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I have posted before about an owner that was a member of our SC that did not apply to install hard flooring and broke our Special by-law which states hard flooring throughout with a Star 4 rating except the bedrooms which are to remain carpeted. The owner installed hard flooring including the bedrooms and when tested by an acoustic engineer was a Star 2 – not good.
The building is concrete slab construction about 50 years old and does not have the construction features of modern buildings to help minimise noise transference.
This was to go to NCAT on 6th April unfortunately the solicitor we had left the law firm and the principal solicitor would not respond to any attempts to communicate – including the strata manager, SC and the respondents solicitor.
We had to withdraw the application.
We have since re established contact with our solicitor but at a new firm and the tone is a little different.
They are suggesting two resolutions we could pursue:
1. Re submit to NCAT but run the risk of the tribunal saying the by-law may be considered Harsh, unconscionable and oppressive because of the restriction on the bedrooms and therefore we run the risk that hard flooring would be allowed in the bedrooms. They also point out the additional cost to OC to pursue this.
My understanding is that our by-law is not a blanket by-law and takes into account owners wanting to install hard flooring and owners who want to avoid noise transference in the bedrooms.
2. Resolve the matter by coming to an agreement – the owners have said they will put carpet in the bedrooms and install a flooring system that when a sample was tested in the building it was a Star 4. However it rated a 50 which is right at the top end of Star 4. When this system is actually installed it therefore could be 3 below the sample testing thus making it a Star 3. The owners will only do this if they do not have to get the new floor tested thus giving certainty.
My questions are:
Could our Special by-law be considered harsh, oppressive etc?
I remember Flat Chat informing us about a case won because NCAT considered noise transference particularly in the bedrooms – do you know the case name?
Can an owner that has not complied with SSMA 110 – no application to install the flooring and therefore breaking the law be awarded cost by the court?
Do you think the settlement option is reasonable?
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