Flat Chat Forum By-laws and outlaws Current Page

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  • #52947
    AvatarTrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    Greetings fellow New South Welshmen and Women,

    My question is: can a model by-law adopted by our building be challenged at NCAT or a higher authority on the grounds that – to me it seems – it enriches or provides for possible enrichment of some owners at the expense others.

    Specifically:

    
Model by-law: 13   Cleaning windows and doors, states:
    (1)  Except in the circumstances referred to in clause (2), an owner or occupier of a lot is responsible for cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces of glass in windows and doors on the boundary of the lot, including so much as is common property.
    (2)  The owners corporation is responsible for cleaning regularly all exterior surfaces of glass in windows and doors that cannot be accessed by the owner or occupier of the lot safely or at all.

    My bone of contention is (2).

    I understand the above by-law, listed in Schedule 3 of the SSMA (NSW) wasa adopted by our bldg a few years ago, but I never noticed it until this week when at my bldg’s AGM it was resolved to register a truck load of by-laws which included many from the so-called “Model By-Laws in Schedule #3 from the SSMA (NSW)”, including #13.

    I am concerned that adopting this model by-law will allow an owner(s) who claim(s) that she or her tenant is ill, disabled, elderly etc and thereby have the OC foot the tab for cleaning that to date has been the responsibility of the individual lot owner. Also, in the event that some units are sold to say, very senior citizens, then a host of doors and windows will have to be cleaned at the OC’s cost by virtue of the by-law where in its absence ,the individual would have to clean or arrange for the cleaning herself.

    s. 106 of the SSMA (NSW) makes clear to me that the OC is responsible for common property (repairs and maintenance) and s.37 mandates that members of the SC (who pushed for this by-law) behave in a manner  benefiting everyone on the OC.
    I raised this at the AGM but was told by some that “the OC never paid for cleaning and I have nothing to worry about”. I replied “that this motion opens the door on allowing folk too claim ‘an inability to access the windows’ and by virtue of the by-law to palm off the cost of doing so, presumably by a tradesman – to the OC.

    I proposed that all doors and windows owned by the OC  be cleaned by the OC . This was rejected.

    My question is: can this “model” by-law be challenged for the gaping loop hole it created which some owners may take unfair advantage of?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the by-law is treating owners differently:
    a) Based on where the relevant part of the common property is located;

    b) By making some but not all owners responsible for the maintenance of common property at their own expense;

    c) By allowing some owners to palm off some of their responsibilities to maintain the common property (keeping it clean) upon asserting that in their opinion their states of health or physical ability preclude them from cleaning and maintaining the common property which they use;

    d) By shifting responsibility for maintaining common property from the OC to individual owners on a basis other than unit entitlements; and

    e) By shifting responsibility for maintaining common property to individual owners without their consent.

    Any thoughts?

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #52975
    AvatarTrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi Jimmy, sorry about the excess coding. I had no idea how a cut and paste job would look, but will pay close attention next time so as to avoid a repeat.

    #52974
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    There are a number of processes you can pursue at NCAT to get orders requiring your owners corporation to do or not do certain things.

    Section 232 is as good a place to start as any.

    Meanwhile, if you insist on copying a pasting material from other sources, please clean it up of any excess coding.  Your most recent post is a mess and if you can’t be bothered to tidy it up, neither can I.

     

     

    #52962
    AvatarTrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hey Kaindub,

    Thank you for your reply. As to the passing of by-laws and the required percentages, given the two SC members (representing 2 lots) hold a proxy each from ageing owners (the building in question has 5 lots), they will always have the numbers to win.

    As to your point on my “missing meetings”, when I previously asked about agendas and minutes of SC meetings, I was told “you did not receive them because there were no meetings”. At other times I was told “the agenda was posted on the noticeboard”, but I replied “we don’t have and never had a noticeboard”.
    Given the SC has no restriction on how much they can spend without referring to the OC,:
    A) must they formally meet at SC meetings (and send agendas to members of the OC and in time produce minutes) in order to make decisions that impact on the OC or can they spend money and make other decisions informally,   without informing folk like me who are not on the SC?
    B) One other query, if I may.
    The OC adopted the following from the model by-law.
    <span class=”heading”><span class=”frag-no”>18</span></span>   <span id=”sch.3-sec.18-he” class=”frag-heading”>Compliance with planning and other requirements</span>

    <span class=”frag-no”>(1)</span>  The owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that the lot is not used for any purpose that is prohibited by law.

    <span class=”frag-no”>(2)</span>  The owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that the lot is not occupied by more persons than are allowed by law to occupy the lot.

    The by-law seems reasonable to me. But I did not receive a reply to my query “what is the occupancy limit”? Surely owners/tenants need to know this in order to comply with the law.

    Thanks again.

    #52957
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    My question is: When does a window become “inaccessible”? For instance, if a window that was safely accessible to owners for years is now not so because an owner cannot access it, be it for age or health reasons, does that make it “inaccessible”?

    No, because it could be accessible by a cleaner or a neighbour or family member or support worker, and that’s exactly what the owners corporation would argue if an incapacitated owner asked them to clean their windows and they didn’t want to do it.

    #52954
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    I doubt that your building is trying to register a truck load of new bylaws.

    The model bylaws are a guide by the legislators to an acceptable rule set. Any new building post 2015 would have bylaws based on these model bylaws with any additions the developer deemed appropriate.

    Bylaws can only be added, deleted or amended by a special resolution at a general meeting. To find that the bylaws are being changed as a surprise would suggest either some subterfuge by the OC or that you missed the meeting. Remember a special resolution passes when there are less than 25% of votes cast against it.

    Additionally, since 2016, LPS requires a consolidated set of by laws. Pre 2016, to see the entirety of the bylaws required looking through a number of documents attached to the Strata Title document. Now there is one document that holds all the bylaws.
    What you have probably seen is the consolidated list of bylaws that will be submitted to LPS for registration. The list will contain all existing by laws, and any amendments or additions added at the lat general meeting.

    #52952
    AvatarTrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for your reply.

    I agree with your comment:

    “In this case, the by-law is obviously intended to pass the cost of cleaning inaccessible windows to the owners corp”.

    My question is:

    When does a window become “inaccessible”?

    For instance, if a window that was safely accessible to owners for years is now not so because an owner cannot access it, be it for age or health reasons, does that make it “inaccessible”?

    Facts:

    1. Today all windows are accessible;

    2. Most units are on the first floor;

    3. All units on the first floor renovated. The renovation was upwards and have installed attics with windows.

    The only plausible explanation I can envisage for this by-law  is that while today all windows are accessible, those who have renovated and installed attic windows will in time not be accessible to the seniors who own them and hence their great enthusiasm for this by-law at the AGM.

    Am I (living on the ground floor) wrong to worry about this?

     

    #52951
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Greetings fellow New South Welshmen and Women, My question is: can a model by-law adopted by our building be challenged at NCAT or a higher authority on the grounds that – to me it seems – it enriches or provides for possible enrichment of some owners at the expense others.

    Any by-law can be challenged by anyone for any reason – but that doesn’t mean the plaintiff would have any chance of success.  In this case, the by-law is obviously intended to pass the cost of cleaning inaccessible windows to the owners corp and has nothing to do with people who aren’t (or claim they aren’t) able to clean accessible windows themselves.

    You provide no example of this and you seem to be seeking problems where none exist.  This is all bordering too close to “bush lawyering” for comfort.

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Flat Chat Forum By-laws and outlaws Current Page