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  • #45180
    AvatarEnough of Strata
    Flatchatter

    Maybe I have blown an opportunity to expose the actions of C’tee members (past & present), which has cost the OC about $25K by withdrawing (what I consider) a solid case that should proceed to NCAT, at a Mediation Session.

    In an analysis, I feel I may have been unduly influenced in the Mediation, as by proceeding it would cause further financial cost to the OC and disruption in OC management, by potentially seeking the removal of the C’tee members.  I subsequently regret the decision I took.

    Can anyone advise if I am able to re-apply and go through the same process again or would that be rejected, on the basis that the matter has been withdrawn. I understand the C’tee will try and rectify the issue (to cover the main problem) at the next AGM by way of a resolution, and they will have the votes as few Lot owners attend.

    The matter has several parts, and I am not prepared to carry the financial burden myself of engaging a Lawyer, for Lot owners who have no interest other that being an owner and paying their levies.

    I have discussed the issue with 3 other Lot owners, however while they agree there is an issue, (and agree the C’tee members have done the wrong thing) they are not willing to get involved and do not attend Meetings. The Chair has warned me off contacting other lot owners on the matter (obviously for a reason). The next AGM is due within a couple of months and the current C’tee (as I understand) will re-nominate.

    I recall Jimmy wrote in a post some time ago which said something like: “You get the Committee you deserve” when commenting on Lot owners who do not want to get involved in their Strata. I agree with that.

    I read an early post by Scotlandx – (now a moderator) related to his experience at NCAT unassisted by a Lawyer, and hope to do the same but doubt I am as savvy and feel I need some guidance.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by .
    #45218
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I’m not sure what it is that you want to achieve as you suggest that the committee will rectify the problem at the next AGM.

    If it’s just a matter of holding the committee members accountable, and allowing owners to understand what has occurred, perhaps a motion to the AGM calling on the owners corproation to censure the committee members, with an explanatory note attached outlining the issues concerned, would be enough.

    Obviously, the committee may try to block this but, as politicians all over the world discover on a daily basis, it’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover-up.

    Regarding having withdrawn the complaint at mediation, you can still proceed with action at NCAT simply by saying that the conditions of your withdrawal have nor been met.  Or you can go again, saying you were misled and the problem has not been resolved.

    But, without knowing all the details, I think that presenting a censure motion to the AGM, and having the same committee members vote it down or block it, may be the only trigger you need to reopen the case.

    #45329
    AvatarEnough of Strata
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Jimmy – Quite reluctant to go into detail on matter but some info may give show the dilema: – Really do not want to get sued (aware of recent cases & your note of caution on such matter).  However will give some info so you can understand, with the desire it won’t get posted (as I may be identified). A blind response (without my data -if you think appropriate) may help, but will understand if you choose to discard the post completely as not appropriate for this forum.

    While reluctant to provide important details here goes: There was a proposal to change all balustrades on an 18 Lot complex put up in a personal capacity by a C’tee Mbr which would also add Privacy screens as identified from the single quote at an EGM <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>(Special Resolution)</span>. B<span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>alcony safety issues were raised as an important reason. C’tee Mbr proposing wanted in addition screens all round (to improve value) – Prior, that owner /C’tee mbr complained of sun reflection from a neighbouring roof to their Unit.  The Mtg rejected the proposal -</span> Nil in favour. Mtg wanted a Structural Engineer to provide a report on balconies (we wanted to know exactly what the issues <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>claimed</span> were) & based on that get quotes for “required repairs” (there could have been several options, Vs full balustrade replacement).   S/Engineers report rec’d: Did not note any safety issues;  An unusual reference stated the report was “to report on the slabs PRIOR to balustrade replacement” (quite different to what was understood as No decision had been taken to change the balustrades). It was also NOT consistent with the W/Order (subsequently located) issued to the S/Engineer which referred to check for “Repairs” required. After all work was completed, the S/Engineer was queried on his “Purpose” report reference & he advised the then S/Mgr verbally advised this change. (a big Issue).  The S/Engineer’s report did not note it was a verbal instruction. The recommendation / scope of works was:-  “Balustrades should be replaced with a selected proprietary balustrade system to BCA requirements designed / installed to Aust Standards”. Quotes were to be sourced based on the S/Engineers report/ Scope of works & presented to next AGM for approval.  Quotes for the change of Balustrades were sought – initially 2 were rec’d (both without Privacy Screens) – with 2 more pending  at the time of an unofficial C’tee Mtg to discuss quotes was arranged, approaching the AGM. (No official C’tee M’tgs’ since 2016). All C’tee M’brs were aware Privacy Screens <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>were contrary to the Recommendation / Scope of works) & af</span>ter all the work was completed (see below), access to E-mails indicate the C’tee Mbrs were aware Privacy Screens were going to be ADDED as a quote requirement.  A record (E-mail) shows S/Mgr being advised P/Screen would be included in quotes by one C’tee Mbr. Quotes accompanied the motion (which was an Ordinary resolution) for the AGM to change the Balustrades, which stated the all quotes are “in accordance with Structural Engineers recommended Scope of works”. (Which they were not . ie That was a false / misleading statement, as there was no reference to P/Screens).  Here we see an additional irregularity – Either the C’tee directed the Motion wording or there was possibly collusion. One quote stated that privacy screens were included per instruction issued on (date) by the strata representative (C’tee Mbr)- with the contractor probably covering himself as his quote request stated as per Engineers report & P/Screens were not listed.   At the AGM the Motion was an Ordinary resolution, but the P/Screens being added required a Special Resolution, and the matter was challenged. The then S/Mgr advised the meeting – if not passed immediately will call an EGM in 2 weeks and it will pass then as a Special resolution. [If the same number of Owners attended in 2 weeks it would not have passed due to votes and proxies available at the AGM]. Few other than C’tee members attended. The Motion passed & later new balustrades with P/Screens were installed.   The quotes left 2 Lots without P/Screens and a Lot owner complained he did not get his, so one C’tee member decided (on own initiative) to add 2 more for about $3,500. The Total cost was abt $60k for all work with the P/Screens – about 1/2 of the total cost of the work. Most Lot owners were and are still unaware of what happened. They should have been appraised of all the circumstances and had an opportunity to vote on that basis but they were totally left out of the loop. In my view there has likely been a breach of S37 C’tee member duties.

    I decided that I did not want to be represented by 2 of the 4 C’Tee Mbrs still involved and sought confirmation in letters via the new S/Mgr about the unofficial C’Tee M’tg where I believed the decision to add P/Screens had likely been made and their part in it.  I did not get an answer to my questions but did get an aggressive response.  I was of the view that NCAT might possibly deem their actions inappropriate and remove them. Foolishly I provided all the supporting evidence in the data for mediation, to subsequently notice that s 223 (2) appears to prevent this information from being used at NCAT.

    Then I blew it at Mediation.

    I believe there will be a motion at the next AGM (Special Resolution) to retrospectively approve that the Privacy Screens. (This is what I referred to in my original post as an attempt to put things right).

    I can only see difficulties in removing the C’tee members who want to hold on.

    Disregard if you think it is not appropriate to relate.

     

    #45347
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I have left this post as it arrived to let everyone see the amount of coding crap that I am expected to clean up when Flatchatters copy and paste from other sources, using (I think) Apple-based software.

    I have asked repeatedly for posters to clean up their posts or copy and paste from txt or rtf files – it’s really easy if you just make a small effort – before posting here.

    No one can help if they can’t read your posts and I’m not going to spend hours cleaning up after you.

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