Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #51717

    First time poster, hope this makes sense and is in the right section!

    I’m an investor-owner of a ground floor lot in a block of 4. 2 ground floor and 2 first floor.

    The 1st floor lots are accessed by 1 front and 1 rear set of concrete stairs, ie each is shared by the 2 upstairs lots. The rear stairs connect to the rear lots by a small shared balcony.

    There’s a number of pieces of work needed to the block for repair and maintenance and the work is being scoped at the moment. Part of it involves significant repairs to this rear set of stairs.

    The option put forward by the other 3 owners would demolish the existing shared rear stair and create 2 new individual rear stairs for each of those 2 upstairs lots, along with an extension to the balcony and some screens. Effectively giving them both private entrances, as well as a larger balcony each which only they would realistically use with screens giving those balconies privacy from each other.

    It makes sense whilst major work is being done to consider this, but would be more expensive than the minimum to repair, and offers significant benefit exclusively to them.

    On that basis I don’t believe I should have to pay extra for this level of improvement to their lots, and that it’s creating new exclusive use property and they should fund the difference (probably $50k) under a bylaw.

    Is there anything I’m missing or other alternative ways to handle it? Given it is 3 versus 1 when it comes to voting is there a chance I could get forced into it?

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  • #51727

    Thanks Jimmy-T, makes sense.


    This is a little bit complicated, but bear with me.

    You’re right in that you can’t be expected to pay for enhancements but then there were repairs required to be done anyway.

    First of all, this work would require a special resolution by-law and if you have one quarter of the unit entitlements, you could block that from the get-go.  Even without that, they should shouldn’t do the work without a by-law and you could challenge it if it isn’t fair or reasonable (i.e. you are being asked to pay to enhance someone else’s unit).

    Now, what you want is a by-law under which the upstairs owners accept ongoing responsibility for the maintenance and repairs of the enhancements to the stairs.  Then the owners corp can agree to pay the amount that would have been required simply for the repairs, towards the improvements.

    You will need a specialist strata lawyer to draw up the by-law (which the OC should pay for, to save confusion).  Under no circumstances allow this to go forward on a nod and a wink as you could end up paying for other owners errors for years to come.

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Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page