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  • #45019

    With your help I was able to force the strata committee members to issue a notice to comply with a by-law on parking (see this post).

    They are most annoyed with me and now as payback (or so I  believe as I am the only one who has renovations pending) they have passed a bylaw stating that a bond of $10,000 must be paid to the owners before work commences.

    The bond is to cover any damages done to the common property.  There are no details as to how the bond will be administered. I cannot find anything in the legislation  about a bond.

    Can they demand something in a bylaw that is not mentioned in the legislation?

    Can  they stop me doing the renovations if I refuse to pay the bond?  If so how?

    With regards to my parking issue, the committee members spent $1100 on legal fees to see if they could get extra parking for themselves and 5 others. They confirmed tonight at a strata meeting that there was never going to be parking for 4 owners. Given that they were personally going to benefit and others were going to be excluded are they guilty of misappropriating strata funds?

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  • #45035

    First of all, were these by-laws passed by a special resolution at a general meeting where:

    a) It clearly said on the agenda that a special resolution vote would be required to pass the by-laws?

    b) the vote at the meeting represented 75 per cent of those voting?

    If any of these conditions weren’t satisfied, then the by-laws are invalid.

    Otherwise, I think you could challenge the renovations bond by-law at NCAT on the grounds that it is “harsh, unconscionable and discriminatory”.

    There are plenty of means by which the owners corporation can get compensation for damage done during renovations without placing such a high bar before you even start.  And what are their plans for inspections before and after the renovations to establish if and when the damage occurred?

    There is no doubt in my mind that NCAT would strike out this by-law (but I have been wrong about NCAT before). If they don’t, the committee could make life difficult for you by blocking access to tradespeople and harassing you with notices to comply.

    On the question of parking, if the committee members have granted themselves parking rights to the exclusion of other owners, without reasonable compensation to the owners corporation, they are possibly guilty of “fraud against the minority”. You could raise that with your strata manager to see their reaction.

    I would be telling them that they are obliged by law to manage the scheme for the benefit of all owners, not just themselves or even a majority of owners.

    Also, if they continue with these tit-for-tat rulings, you will take the only option open to you which will be to apply to NCAT for the statutory appointment of a strata manager who will strip them of all their powers – probably for two years at least – and cost the scheme a lot of money becasue everything will have to be done by the book.

    Personally, I would pay someone like our sponsors Strata Answers to approach the committee and your strata manager, tell them where they have gone wrong and explain the consequences of continuing with this behaviour.

    Given that your strata manager responded to the original parking problem by issuing notices to comply to all owners, I’m not convinced that he or she is fully aware of their responsibilities or the legalk options open to you to pursue unfair treatment – otherwise they would have advised the committee against this discriminatory behaviour.


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