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  • #48547
    MailboxMailbox
    Flatchatter

    I am an owner of a strata townhouse in a scheme of less than ten homes in South Australia. Late last year, I submitted a resolution to ask for permission to install an automated sliding aluminium slat gate in place of my currently existing double swing colorbond gate. Presently, all  townhouses have the same double swing colorbond gates.

    The installation cost and ongoing maintenance will solely be my responsibility, and the dimensions of the new gate matches the current gate’s dimensions. All the details of the proposed new gate (photo & dimensions) were included in the meeting minutes which were sent to all owners 1 month before the meeting.
    We had our annual meeting 2 days ago, where only 2 of us owners were in attendance, and several other owners had appointed the only other owner present at this meeting as their proxy. No conclusion was arrived at this meeting as to whether people were for or against my resolution. My questions are:
    1) How do I move forward from here
    2) Can 1 strata owner be proxy for several other owners (in this case he was proxy for about 5 other owners)? Is there legislation around this?
    The only answer I received was that he was “uncomfortable” with my idea of a sliding gate because its appearance is different to the existing style of gate.

    I’ve only been an owner occupier for 6 months, and any advice would be much appreciated!!

    #48549
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    It sounds like you are asking for common property to be changed (which would require a special resolution) or even if the gate is your own lot property, you need the approval of the strata corporation.

    However, if you feel they have been unreasonable in not even considering this you can apply for mediation through a private mediation service (there is no equivalent of Fair Trading in South Australia) or even take the strata scheme to the Magistrates Court for a ruling.

    Here’s what the SA government’s publication Strata Titles – A Legal Guide says about unresolved disputes (and you can download it on that link):

    If no resolution can be worked out, then an application may be made to the Magistrates Court as a minor civil  action [s 48A] to decide the matter. If the matter is particularly complex or significant [s 41A(5)], a unit owner can seek the permission of the District Court to commence proceedings there [s41A(3)].

    Alternatively, the District Court can agree to transfer proceedings begun in the Magistrates Court to the District Court [s 41A(4)].
    An application can be made to the court by [s 41AA]:
    • a strata corporation
    • the owner or occupier of a unit (including a tenant)
    • a person who has contracted to purchase a unit
    • any other person bound by the articles of a strata corporation except for persons invited to or visiting the site.
    The court can deal with disputes where [s 41A](1):
    • it is claimed a breach of the Act or the articles of the corporation has occurred
    • an occupier of a unit claims to have been prejudiced by the wrongful act or default of the strata corporation, or a delegate (including a strata manager), or the management committee, or some other member of the strata corporation
    • a member of a strata corporation claims that a decision of the strata corporation, or a delegate (including a strata manager), or the management committee is unreasonable, oppressive or unjust
    • any aspect of the occupation or use of a strata unit is in dispute between a strata corporation and a member of the corporation, or between two or more members of a strata corporation.

    Obviously, it would be better to resolve these issues amicably, possibly via mediation.  But, if that fails, you do have recourse to legal action if need be.

    Oh, and there is no limit to the number of proxies that can be held by one person, provided they are given in the prescribed format (see the SA strata guide) and are available at the meeting for inspection.  If they aren’t, your AGM may have been inquorate and another one should be arranged, as per the law.

    #48557
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    I’m a bit confused here.

    You say that no conclusion could be reached.

    I assume that you submitted a motion for your proposal and it was an agenda item at the AGM.

    If that’s correct, then the motion is voted on and it’s either passed or it is not.

    Most motions require a simple majority. It’s only in exceptional cases that a unanimous agreement is required (almost certainly not in your case).

    I would be asking the chair to declare the outcome of your motion, or get an explanation of why your motion was deferred. Perhaps you need to ask for an EGM paid for by the OC to properly consider your motion since it was “missed” at the AGM.

    Looks like you’re being bullied by the chair.

    #48561
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Kaindub said:

    Most motions require a simple majority.

    Yes but changes to common property require a special resolution and in SA that means a vote against by no more than 25 percent of everyone entitled to vote (unlike NSW where it’s 25 percent of actual votes at the meeting).

    Either way, chummy had enough votes in his pocket to kill the plan, if he had decided to vote.

    Not sure if what’s described is bullying, per se.  Sounds like inertia, more than anything.

     

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