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I went to adjudication in 2015 to have a compulsory strata manager appointed to resolve numerous issues with a two lot strata scheme I bought into in 2012. She was useless and added to the problems.
The other lot owner has been in residence since 1989 and paid lip service to strata law with her then neighbour. In 1995 they abrogated their responsibility to strata law and shut down the admin and sinking funds, held no meetings, issued no levies, ignored repairs and maintenance. I came along and have upset the apple cart because I want the strata scheme to function under strata law.
My villa has water ingress under the concrete slab which makes it very damp and mouldy. I have termite infestations in old timber retaining walls on common property adjacent to my villa. Before I could move in I had to replace three external load bearing walls which had been eaten out by termites. My building advice was this work was absolutely necessary otherwise the roof could collapse. I had to replace a strata boundary fence collapsing due to termite damage.
My neighbor refuses to contribute to these costs because I paid less then the asking price for the villa therefore I have been adequately compensated.
The compulsory managing agent was appointed for twelve months. She appointed herself as the Executive Committee at the end of the twelve months appointment and continued to pay herself fees. This contravened Section 237 of the SSM Act 2015.
She did not address repairs and maintenance issues in spite of a detailed list with costs from myself. She did not address a review of by laws. She did not address a 10 year Capital Works plan for the new capital works fund, etc etc. She allowed a colorbond fence to be installed on the front boundary of the strata scheme by the other lot owner. This fence contravenes the by-laws, SEPP and council guidelines for front fences.
I have recently applied to NCAT for the replacement of a compulsory strata manager. I also lodged submissions for a list of repairs and maintenance to be activated including dealing with the water ingress under my villa with approval for a strata loan, removal of the front boundary fence, removal of the “illegal managing agent” and compensation for the replacement of common property due to termite damage.
The reason for approval of a strata loan is that the two lot owners are age pensioners and ad hoc special levies could be financially crippling. My neighbor refuses to agree to a strata loan and says it will put off future buyers if the strata scheme has a loan. I say future buyers will be put off by the obvious list of repairs and maintenance issues.
The member arrived at the conference table and said he didn’t have much time and then asked the other owner’s proxy if they agreed to the appointment of a new managing agent whose name I had submitted. The other side said they had no problem with the appointment. He thanked them for being “so conciliatory” and made the order which he copied from the previous order made in 2015. We were then dismissed.
When I asked what about the other parts of my submission he said the new managing agent would sort that out. You are dismissed.
So much for NCAT.
I would be asking the Minister for Fair Trading for more precise guidelines for two lot strata schemes and their management. The current system is useless. I did write to the then Minister, Dominello, over twelve months ago and my letter was referred to the Attorney General. I am still waiting for a response. So much for good governance.
Your comments would be appreciated.
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