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  • #54282
    VME
    Flatchatter

    Hi All,

    I was wondering if someone could shed some light on a matter I am trying to resolve with my strata regarding CCTV.

    Five years ago I asked for permission to put CCTV cameras pointing to my car spaces and the spaces of a few other neighbours. This was after a number of break-ins in the garage and no action from the SC. We funded it and I have managed it since.

    So approval was requested, we discussed how many cameras were going to be installed and where they would point to. The committee granted approval and it was installed. However the committee at the time didn’t do proper proceedings to record the approval.

    Now the current committee secretary is alleging that the CCTV system is unauthorised and wants to have it removed simply because he can’t find records of the formalities. There is enough evidence to support the fact it was indeed approved and several members of the current committee were in the committee then and would have participated in this approval process.

    Is thee a law that says that if it has been more than X amount of years it deemed approved and legal since it was known and no action was taken?

    Not to mention the fact that it has been 5 years and everyone but the new secretary knew about it from day one.

    I would like to put this matter to rest, what is the best course of action to address this? This has become a very big issue to me since it will affect my insurance policy, not to mention that I won’t be able to detect any break-ins until I discover damage to the vehicles or a missing vehicle.

    Note that none of the cameras see into private property, they are in an underground car park.

    Thanks in advance.
    VME

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  • #54288
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    As I’m sure you now realise, the legal issue here is that you installed what was essentially private property on common property.  That should have been done under a common property by-law, ascribing responsibility for and maintenance of the cameras, and the common property to which they are attached, either to the owners corporation or to you (and/or other interested owners).

    There is no law that I know of that says that becasue the cameras have been there for however many years that they must be allowed to stay.

    However, you can propose a retrospective by-law that does whatever it is the owners want that would allow the cameras to stay.

    Failing that, you could seek orders under Section 126 or Section 130 of the Act.  The former allows NCAT to compel the owners corp to pass certain by-laws.  The latter allows the Tribunal to order the owners corporation to acquire personal property when they have refused to do so.

    But before you get to that stage, you really need to sit down with the chair and the committee and ask them what their objection to the cameras is.  If its simply a procedural matter, then that can be resolved by tying up the loose ends via by-laws at your next AGM.

    If there is some more fundamental issue, then you may have to go to a general meeting of the owners corp, or  NCAT to have it resolved.  And you may have to request an interim order at NCAT if there is any indication that the chairman will order the cameras to be removed before the issue is settled.

    Certainly under section 126 of the Act, the tribunal may take into account whether or not you had any prior approval.  If you can get some committee members to at least concede that these matters were discussed before the cameras went in, that should work in your favour.

    But I would take the softly, softly approach on this.  Don’t back the chairman into a corner where he feels he has to stick by the letter of the law to defend his authority. Ask him what it is that he really wants.  Only if he’s being totally unreasonable should you then pull out the big guns.

    s

     

    #54291
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    I support everything that Jimmy said.

    One observation from your enquiry is that it seems that a majority of the committee are on your side.

    Motions before both the committee and the Owners Corporation in general need only a majority to pass.

    Despite virulent protests by certain people it is the majority who decide.

    Play nice and get your votes in a row and all should be good.

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