Roundup:  $130k legal bill for a lawless committee


It was back in April that Whoopi wrote to us about her legal battles with her committee which at that stage had cost her $30,000 and she expected to go up to $60k.

She finally won at tribunal the other week, by which time the legal bill – which will now have to be paid by her neighbours – had risen to $130,000.

Why, she asks, is there no organisation that will get involved on the spot and tell committees, especially, when they are in the wrong?

Why is it left to individual owners to roll the dice on a dispute and hope they win?  OK, she won, but it was to the cost of friendships and her work and health – and $130k of her neighbours’ hard-earned cash.

We often joke here that there’s no such thing as stratakops.  Well, maybe it’s time there was – someone who could come along and tell a committee and owners who’s right and who’s wrong and how much not doing the right thing is going to cost.

You can follow Whoopi’s sorry saga here.

Meanwhile, our first poll (for a while) wasn’t the resounding success I had hoped for – partly I think because it was hard to see exactly where to click.

But 15 people managed and the weight of opinion was that we should expect our strata committees to represent us as a group in the wider community.  I will give the computer a thump later to see  if that fixes confusing presentation.

For those of you who prefer to listen than read, there’s another podcast of last week’s James Valentine’s Flat Chat slot where we talked about that same issue – that’s over there on the left under Podcasts.

We didn’t have that many new topics last week – everybody was still chewing over the leftovers from the previous week. But Flatchatters have made up for it this week with another selection of questions and queries from the magic pudding of problems that strata seems to be.

  • Can a committee member or strata manager enter your apartment without permission, even if it’s to photograph a potential problem? That’s HERE.
  • What can you do about a complaint about smoke drift when there isn’t a smoking by-law in place? That’s HERE.
  • What are our chances of getting a staturory strata manager appointed when the scheme is still functioning … but dysfunctionally? That’s HERE.
  • It’s my parquetry and I’ll cry if I want to! The floor is common property but it’s been sanded and lacquered by various owners and now it’s falling apart. Fix it or replace it? That’s HERE.
  • A win for common sense and safety over a balustrade that was too low. That’s HERE.

By the time you read this, there will be a whole new bunch of issues up for discussion on the Flat Chat forum.  Don’t miss out – if you haven’t already done so, register for our newsletter now.

And pass this on to a friend who lives in strata.  It could turn out to be the best gift you could ever give them.

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