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  • #49873

    I am sorry for posting various topics over recent weeks as our 8 unit strata in Melbourne is very dysfunctional.

    I am looking for advice on how to handle the following tricky problem:

    I am treasurer and have been having conversations with the new chairperson. The chairperson and another unit holder have been pushing for the removal of the current gardener/maintenance man with the previous man. When I have challenged the chairperson on the horticultural qualifications and the excess charge for materials by the previous gardener, she has swept the questions under the carpet. She seems to have a vendetta against the current gardener.

    Recently the chairperson held a hastily notified meeting (less than 1 days notice) where there was 1) a vote on removing the current gardener and 2) vote for installing the previous gardener (as this is the cheapest quote from 3 quotes excluding the current gardener). With 4 Yes and 3 No for 1) the motion was passed to remove the current gardener. I did not stay for the second vote.  One person did not vote. When I left the meeting I met this person – they said they would vote No for removing the current gardener. We have received no communication from the chairperson about the results of these votes.

    In all of this, the chairperson has not acted fairly and objectively.

    Subsequently the strata manager told us that the meeting was invalid as 3 days notice wasn’t given and no agenda was provided.

    It is most likely another meeting will need to be held with a proper agenda. What can I do to make sure everything is done fairly and objectively?. When the agenda comes out, I was thinking that I reply with 1) the suggestion that all quotes including the previous gardener should be assessed against criteria (such as qualifications, experience, services provided and costs) and 2) cost comparison between the current gardener and the previous gardener showing the current gardener is much cheaper than the previous gardener.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.



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  • #50005

    What do we do if no one wants to be a chairperson ? Is there such a thing as an independent chairperson ?

    In Victoria the lot owners must elect a member to be the chairperson of the owners corporation. Without a chair, any committee decisions might not be lawful so they’d be no point in having a committee.

    So technically, without a chairperson, the OC could only be run by the strata manager or by the whole OC itself with decisions made at general meetings.

    Many smaller stratas  (eg 3 or 4 lots) are actually run that way.  Rather casual but if no one complains, it just carries on…

    SMs charge fees according to their contract of appointment.




    The chairperson was the only unit owner amongst the eight of us who was willing to take the role.

    Unfortunately the chairperson has acted recently without fairness, honesty and objectivity.

    What do we do if no one wants to be a chairperson ?  Is there such a thing as an independent chairperson ?

    Who would this be ?  the strata manager ?  How much they charge per hour ?


    I would suggest that you urgently place a motion on the agenda requesting approval/extension of current contract. You could add your quotes and reasonings so that owners will understand. That way, owners are prepared and fully informed BEFORE the next meeting.

    The Secretary/SM cannot refuse to add your motion to the agenda as long as it is worded appropriately and received prior to next agenda.

    As well, others may correct me here, but I would have thought that a general meeting is required to terminate a contract  – not a committee meeting.

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