Corporation should neglect or delay acting on its responsibilities to properly maintain its Common Property, using possible fines and personal liability under the new Work Health & Safety (WH&S) Act as the proverbial Sword of Damocles is a bit over-the-top.

Whilst I agree that amendments to the WH&S Act capture mixed-use Strata Schemes (i.e. with shops or similar incorporated), there's a general exemption for fully residential Strata Schemes where purely domestic activities are undertaken.

Whale is right on both counts (of course he is - he's a StrataGuru, after all).  Firstly, don't panic - just be aware that if someone tells you that you have a safety issue in your building, you can't just ignore it. Get it checked by a professional and respond accordingly.

However, I wonder how many strata blocks fulfill the "purely residential" definition these days, with tradesmen and women and cleaners working on-site (with the question of whether or not they are employees subject to legal interpretation).  OK,  self-employed writers sitting at home tapping away on their strata advice websites may not make your building a workplace but it doesn't take much to change its status.

There was an extended discussion on this about a month ago.  To read it all, go HERE and read from the bottom where there are lots of useful and informative links.

To answer the question of 'who pays?', I think because there is an element of personal liability involved (they can't send the whole EC to jail), even if the OC was fined as a body, owners could probably take action for compensation against individual members of the EC who chose to do nothing, if it could be shown that they were given sound advice and outvoted others who wanted to abide by the law.

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