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Dear Flat chatters
I am outraged – we have a lady who owns 2 units in out block of 7. One of her units is poorly maintained – she never sends licenced tradies to fix situations.
latest – split air con is leaking into wall and tripping electricals (previous repair sticky tape) and down into unit below – so is the plumbing under sink. The owner never sends licenced plumbers / air con professionals to fix these on-going issues. Strata say there is nothing they can do? REALLY? why cant we send in strata plumber / air con repairs and send slumlord bill?
other issue is electricals – the light switches and dimmers are falling out of wall and lights not turning off (original replaced by dodgy electrician)
tenant – behind in rent, police called constantly with drug addicted violent boyfriend visiting. Unit has rotten garbage everywhere
what do we do – this puts danger to rest of building
please help and advise – I am at wits end.
I’m assuming you don’t have a strata manager or that if you have, they are spectacularly inadequate at their job.
This is what I would do in your position:
First, download a copy of the Strata Schemes Management Act (or read it online) and have a look at sections 119 – 124, and 151.
Then have a meeting (a properly constituted EGM) and pass a by law that all electrical and plumbing work done inside a lot must be carried out by a licensed trades person.
You might also get authority from the meeting to engage an experienced strata lawyer to offer you some advice.
Either way, my next move would be to send a notice to the owner that you require access to the properties by a professional tradesperson to examine them for potential repairs to common property.
I would add that you are seeking access under section 122 of the Act which allows for fines of up to $550 for a lot owner who hinders access under this provision. This would apply to each lot.
If the owner refuses or ignores the request, then you can start proceedings at Fair Trading leading to orders from the Tribunal.
I can’t express too strongly that, especially if you think the owner is likely to be obstructive, the sooner you engage an experienced strata lawyer, the better.
Regarding the tenant’s behaviour, find out if the owner has provided them with a copy of the by-laws (another breach of the Act and potential fine if they haven’t) and start hitting them with Notices To Comply with potential fines if they are ignored.
Regarding the violent and aggressive behaviour of the tenant’s visitors, you need to make this a police issue as soon as possible and you might want to have a preemptive chat with your local police station’s community liaison officer (or whatever they are called these days) including about taking out an AVO to keep the person away from your block.
Finally, the most important think you can do is to make sure all the other owners and residents are determined to see this through. Dealing with a recalcitrant owner can go one of three ways:
- they are embarrased and fix things;
- they ignore you;
- they react aggressively (often because they don’t realise they can be held to account and fined substantial amounts of money).
Hope for scenario 1 but be ready for scenarios 2 and 3.
To add to JT’s reply and, depending upon the nature of the Tenancy, the following information regarding anti-social tenants may apply:
One of the initial steps would be to find out whether FACS has the Head Lease. If FACS have the head lease then FACS may be responsible for maintenance issues:
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