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    I own a strata unit and self manage my tenant. I have been receiving Cost Recovery Notices of $550 for my tenant who continues to park in violation of the By-Laws. He has been warned and i have asked him to park in his garage but he hasn’t changed his behaviour.

    He believes the Owners Corp cannot charge him Cost Recovery Notices of $550 for parking in contravention of the By-Laws. He has asked me to take the Owners Corp to the NCAT to challenge them and have him represent me. I don’t know the legalities of that and am not sure if i am comfortable with that approach. In the mean time he is not paying me because he believes these notices are illegal.

    I wrote to the owners corporation saying sending me the Cost Recovery Notices was harsh and unjust as i cannot park his car. They rejected my view and resent the notice with an interest charge.

    I have become the meat in the sandwich and without a legal degree feel i need some guidance.


    I’m not sure what you mean by a cost recovery notice (recovery of what?) but it’s pretty simple, an OC can’t impose fines for a by-law breach. An OC has to apply to NCAT to impose a penalty for a by-law breach.

    So you can ignore whatever these notices are.  They can’t charge interest either.

    However, a tenant is obliged to comply with the by-laws. The OC can apply to NCAT for the tenant to be fined, presuming they have issued notices to comply. I suggest you tell the tenant to comply or risk a penalty if the OC gets it right.


    Agree with Scottie – unless the costs notices are from NCAT or a District Court they are invalid.  Some schemes send these out to scare residents – especially tenants – into obeying by-laws.  It’s a form of bullying.

    Nevertheless, your tenant sounds like a piece of work – he won’t park his car in the garage and now he won’t pay his rent because of an invalid fine.

    You are being bullied by both parties but there is a simple solution – the tenant can be evicted for non-payment of rent.  The committee can be invited to take you to NCAT to try to enforce their illegal fine.

    You just need to extricate yourself from this situation and you really don’t need a law degree to do it.

    If you need help, contact our sponsors Strata Answers who will sort things out for you for a small fee.



    While I agree the stata’s fine is not legal, I do not agree that imposing a fine is a form of bullying. As the secretary of a large strata for many years, the law is woefully inadequate in this area. Building management and volunteer committee members spend a significant amount of time dealing with a small minority of residents, typically tenants, who consider that they are not required to comply with bylaws. This is time we should be spending on productive works. Making life uncomfortable for a tennant who considers themselves somehow exempt from bylaws is often a a more productive use of our time.

    If a tennant stops paying rent for whatever reason, evict them and get a tennant who pays their rent.


    Crispy said: “I do not agree that imposing a fine is a form of bullying …”

    I don’t think fining residents for by-law breaches is bullying – and that’s not what I wrote –  but demanding payment for “costs” that have no legal basis definitely is.

    I am aware of one major strata law firm that advises its committees to hammer residents with these bogus costs claims, knowing perfectly well that they are unenforceable. Sooner or later someone is going to complain about them to Fair Trading (who will do precisely nothing except maybe tell them to stop … maybe).

    And I am aware of some committees who use the threat of costs to silence dissenting owners.

    I completely empathise with any committee that’s having to deal with serial offenders and have often written that issuing several warnings before issuing a Notice To Comply is a waste of time and sends out the wrong signal.

    I think communities only work when a fair set of rules is imposed fairly – and that means giving people a chance to stop their bad behaviour and then hammering them when they choose not to change their ways.  That is precisely what Notices to Comply are for, and they are undermined by threats of bogus “costs” payments.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by .


    I agree with crispy…………does that make us a gang?


    Agree with what?  His/her misinterpretaion of what I wrote?

    Or are you agreeing that imposing bogus fines that won’t stand up to challenge is not bullying?

    And no, you are not a gang, merely a duet, singing from the same song sheet.


    It is bullying or a form of harassment – the end doesn’t justify the means, however frustrating you may find someone’s behaviour.

    Anyone who thinks it is ok to send a demand for money with no legal basis, coupled in this case with an “interest charge” should know that that is fraud, i.e. a criminal act. It is the same as demanding payment of a fake tax debt. Stop it immediately, or you may find yourself in quite a bit of trouble.



    Thank you

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