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Is the storage space on common property or does the space form part of your lot?
Would the power point use power that is paid for by the OC, or would you be responsible for it?
If the space forms part of your lot, query whether you have to ask permission, but if it connected in a way that you weren’t paying for the power, then I would say perhaps they are within their rights.
If it were being connected in a way such that you paid for the power, I don’t see what the problem is, you could apply their logic to power points within your apartment…
However – if they have already permitted another owner to do it, find out what the arrangements were, and if yours are the same you have grounds for saying that they are being unreasonable (or the other owner should remove theirs).
If the only reason that was given by the Committee for refusing your application to install a power point was that you “may indulge in some nefarious use of this power point because it was in a room out of sight!” then in my opinion the Committee’s decision was “unreasonable”.
The Committee should not have denied your application based on a mere presumption that you are the type of person that would commit some type of nefarious act when out of public sight. For the Committee to assume guilt in advance would appear to be grossly unfair.
In previous Tribunal rulings, the Tribunal has held that if the Committee required more information from an individual then the onus is on the Committee to request it.
The Committee could have asked you: (1) Why you needed a power point? (2) What electrical appliances you intended to use? This could be relevant if common property insurance would be impacted. (3) For how long you intended to use the appliances? This is relevant if the power to be used is common property power, and would therefore burden the owner’s corporation electricity costs. (4) What financial contribution you intended to make to compensate for any common property power use?
If you believe that the owners corporation acted unreasonably in withholding its consent, you may:
(a) lodge a Fair Trading mediation application with the owners corporation and, if this is unsuccessful or has been refused by the owners corporation;
(b) lodge a strata Adjudication Application.
Thanks to everybody for your replies which have been very helpful. Just to clarify, the storage room is part of our original purchase lot and is not common property. We made it clear when we made the request, as did the previous owner who received permission for a power point, that a meter box would also be installed thus allowing us to pay our own power-usage bill.
Thanks again for the very helpful replies, we will initiate a plan of action as suggested above.
A lot would depend on the location of this store room in relation to the existing power supply circuits. Most store rooms only have provision for low wattage lighting, and the wiring may not be suitable for running high wattage appliances. There would be a lot more involved than simply hooking up a meter to the existing installation. In our block, each car space and store room has its own light circuit connected to the relevant unit’s meter, but the wiring has a very low power rating.
Boronia – In some circumstances you could very well be correct. However, “Miss Muffet’s” committee did not base their opposition to a power point on a lack of circuit capacity. Instead, “Miss Muffet’s” committee based the reason for their opposition to a power point on an unfair assumption that “Miss Muffet” may commit a future unspecified misdeed.
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