Flat Chat Strata Forum Living in strata Current Page

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  • #58525

    Here’s my issue that I can’t find a solution anywhere. I own a unit in a block of 12 units. There is one family that owns 6 units out of the 12. The common area needed painting/carpet/minor repairs. I sent an email and photos to the strata manager who replied that the executive committee (which consisted of this family) declined to spend any money.

    I put the common area upgrade on the agenda for the next AGM which was voted down 6 votes to 3 (me, one other owner, plus a proxy vote from another owner). I took the matter to NCAT mediation – they declined to attend. I then took the matter to NCAT for hearing. They also declined to attend, however I represented myself and (surprisingly!) won the case. The JM has made orders for the common area to be upgraded.

    Now here is the issue: I originally put my hand up to be on the Executive Committee, while the other two positions were held by the father and son. This arrangement lasted until our AGM held a couple of weeks ago.

    At this meeting there was a vote to limit the number on the EC to two people (have a guess who the two people are?). This was voted 6 votes to 3 votes. I’ve been in touch with some of the other owners, however some of them live overseas and are not interested in the management of the property, only interested in getting the rent, which means whatever is brought up at the AGM, there are always 6 votes outvoting any other votes.

    My concern is that nothing can get done unless this family wants it. If they decided to raise a levy for whatever they choose, we have no say in the matter. I’m nervous to take it a step further with NCAT and bring in an outside strata manager as you just don’t know who you are getting (better the devil you know!).

    I’m interested in your thoughts on how this can be managed.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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  • #58594
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    The “Nuclear” option is to apply to have a strata manager appointed however, that is one of those “be careful what you wish for” situations.  You would want to go in with a manager you trusted and who is willing to do the job.  The nightmare scenario would be if the family turned up with a “neutral” manager who only did what they wanted anyway.

    You could try to get orders that the owners increase the size of the committee and elect you to it but I have never heard of that happening.

    My best thought is that you contact our sponsors Strata Answers who will, (for a fee) advise you on your best course of action and may even represent you to the other owners or at a tribunal, if appropriate.

     

    #58635
    TrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    Your situation reminds me of mine. Not that a family is running the show in my case, but that one owner has convinced a few others that he is the best thing to have happened to the strata and over the years has whittled down the committee from 5 i.e. one rep from each lot, to just 2. Him and his echo.

    Jimmy mentions perhaps you can seek an order to have the committee’s numbers expanded, if that is possible.

    In the next little while I will be in Mediation with my OC and one of my claims is to expand the committee. I full well expect them to decline my claim at Mediation and will then go to NCAT, laser focused on how a committee of 2 does not serve the interests of everyone in the building.

    Should I win at Mediation or NCAT, I’ll happily return to this thread and share what transpired.

    One point of clarification please: you mention an outside strata manager. Do you mean to replace the one you have now? That is, do you have a manager or is it managed by the committee alone? Or do you mean you may at NCAT seek “compulsory strata management”?

    #58655
    Just Asking
    Flatchatter

    As the maximum size for a Strata Committee is 9 members, and this family own 6 lots, they will be in the majority even if the Strata Committee is enlarged.

    Special resolutions may not pass if the subject involves expenditure and the investor owners are averse to spending money. Otherwise it seems a grim path to NCAT to obtain orders for repairs and maintenance each time “this family” do not wish the works to take place.

    The use of the word “upgrade” alerts me to a problem which I have encountered, where owners do not appreciate the difference between the Owners Corporation duty to maintain and repair common property, and it’s power to improve common property.

    #58659
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    As the maximum size for a Strata Committee is 9 members, and this family own 6 lots, they will be in the majority even if the Strata Committee is enlarged.

    True.  I feel this scheme is lurching towards having a compulsory strata manager installed, which may be the best outcome for all concerned, even if they don’t know it.

     

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Flat Chat Strata Forum Living in strata Current Page