• This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by .
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  • #49726
    AvatarFromthenorth
    Flatchatter

    We are a small strata of 8 units in Melbourne.

    We have an ongoing problem with one unit owner.

    Urgent repairs are required to the roofs of three units, requiring a special levy.

    In the absence of a chairperson (as the chairperson had just resigned) I sent out an email to all unitowners asking: Do you agree to raising a special lev ? Yes or No.

    The result was 5 for Yes, 1 for No and 2 no responses. Based on this the majority 5 out of 8 the decision was passed to raise the special levy.

    Subsequently about three days later we get an email from the strata manager, saying the special vote was invalid as one unit owner had notified the strata manager that they had not received the email vote about the special levy.

    This was clearly incorrect as it was clear to everyone that the email had been sent to all unit owners.

    This unitowner (1 of the 2 unit owners who did not vote) is game playing, trying to cause problems and delay the urgent roof repairs.

    From other unitowners, this unit owner has history of using this tactic.

    Could you please suggest anything we can do in dealing with this problem unit owner.

    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by .
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  • #49745
    AvatarAustman
    Flatchatter

    Special resolutions in Victoria are not all that complicated but they can be almost “mission impossible” to achieve in larger stratas.

    That’s because even an interim special resolution needs at least 50% of all lot owners to actually vote and to vote in favour with not more that 25% of all lot owners voting against.  It’s not 50% and 25% of the lot owners that decide to vote in a meeting.  Interims are finally passed after 29 days during which they can be subject to challenge.

    Try getting at least 50% of all lot owners to actually vote in a larger strata!  One of my larger Victorian stratas (200 lots) has only achieved that once in 20 years!

    But that’s not the OP’s situational with the numbers.  And if at least 75% of owners both actually vote and vote in favour, even a special resolution passes immediately.   In an 8 lot strata, that’s 6 lots actually voting and voting in favour.

     

    #49741
    AvatarAustman
    Flatchatter

    In my experience, the best way to deal with such owners is to make sure that all OC decisions are made exactly according to the OC Act.  If they are, then even the Strata Manager should be supportive of them.

    So download a copy of the Act and check that your processes are correct.  Especially consult Part 4—Meetings and decisions of owners corporation.  And s.74 Who can convene a special general meeting?  As the committee chair resigned, consult  s.104 Casual vacancies on a committee first if you wish to appoint a new chair.

    Depending on the amount of the special levy, a special resolution of the OC might be needed. That’s in s.24 of the Act.

    If a special resolution is not needed, even the committee usually can strike the special levy.  And certainly an ordinary resolution of the whole OC is valid.

    All meetings can be by poll and via email but correct notifications must be given and communication methods used.   As per the OC Act, the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 allows email communications but an owner must have consented to use email.  As per the Electronic Transactions Act, that consent can be inferred  – meaning if an owner has previously corresponded by email with the OC, they have inferred that email is acceptable.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by .
    #49742
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Victorian law is pretty much the same as NSW in most of the relevant areas except that if a special levy – known there as extraordinary fees – is more than double the annual budget, it has to be approved by a special resolution (unless “immediate expenditure is or was necessary to ensure safety or to preventsignificant loss or damage to persons or property”).

    And a special resolution is where it get’s tricky. Victoria’s regulations on special resolutions  are governemd by everything from the number of owners who didn’t turn up to wind direction (OK, not that, but it’s complicated).

    Section 96 of the Victorian Act defines a special resolution as :

    A special resolution of an owners corporation is a resolution passed by—
    (a) if a ballot or poll is taken, 75% of the total lot entitlements of all the lots affected by the owners corporation; or
    (b) in any other case, 75% of the total votes for all the lots affected by the owners corporation.

    What??? But wait, there’s more … How about an Interim Special Resolution?

    97 Interim special resolutions
    (1) If, at a meeting or by ballot, the vote in favour of a matter requiring a special resolution is at least 50% of the total votes for all lots affected by the owners corporation and the vote against the resolution is not more than 25% of those votes, the resolution is to be taken to be passed as an interim special resolution.
    (2) If the interim special resolution is passed at a meeting, notice of the interim special resolution and the minutes of the meeting at which the interim special resolution was passed must be forwarded to all lot owners within 14 days of the meeting.
    (3) If the interim special resolution is passed by ballot, notice of the interim special resolution (including the text of the resolution) must be forwarded to all lot owners within 14 days of the close of the ballot.
    (4) The notice under subsection (2) or (3) must state that the interim special resolution will become a special resolution at the end of 29 days after it was passed unless lot owners who hold more than 25% of the total votes for all the lots affected by the owners corporation petition the secretary against the resolution.
    (5) An interim special resolution becomes a special resolution of the owners corporation on the day that is 29 days after the day the interim special resolution was passed unless lot owners who hold more than 25% of the total votes for all the lots affected by the owners corporation petition the secretary against the resolution.
    Note: The effect of subsection (5) is that an interim special resolution cannot be acted on for 29 days after it is passed and cannot be acted on at all if a petition is received by the secretary within that 29-day period.

    Simple, huh?

    #49733
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    Im not absolutely sure of the law in Victoria but based on my experience in NSW I provide the following comments.

    It appears that you did not correctly call a meeting. Just sending an email in itself is not a meeting notice. Therefore what you have taken is a poll. Ask your strata manager to correctly call a meeting.

    If a meeting is called correctly, then the defence of “I didn’t receive the notice” is invalid. Provided the correct form of delivery is used (post or email) and the correct days allowance for delivery has passed, then a notice of a meeting is deemed to have been sent and delivered.

    Secondly the Owners Corporation (or whatever it is called in Vic) has an absolute obligation to maintain and repair its building. there is no debate in this matter from any owner

    Thirdly, usually for a special levy it does not require a unanimous decision. usually its just a majority thats required but check in this case wit your strata manager.

    The recalcitrant can protest all they like, but if the majority agree on a special levy then so be it.

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