Proxy pain as non-owner rules unit block

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It’s a familiar scenario: someone gets on your strata committees and starts ruling the place on the highly dubious basis of whatever they want is what’s best for everyone.

That scenario is frustrating enough when the self-appointed Glorious Leader is one of your neighbours or, even worse, an absentee landlord.  But what if they aren’t even an owner?

“I am a member of the EC (chairman I think!). We have a member who has controlled the committee for years and makes decisions without consultation,” writes Windsor on the Flat Chat Forum

According to Windsor, “he who must be obeyed” lives next door and has the proxy vote of a relative who is an owner. Even so, he has the manager accepting directions from him without waiting for the committee to discuss issues.

“I have insisted on regular EC meetings, and put forward a number of proposals to modernise the complex. He does not approve of this.”

As one example, writes Windsor, he refused to present a quote for a letterbox upgrade to the committee because he thought it was too dear and unnecessary.

“There are five on the committee. One other member agrees with proposals I have been making, and all have agreed that we need to improve our communication and decision-making processes but it just keeps happening.  Is this legal?”

The Flat Chat Faithful are all over this on the Forum but the simple answer is that a properly nominated and elected non-owner committee member has exactly the same rights and responsibilities as an owner.

However your strata managers’ job is to take instructions from the committee – not one dominant member. They need to be told in no uncertain terms that they will be held personally and professionally responsible for any decisions they make exclusively with this renegade EC member.  That would apply whether he was an owner or not.

Meanwhile, a more diplomatic approach to the other EC members, asking them to help get the committee working the way it should, would be worth a try.  It sounds like you only need one more member on your side to make that work.

Strata Community Australia (SCA-NSW) have an excellent and free online training course for strata committee members, which will give you the tools you need to counter the inevitable cry of “but we have always done it this way.”

As ever, there’s more on this on flat-chat.com.au/forum.

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