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12/11/2019 at 12:16 pm #44684shakeydealFlatchatter
Our neighbours have four people in their 2 bedroom unit. They have recently had a fifth member staying with them, for over six months now, so we assume that person is permanent. Is there a maximum number of tenants per unit, and do the tenants need to inform the landlord if they are adding a new member? We also have noted that this one unit now has the same number of people living in it as the other 4 units combined. What can we do about sharing water/utility costs more evenly? This is in South Australia.12/11/2019 at 12:59 pm #44698Jimmy-TKeymaster
I had an answer all lined up for this … until I got to the line about being in SA.
If you were in NSW, you’d be allowed to bring in a by-law limiting the maximum number of residents to two adults per bedroom.
Now, it might be interesting to get a copy of the tenancy agreement for the unit, as that might specify how many people are allowed in it. And if the tenants are in breach of their rental agreement, they could be in breach of your by-laws
Also your DA for the block might say how many people the unit is designed to accommodate, although that would be harder to argue in a court or tribunal.
You could try to amend your water levies or contributions to reflect the number of residents per apartment, However that would require a unanimous agreement at a general meeting, according to this handy guide.
By the way, under SA strata law, a unanimous agreement is one where a vote at a general meeting is passed unopposed. So you don’t need everyone in the scheme to agree and you don’t even need everyone at the meeting to vote in favour – as long as no-one votes against.
If the owner of the unit is an absentee, you could sneak the new regulation into the AGM agenda (by using non-alarming language) and they might not even notice if they don’t attend the AGM.
Or you could install separate water meters for each unit and charge the residents accordingly – whichj is a good idea anyway.13/11/2019 at 3:23 pm #44767M SFlatchatter
If it was NSW, I’d add that the law here has a get-out clause. The (state) law about having no more than two adults per bedroom does not apply if the adults are all related.
Also of interest re water supply. We started to investigate separate meters, and the local water authority was happy to supply them. Now we’ve started to hear that water authorities in other regions will happily supply meters – but will only read and bill one meter, leaving the OC to try and apportion the bills to individual units.
In NSW it’s also illegal for an owner to pass on to the tenant either a standing fee (strata properties) or some water-related charge, unless the property is individually metered.
And yes it’s annoying that one unit can use such a large amount of water and expect others to pay for it.
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