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Could you please assist me with a few questions that I have in relation to our building’s impending replacement of the metal window frames and metal slide doors.
Its a typical walk-in, walk-up building of 25 units. Built presumably in the very early ’70’s. It has the original window frames and balcony slide doors.
Some of the units’ frames and doors are in more urgent need of repair/replacement than others.
Reports are that a few of the doors in particular, are loose fitting, rattle in the wind, try to derail themselves, or let the rain in when a heavy southerly wind blows the water against them. I gather most of the window frames rattle, but are not as bad as the doors.
On the other hand, whilst my window frames also rattle a bit when windy, I easily ameliorate this with the addition of a cardboard wedge. The slide door has no issues and I can envisage another good 15 to 20 years of use before the need to repair/replace it.
So it seems a small portion have valid reasons for getting the work done ASAP, a portion who don’t require urgent repair/replacement, and some unit’s who are somewhere in between the two.
With the supply of quotes from a few window repairers through our Strata Management company, we have been told that the cost will be between $140,000 to $175,000.
We’re yet to settle on the actual company to do the work, but due to the urgency of one of the unit’s slide doors needing replacement, it was decided that we’d do a trial run and engage the services of one of the companies to replace it.
So hopefully the feedback will be positive, as they look to have a competitive quote.
As some of the committee members are fixated on the progression of the repairs taking place ASAP, and with the realization that a sizable amount of owners are not motivated what’s so ever with the replacement works, the Strata Manager, under the direction of the Strata Committee, recently sent out a letter to all owners with the following options:
1. “To have a Common Property Rights By Law registered for the building with relation to the window and balcony doors and transferring responsibility of the repairs and ongoing maintenance to each individual lot owner. This would allow owners to replace their windows/sliding doors in a time frame that suits them. A By-Law would need to be passed and registered”.
2. Raise a Special Levy. The payment for the works would be paid in advance by all owners.
3. Take out a strata loan on behalf of the Owners Corporation. The amount includes interest on the loan. Depending on the term and the final cost of the works, this may see up to $320 extra per quarter added to the strata levies, depending on how long the loan is for and the amount loaned.
My questions are mainly centering on option 1.
Have you come across other strata plans creating a similar By-Law, in order to pass responsibility for repairs/maintenance for something, to individual owners ?
Would this be legal ?
If it became a registered By-Law, would there be foreseeable grounds to sue the strata committee members by other owners unhappy with the outcome ?
Could this be the ‘slippery slope’ with the adoption of other such By-Laws ? Creating one like this might open the door for others to be created. Maybe a positive ?
And how could the strata committee/strata manager compel a unit owner to carry out repairs if they chose not to ?
In cases where water might be entering through a door or window which isn’t sealing properly, and the water in turn causes structural damage to floors/walls etc, without the knowledge of the strata committee, because this would likely force their hand in paying for their repairs.
As it currently stands, they know responsibility for payment rests with the strata. So they have no financial concerns with getting the work done.
Having though about the pros and cons of each, I am likely to choose option 1.
But with the unresolved questions I have posed, I would be doing so with a certain amount of trepidation.
Could you please provide answers to the questions above and give me some feedback on how you see option 1 stacking up against the other two
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