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  • #53189
    AvatarDaisy55
    Flatchatter

    Victoria. In a large multi-use highrise the level 2 courtyard was designed with no regards to the evacuation route designed by fire engineers. Hard landscaping leaves nowhere except a tiny zig zag route for a single wheelchair.

    Recently the OC installed a large concrete barbecue, tables and seats across the other evacuation path shown on plans done in 2011 and not updated.

    This is a committee of 5 chosen by developer in 2014 who don’t provide notices of meetings and were originally elected by 210 empty storage cage votes.

    An informal residents committee arranged Fire Services Victoria to report on the site but they are not eligible to see the report.

    Are the OC allowed to block fire routes and what recourse do residents have, that doesnt cost them?

    This evacuation route has never been tested and residents have never had drills. They don’t know about any exits other than the front foyer door.

    This route takes residents to a staircase behind a gym on level 2 in the attached downstairs shopping mall.

    The OC manages both the mall and residential tower. Although this is unconstitutional we can’t afford to dismiss them. So what else can we do to get our evacuation safety concerns taken seriously?

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  • #53201
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    This is a committee of 5 chosen by developer in 2014 who don’t provide notices of meetings and were originally elected by 210 empty storage cage votes. An informal residents committee arranged Fire Services Victoria to report on the site but they are not eligible to see the report.

    Are the OC allowed to block fire routes and what recourse do residents have, that doesnt cost them … although this is unconstitutional we can’t afford to dismiss them. So what else can we do to get our evacuation safety concerns taken seriously?

    This is also related to this question about the validity of the strata committee and the difference between the plans submitted to council and those registere with the authorities.

    Victorian strata law is literally 10 years behins NSW sytrata law but there are still many similarities.  One of them, I believe, is that owners are allowed to see all corespondence with the owners corproation, and all documentation held by it.

    However, one of  your biggest problem is that you want to take on a developer/manager embedded in an unfair and possibly illegals system and you want to do it at no cost.

    That isn’t going to happen.  There are remedies that would allow you to sort this whole thing out and, at the end of the day, might result in your lega costs being paid by the other side, but there are no guarantees.

    In your position, I would be looking at having the committee sacked by VCAT and replaced with a strata manager, under section 165.1 (h) and (i) (below) but you are not going to be able to do that without the assistance of very competent strata lawyers.

    Your first step may be to organise your neighbours to examine what your options are and decide what to do.  And your first battle may be to take the Owners Corporation to VCAT to force them to let you see all correspondence.

    165 What orders can VCAT make?

    (1) In determining an owners corporation dispute, VCAT may make any order it considers fair including one or more of the following—

    (h) an order appointing (with the person’s consent) or revoking the appointment of—
    (i) the chairperson of the owners corporation;
    (ii) the secretary of the owners corporation;
    (iii) a member of a committee or sub-committee of the owners corporation;

    (i) an order—

    (i) appointing a person (with the person’s consent) as manager of the owners corporation, on specified                       terms and conditions;
    (ii) revoking the appointment of a manager of an owners corporation;
    (iii) imposing conditions or restrictions on the management by a manager of the owners corporation;

    (j) an order in relation to damaged or destroyed buildings or improvements;

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