This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Sir Humphrey 1 week, 6 days ago.

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  • #37345
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    curramore
    Flatchatter

    At our Annual General Meeting two residents proposed that they be paid $300 each per annum to mow the nature strip in front of complex. This strip is not very big and takes about 5 minutes to mow. Of course one of the people involved has a front yard which they have to look after. the second resident provides the old lawn mower. They are saying that the money is to pay for the cost of  fuel for the mower and its upkeep. I am not happy with this and think that the service should be provided by an outside service provider with insurances etc. this has not been put forward for a vote yet and i was wondering what others think.

    We have no common property that requires lawn service

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Jimmy-T.
    #37347
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    Are there others who put in more time for the good of the community such as serving on the committee or doing minor items of repair and maintenance such as checking the lights and replacing bulbs, thereby saving the OC money by not using an electrician?

    I would suggest that everyone who does something like this should get praise, thanks and public acknowledgement of their contribution to the community. I tend to think that bringing money into it can do more harm than good, especially if some get overlooked when distributing the largesse.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Sir Humphrey.
    #37350
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Totally agree with Sir Humphrey.  Calculate the time “donated” by committee members, both in committee and dealing with owners etc, and see how that stacks up with $300 for a few minutes mowing a few times a year.

    And ask Jim’s Mowing or a similar service for a quote.

    #37352
    scotlandx
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    I do a lot of work in our scheme on things like the courtyard garden, which includes providing plants and whole days hauling around bags of potting mix. I don’t expect any payment for it. If the owners want to do it, fine, but they shouldn’t be paid for it. In this case the nature strip isn’t even part of the common property and there is no way it would cost $300 to fuel and service a lawn mower for a year.

    Note that in NSW payments of this type to committee members have to be approved retrospectively, i.e. for the previous period, section 46, and it has to be approved in a general meeting. I’m not sure if these residents are also committee members?

    46 Payment of officers of owners corporation

    An owners corporation may pay to a person who is an officer of the owners corporation or another member of the strata committee of the owners corporation an amount determined by the owners corporation at an annual general meeting in recognition of services performed by the person for the owners corporation in the period since the last annual general meeting.

    #37354
    Lady Penelope
    Lady Penelope
    Strataguru

    curramore – To add to SH’s response …

    If you are not happy with the owner’s proposal then you may obtain a quote from an independent contractor and have a Motion, along with the quote, placed on the agenda of the next general meeting. The Explanatory Material that must accompany the Motion that you submit should outline why it would be best to have a contract with an independent outside contractor.

    As you alluded to, having owners take on the responsibility of mowing seems to be a fraught with complications.

    The concerns with owners taking on this role could be:

    1. Will there be a Contract with the owners?

    2. What will be the terms of the Contract?

    3. Will these owners take out their own public liability insurance?

    4. Will the owners provide and service their own equipment e.g. what happens if a new mower needs to be purchased?

    5. Will the Contract and its Terms need to be ratified at a general meeting?

    6. Will this garden service provided by the owners involve fertilising, weeding, edging of the lawns, and trimming of other vegetation?

    7. How will the contract or the agreement be terminated if the owners do not perform their functions satisfactorily?

    You are wise to be concerned. Being a volunteer in strata is very different from being a paid worker in strata.

    https://www.reinsw.com.au/Web/Posts/Latest_News/201703/Risks_of_volunteer_work_on_strata_schemes.aspx

    #37363
    Avatar
    curramore
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thankyou for your thoughts and I am glad that i am not the only person to see it this way

    #37365
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    Just to qualify what I wrote above, I think it would be reasonable to pay for actual demonstrated costs such as fuel for the mower on production of the receipt but no more. The labour component can be rewarded with thanks and public acknowledgement. Often the owner of premises has responsibility for the nature strip, so it could be a legitimate expense for the OC. Similarly, someone who replaces blown light bulbs on the common property should be reimbursed for the cost of the light bulbs on production of a receipt. Paying more than that is just likely to cause resentment among others who also contribute time but don’t get paid anything.

    #37420
    Avatar
    curramore
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    I previously forgot to mention the owner of the mower discreetly slipped an invoice to the Managing agent for $110 which was the cost of servicing and repairing his mower, as mentioned there is no grass on common property.

    #37430
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    While the grass is not part of your common property, it is not unusual for the proprietor of premises to be responsible for mowing or otherwise maintaining the adjacent nature strip.

     

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