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The owner of a unit in our building has the approval of the Owners Corporation to waterproof the bathroom in the unit and also, on the advice of his engineer, (paid by the Owners Corp), has also got the approval for the waterproofing of the unit above (due to leaking problems). This was all agreed at an EGM vote when the majority voting agreed that the Owners Corp would pay for both units’ waterproofing.
But there was confusion about another issue, the payment of the ‘reinstatement’ of the bathrooms or the ‘renovations’. The owner of the first unit had previously written to the committee: “Although the owners corporation would normally be required to ‘reinstate’ I think it is fairer, that because the owners of the units would get a benefit of a ‘renovation’ rather than just reinstatement to existing level of appearance and wear and tear, that we need to discuss the level of support the Owners Corporation should make rather than pay for the lot of renovation.”
This owner said he would pay for his ‘renovation’ while he made a decision that the other owner (above) should have the Owners Corp support of 13K for his bathroom. This was put to a vote as well, and 4 out of the only 5 people who did vote agreed. (Most owners in the building didn’t bother to vote at all and the owners of the units involved couldn’t vote due to either a conflict of interest).
The strata manager who chaired the meeting had a proxy vote from one of the owners who agreed to the waterproofing but disagreed with the 13K payment for the reno. The manager did not tell those present about that disagreement (we found out later). I also disagreed that the Owners Corp should pay for a renovation when we didn’t know what kind of tiles, bath, shower, vanity etc would be chosen. I was talked down by the strata manager (no longer with the management company). Would be very grateful for any opinions from the experts about whether this was handled in the best way.
It is very common in this kind of situation for the owner of a bathroom that is being renovated to take a payment for the component of the renovation that the OC would have to undertake anyway (fixing a leaking membrane) while renovating the whole bathroom.
The OC is entitled to ensure that the tiles are fit for purpose and that the work is done by a licensed operator with valid warranties attached. They might only pay for like-for-like tiles (allowing the owner to upgrade to a more expensive tile at their own expense). But otherwise, this has to be seen as a win-win.
I would expect the OC to obtain quotes for reinstatement and then reach a figure that the OC is willing to pay toward the works. The amount has to be based on something.
Absolutely. The other owner can’t get a whole bathroom refurb paid for just because their tiles are dodgy.
The owner needs to have it explained to them that there are dozen ways the committee can hold this up, potentially for years – and the owner still won’t get what he or she wants – if they don’t apply a little commonsense to the proceedings.
Usually for such cases, the costs are divided by the top and bottom levels. If the repair costs are too high, then the total amount could be divided by both parties plus the local building authorities or a relevant body. This should have been made a common understanding to prevent disagreements like this. Things could have been settled much easier if there is a standard set of regulations for such a situation that occurs quite commonly.
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