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Who pays OC fines
Jimmyt53
Admin
24/04/2012 - 1:02 pm
Member Since: 06/01/2014
Forum Posts: 2837
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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.

Whale
NSW
StrataGuru
24/04/2012 - 11:55 am
Member Since: 15/12/2010
Forum Posts: 1116
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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.

dannii
FlatChatter
23/04/2012 - 1:44 pm
Member Since: 18/04/2012
Forum Posts: 4
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annE

 

I am in this same position i voted against being breached Work Health and Safety legislation but the other 2 EC members voted for so they just sweeped it under the carpet. I believe that they ignorned it they should be liable for any outcomes from breaching the laws.12

phlebe
Flat(chat)Mate
08/03/2012 - 10:37 pm
Member Since: 04/01/2012
Forum Posts: 38
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We used Tyrrells to do risk assessment. They are very good and helpful. I have used them several times in the past for sinking fund inspections and defects in  individual units. I'm giving them a big plug if allowed.

CoolCool

Jimmyt53
Admin
08/03/2012 - 4:28 pm
Member Since: 06/01/2014
Forum Posts: 2837
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We're talking hypothetically here and there are a number of possible scenatios but if, for instance, the Owners Corp was informed, say, at an AGM that there was a safety problem, then they would be liable. If the EC was told and decided not to pass it on, they would be the ones in trouble - and if they had willfully ignored reliable advice, their EC insurance would probably have been invalidated so the members would be personally liable. If a building manager or strata manager knew there was a problem and didn't tell the EC, they would be liable (as employees).
What happens when, say, one member of an EC votes NOT to ignore the advice but is outvoted by the others is a point I'll leave to our legal friends. But I think the aim of the legislation isn't to fine or jail people - it's to get them to accept our responsibilities as owners, employers and a community.

annE
Newbie
08/03/2012 - 1:23 pm
Member Since: 08/03/2012
Forum Posts: 1
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I'm new to this forum. I read Jimmy T's 17 Feb 2012 -FINES AND JAIL FOR IGNORING FAULTS -

 

My question is: if an Owners Corporation is fined a substantial amount for negligence (e.g.under the Work Health and Safety legislation) who would be responsible for paying the fines - could this also mean that the individual lot owners would also be liable/required to pay the fine in the form of a special levy?

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