Child safety locks - still not installed.... | The Professionals | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Child safety locks - still not installed....
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LawoftheLand
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30/03/2018 - 8:58 pm
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Hi,

The budgeting and implementing of the child safety locks that were raised & minuted in November’s AGM, and in several follow-up emails by the S/C to the Strata Manager thereafter, have not been addressed.  The deadline for the locks were 13 March 2018 and we still haven’t had any notice from the Strata Manager that anything has been organised. So presently the building is essentially non-compliant.

The S/C has been requesting the Strata Manager act on outstanding issues for six months now – garden rejuvenation, building doors fixed (to alleviate several break enter and steal offences), external common property painting, roof/guttering repairs etc.  

As advised by the Strata Manager, we have a build up of excess admin funds – so the above items were agreed upon to do in the AGM.  Also at the same AGM the Strata Manager ‘recommended’ we change the fire protection company, to a company he suggested, we agreed to.

Now six months down the track, nothing on the S/C list has been done, (and yes there were countless emails sent with no replies, some had vague descriptions of when work was suppose to commence but never did) and we receive an 80 page document from the ‘recommended’ fire protection company from an audit they conducted – with several quotes to the tune of $25,000! 

Other than submitting a complaint to OFT (which I have already done, their present wait time is 12 weeks) can you provide any other advice on what to do?

I’m in NSW.

Thank you.

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Lady Penelope
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30/03/2018 - 9:57 pm
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If I was on the Committee of your scheme and the issues are urgent (which clearly some of them are!) rather than wait for several months for the OFT to resolve these issues, I would want the Committee to take over the responsibility for completing all of the outstanding issues e.g. installing window locks etc.

Your SM is clearly incompetent and does not deserve to be employed by your OC.

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Stratabox.com.au
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01/04/2018 - 8:57 am
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From the situation you describe, it may be time for you to look at changing Strata Management company! And if you’d like to improve your communications and administration processes, we’d love to help!

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Mr Strata
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02/04/2018 - 7:20 am
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It does sound like it is time to change strata manager.

Just because you have a strata manager doesn’t stop your strata committee getting these matters sorted out. They (the SC) can engage contractors and have the bills sent to the strata manager with an approval from the committee to pay the bill.

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LawoftheLand
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02/04/2018 - 9:14 pm
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Strata box – thanks for your reply. This company only came on board in January 2017 and there is nothing more I would like than to change companies.  The general apathy here is outstanding, other SC members continue to email in the same requests as they have for the last six months with no resolution. The building is in an appalling condition as only 2 out of 5 insurance companies bothered to provide a quote – that says everything.

 

Mr Strata – that all seems to defeat the purpose of employing them – it is such a long and drawn out process re: OFT & NCAT, but I have started the process and submitted a complaint to OFT.  It is such an unregulated industry and with all the high rise apartments shooting up over Sydney – these Strata companies would be rubbing their hands together with glee.

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Stratabox.com.au
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03/04/2018 - 6:08 pm
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LawoftheLand, you are definitely not alone in this situation. We get a lot of customers explaining how dysfunctional the management of their building is with general apathy and total lack of interest from investors. This can only end in tears with costs blowouts or buildings slowly falling in disrepair.
 
We hope that we can help reconnect people so the situation improves. And you are correct, with the large number of buildings going up, it will become a major issue. I recently saw AGM papers for a 300 lot building with attendance of just 3…
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newlsie
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04/04/2018 - 6:33 am
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I understand there is a $550 fine for those OC’s that have missed the deadline to install window restrictors / locks.  Does anyone know if that is per building or per window?

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newlsie
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Hi folks,  We have had 3 windows fall to the ground from common property windows in our 6 story building.  At a recent conference I was told by three insurance experts that our building is not insured should another window fall to the ground and hurt someone.  The response I got from some owners when they heard this news was ‘prove it’.  Short of calling the insurance company does anyone know how I can ‘prove it’.  The most recent window fell out in February and the SC has done nothing.  Thanks in advance

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BONNIE L
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21/04/2018 - 10:39 am
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Hi there, Anyone querying why their building still has not got child locks? Is it the strata firm holding things up?  If so, can understand all the firms are pretty busy. Any clues please will help, thanks so much.  (Ours is held up maybe as renovations elsewhere in the view, or for reasons unknown  – so far.)

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LawoftheLand
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23/04/2018 - 8:52 pm
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Hi Bonnie L,

A good Strata Manager would have budgeted and had them implemented by the due date.  Our locks are still outstanding, am sure there is a mass of Unit blocks all over Sydney that are still waiting.

Our S/M sent out a quote from (what I call) one of their “preferred providers” that came to a staggering $11,500 for a block of 43 that would be applied to 30 units (13 are on the ground floor). Am pretty sure the part itself would be less tha $20 from Bunnings.  

After I spoke with another company, a second quote was supplied, it amazingly came in at half the price of the first quote.

So as long as the company is fully compliant, then there is nothing stopping yourself obtaining quotes for the S/C to approve. I would definitely recommend it as in my experience these quotes are always significantly less. Funny that.

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JimmyT
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23/04/2018 - 9:06 pm
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I am reliably informed that because so many strata schemes left this to the last minute, installers are over-subscribed and that allows them to ramp up their charges, if they so desire.

Who’s to blame?  The backsliders and foot-draggers would have to accept their share. 

Also, strata schemes can just employ tradespeople to install locks and can even pass the responsibility on to individual owners via a by- law.  Have a look at this factsheet

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JimmyT
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24/04/2018 - 8:10 am
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newlsie said
I understand there is a $550 fine for those OC’s that have missed the deadline to install window restrictors / locks.  Does anyone know if that is per building or per window?  

Section 118  of the NSW Act on window safety devices says “An owners corporation for a strata scheme … must ensure that there are complying window safety devices for all windows of each building in the strata scheme that are windows to which this section applies. Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.”
 
I’m no lawyer but I would say that any breach would be a failure to ensure that there were complying devices for “all windows” rather than each window. In other words, you could be fined each time you were breached until all windows were compliant, rather than fined for each window that was in breach.
 
Penalty units are currently $110 so the MAXIMUM fine would be $550 but that could be imposed several times until the breach was rectified. 
 
What’s not clear to me is who complains? Also, Fair Trading says that the Owners Corp can pass this duty on to owners via a by-law. but this fact sheet from eminent strata lawyers says that is definitely NOT the case.
 
No wonder people are confused.
 
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