There’s a point in every almost every strata dispute where everyone just needs to take a step back and consider the costs – socially and financially – of either backing down or digging in.
In one case that’s come into the Forum this week, a small complex has car parking spaces that are officially designated for both parking and storage.
A couple of owners have storage boxes, some have none. Our Flatchatters have applied to install their own storage to make the best use of the available space and been rejected because of one-size-fits-all fire regulations that, the committee says, don’t allow the kind of storage they want to install.
However, undaunted, the Flatchatters have done their own research to prove that what they want would be safe and permitted under the fire regulations.
And this I’m guessing is where logic takes a back seat and personalities take over.
The committee doesn’t like being told they are wrong and the owners don’t appreciate being told they can’t have what they want, especially for reasons that seem generalised and spurious.
Now, it’s at this point that the committee gets a bit silly and passes a motion that they are going to get legal advice and charge it all back to our Flatchatting friends.
Err, no can do! NSW strata law is quite clear that any charges that are incurred by the owners corporation must (with a few very rare exceptions) be shared by all the owners according to their unit entitlements.
Sure, if it goes to NCAT they could apply for costs (which they probably won’t get). So why pass a motion that is meaningless?
To scare off the Flatchatters and make themselves look big and tough in front of the other owners? Or do they simply not know what they’re doing and their strata manager is sitting quietly, saying nothing, in case they upset the wrong people?
It’s time for everyone to take a step back, sit down together and find out if there’s isn’t a way where everybody can get what they want without resorting to lawyers.
Compromise can mean that everyone wins, just as conflict can mean that everyone loses. You can find the whole story stored HERE.
Elsewhere on the Forum.
- Common property plants are blocking light to our only window but one owner won’t allow them to be trimmed because it would affect his privacy. That’s HERE.
- Our hot water is running cold and the building manager says it’s because the thermostats for each apartment’s water supplies are gradually wearing out. So who pays to fix ours? That’s HERE.
- Our balconies never had much waterproofing but some owners added tiles which may have damaged theirs. Now we all need to put membrane down – should we ask the people with tiled balconies to pay for theirs? That’s HERE.
- My shower is leaking into the next room. Does the owners corp have to fix it and if they do, will they retile the whole bathroom or just patch it? That’s HERE.
There are a lot more questions and answers – most of which have nothing to do with water leaks – on the Flat Chat Forum. Register, log in and subscribe (it’s free) to keep up with the latest posts.