25/06/2019 at 11:33 am #38281
Hi everyone. So in March last year my wife and I bought into a complex of 18 units. It’s been a bit of a nightmare dealing with the strata manager and committee but the latest issue is a real concern to us. We have been told we can’t fasten anything to our boundary fence as the committee own it.
A few weeks ago now we noticed a brick wall that divides our front yard from our neighbours has serious cracking and leaning. After a bit of a battle they agreed to send an engineer to look at it. He concluded that it was never built properly back in the 70’s and that a colourbond fence at the front of our property is the only thing holding it up (this fence is now also buckling under the weight of the brick wall it is supporting).
He has reccomended the brick wall be knocked down, a property retaining wall be built with a fence on top of it. We have myself and 4 other members on the OC. I have voted, one other has voted and one has asked questions trying to find a way out of the committee paying for the new wall but hasn’t officially voted. The other 2 have not replied to any emails.
I have asked the strata manager to send a follow up email asking for OC members to vote and she hasn’t done so. Firstly, is it even a question of voting or does the OC have to just fix it being a safety issue and a huge hazard if the wall comes down?
Secondly, How do I get the OC and the strata manager to do what is expected of them in these positions without turning everyone against us and entering a few years of hell. Should also mention, we are in NSW. Appreciate any advice and/or info
25/06/2019 at 3:56 pm #38283
- This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
In Qld our legislation says the property must be kept in good condition and structurally sound. So you wouldn’t think it would be a struggle for common sense to prevail but it is. I’d say your claim is legit if a 3rd party has assessed it as such. Can you ask your strata manager to come to your side, or at least give their advice to the matter. This might get them realising it’s not just you. Also, your local council might appreciate a call and respond afterward with some 3rd party directive which brings more folks into the discussion. Safety is a real issue should uncanny timing bring it down on someone and the cost to you on maintaining or renewing your insurance would also become a issue if the place is kept a dangerous mess. Knowing and quoting the applicable legislation can also put wind in your sails. Good luck!25/06/2019 at 5:25 pm #38287
I have a feeling that under the Fences Act, the wall is jointly owned by the people on either side of it – but that might not apply here.
However, if the committee insists that the strata schemes owns the wall, then they have to fix it – that is their legal responsibility.
Now, if they still drag their feet even after they have been told this, point them in the direction of Section 232 of the Act which covers failure to fulfil responsibilities.
Then it’s down to whether or not they want to do it the easy way or the hard way – but they’ll have to fix it, either way26/06/2019 at 12:06 am #38294
This raises a few separate issues, not the least of which is – who owns the property on either side of the retaining wall and fence.
Below is an article that may prove useful26/06/2019 at 9:41 am #38311
I would expect the strata plan to clearly show if this is common property.26/06/2019 at 10:29 am #38316
if they are reluctant to repair anything its probably in your interest to know what is planned to get done before hand to ensure you are satisfied it’s an appropriate same/same or better response, you dont want money spent on a quick fix, cheap or wrong response you dont like and which you will be stuck with26/06/2019 at 5:53 pm #38325
Noting you have it in writing that the OC owns the fence and you have an identified safety issue, you need to focus on the safety issue.
All correspondence must be in writing to protect yourself and ensure responsibility remains with the OC and the committee retains ownership of the safety issue. This will ensure they are responsible for any adverse event.
I suggest you write an email noting the OC ownership of the wall in their correspondence of xx date and that you have since obtained an engineer’s report outlining the safety issues.
Attach the report to the email. Ask them to urgently attend to the safety issue. Also, ask for a timeline on when it will be rectified. Keep diligent records of the whole matter from your initial contact with the OC. Take lots of photos, especially where there is current damage to the wall.
Maybe a fellow Flatchatter can advise if the OC will then be personally liable should an incident occur.
Finally, keep personalities out of the issue, Just the facts, totally unemotional and factual. Your requirement is for a safe resolution to a potentially dangerous situation.