Flat Chat Forum By-laws and outlaws Current Page

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  • #56221

    My parent owns an ground floor apartment block with a big  courtyard that runs around the corner of the building. The fencing that sperate the courtyard and the busy public footpath next to it is consists of nothing but 3 thin pieces of wire, not glass , no brick wall, just wires. They need to install some kind of screening on the INSIDE of the fence in order to:

    1, add privacy, 2, secure their small pet dog which can easily absconds through the wires and 3, stop passers by from throwing rubbishes inside, which happens on a regular basis.

    When they bought the property 4 years ago there was already a bamboo type garden screening installed by the previous owner. When my parents moved in they replace the old screen with a new one that was exactly the same. They done so with the acknowledgement and verbal approval from the previous two Strata managers.

    All was well until the new SM comes in and suddenly request them to take down the screening saying the screening is inconsistent with the rest of the building which is a breach of the by law. We checked the by law but there is nothing specifies that no screening is allowed. It basically say you cannot do anything to your property that make it inconsistent with the appearance of the building.

    They then changed the screening from the bamboo screen to a plain off white material that matches very very close to the colour of the building, and no part of the screening extends beyond the parameters of the fencing. And yet the SM continue to pressure my parents to take it down and threaten to issue NTC and even escalate to the tribunal.

    I don’t believe there was a majority vote at GM regarding this issue as I have checked the record of the recent GM. We strongly suspect the SC is not even aware of this. The SM did not offer any alterative, nor did he suggest applying for approval from SC, just simply take it down or else.

    Does the SM has the power to decide breach of bylaw and issue NTC without the SC vote? Can we be the one to escalate to the tribunal as we believe we have a case here? The screening does not trespass to any common property, nor does it create any nuisance or inconvenience to anyone. Had they know that screening is not allowed, they most likely would not have bought the property in the first place. The dog is nearly 10 years old and is very dear to them.

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  • #56367

    The Strata Manager is correct, but could have handled it better. like specifying the applicable by-law (model by-law 17 in this case) The installation of privacy screens, affects the outward appearance of the lot.

    if I was the SM, I would have explained the situation and ensured that although the screen needs to come down under the current situation, they have an awesome SM who will work with them and the SC to develop a suitable by-law;  permitting the use of screens, see option 1 below. I would also ensure that all parties agreed that the current screen remain up until the the matter was resolved.

    1. option 1.  SM has said its inconsistent… put it back on them “what is needed to make it “CONSISENT”  and for guidance on how to propose a by-law which on very specific terms, permits the use of screens for courtyard fences, and specifying all relevant details (height, colour, approval process, liability, make good clause etc) The SM would be able to turn it around easily enough. In the event that there is no buy-in from the SC, it would be an agenda item for the AGM where all owners can vote on the matter. in the event that the motion is defeated….
    2. buy some nice pots, plant a screening shrub or some nice bamboo, maybe staked tomatos.

    Does the SM has the power to decide breach of bylaw and issue NTC without the SC vote?

    Yes, they do unless the strata committee instructs them not to do so.  If they issue an NTC, they have to state which by-law has been breached and how.

    Can we be the one to escalate to the tribunal as we believe we have a case here?

    Why would you do that?  You are not required to prove you are right, unless they take you to the Tribunal.

    If I were you I’d tell the strata manager and committee that this is harassment, they are in the wrong, and they should take your parents to the tribunal if they are confident they have a case. And if they do so, you will seek costs.  Otherwise they should leave your parents to live in peace.



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Flat Chat Forum By-laws and outlaws Current Page