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I’m hoping you can help me – I own a unit in a block of ten on the Northern Beaches, NSW and my strata levies have gone up by 700%…yes, you’ve read correctly, it’s not a typo. My levies have increased from $900 per quarter to $7,250 per quarter. Not a special levy, there are no immediate works planed and when I enquired what the dramatic increase in levies was for it I was told it was for re-concreting the driveway; installing automated roller garage doors; installing/repairing damaged common toilet door; installing new laundry windows; interior painting and having window locks installed to be Strata compliant (yep, we still haven’t got them). As no quotes have been provided for these works, I did some estimation work via the internet and discovered these vaguely proposed works only amount to $35,999.00, which we currently have sufficient funds to cover.
Item Price Total of proposed works Common toilet door $925.00 $35,999.00 Automated garage doors $10,000.00 Painting $11,560.00 Locks $1,514.00 Driveway $5,000.00 Laundry Windows $7,000.00
I’m therefore wondering firstly, if 700% increase in quarterly levies is actually allowable, especially as there are no works planned or quotes provided, plus minutes from the AGM where this was agreed to are yet to be circulated, so receipt of the levy notice was the first myself and other unit holders knew about it – I have asked for the minutes to be circulated and I am still waiting.
Secondly, after reading your post from 11/14 http://www.flat-chat.com.au/levies-high-low/ there is no valid reason for levies to be this high as we have no swimming pool, no lifts, no gym, the building is not air-conditioned nor is it a security building plus automated roller doors may not be possible as there is no power in the garages, plus the garages at the rear don’t have the space required for the automated unit. So could I propose that I continue to pay the quarterly levy of $900.00 and then a special levy for my share of $25,999.00 over a 3-5 year period (3-5 years is generally the time it takes for ideas/proposed works to become actual works, if at all)
Lastly, this is not the first time we have been asked to raise large amounts of money without quotes or even estimations. At last year’s AGM there was a resolution to raise $700,000.00 for works to be done on balconies, no works were carried out and that resolution was rescinded at this year’s AGM. And in Nov 2016 there was a resolution to raise that same sum being $700,000.00, payable by March 2017 but no works was carried out and no money was raised; the seems to be a pattern of continually raising money, yet no foundation for doing so. Just wondering what protection there is for monies raised. And as per Forum Question: AGM decision – can something done against it, would these works be considered an upgrade and therefore require 75% vote.
Whilst I’m on the executive committee I have the feeling I am not fully informed of matters and have raised this with the strata manager. When I asked who voted for the levy increase I was given the vague response of ‘the owners did’, I was given another vague response of ‘we are’ when I asked who the signatories on the account are, when I asked to have information resent to me I was instructed by him that I would have to do a strata search and when I asked what my options were available to meet the increase I was threatened with legal action if I didn’t meet them. I find all of this behaviour very concerning and I’m just wondering what my rights are – I’m a sole parent of two children who both have medical needs, I was unable to attend the last two meetings as my daughter required an operation, I need to know where I stand so my children aren’t affected by the above.
Thanks in advance for your help – can provide more information if required.
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