• This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by .
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  • #51806

    Our building is 68 years old and the original windows in my unit has not been replaced since. The strata chairperson carries out a survey and it confirmed that all of the windows in the whole building has not been replaced. Some has been repaired and glazing replaced but of poor quality. On aside I shop around and get two quotes to replace the windows on my unit. The quote I received was $12k and from a company who later quoted for the window project in my building.
    The Strata committee put forward a motion for a special levy to replace all the windows. Quotes were received from different window companies and the most competitive quote was selected. Each unit special levy was calculated based on lot entitlement.
    I was surprised that my share of special levy was $5k more than the quote I received to replace the same number of windows in my unit!
    Could it be that the committee chose an expensive quote?
    It does not seem right that I’m paying more for a “bulk work” (where the contractors all quoted with a discount) than a “one off/ piece work”.
    Any thoughts? Can I get the strata committee to divulge all quotes receive for the work and how these has been evaluated?
    Thank you all for your response. We will have an AGM on 22 Sept so all comments are welcome.

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  • #52036

    Thanks everyone for the responses.
    I decided to suck it up and pay my share of the special levy.

    Flame Tree (Qld)

    I’ve found it’s worth checking other providers quotes even if you have a manager doing the quote getting. I have a slightly cracked pane so sought the bcorp to address it. When I saw the manager’s rep on site and told her I got another quote. She told me the price previously accepted for a similar job of another unit here was twice the price I’d been given by another. ‘Oh well I guess you could just use your guy’ she said without the slightest concern to the cost difference. Unreal. Trust but verify.


    … could you get others in the same position to put up a case to get your group separated out in payment terms of the overall building quote?

    NSW strata law is pretty clear on this.  Common property works must be paid out of existing funds, special levies or strata loans (repaid out of increased levies).

    Furthermore, levies have to be charged on the basis of unit entitlements, and on no other basis, including relative need for works done.

    Your options could include asking for an audit of the quotes to explain why your costs would be higher than if you had this done separately, and to find out how many others are in the same boat, with a view to gettin their support.

    You might also want to check to see if the price has been inflated because you are an owners corporation (which some contractors see as a soft touch).

    And you could ask the committee to examine the possibility of getting a strata loan instead of imposing a special levy, which would help you (and others) a lot but could annoy people who have the cash on hand and might object to paying the interest on the loan.

    You could even take action at Fair Trading for mediation if they refuse to contemplate that, as a decision not to at least offer that option to all the owners could be seen as harsh and discriminatory

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by .

    Hi, If have read this right, I am in accord with Mr T’s last sentence and can add only the idea that if it turns out the strata quote is much more than your private quote for your portion of costs, could you get others in the same position to put up a case to get your group separated out in payment terms of the overall building quote?

    As Mr T says, it would be a tough challenge, and not only a time consuming exercise, but also may not be winnable.   Good luck anyway if it’s worth trying, even if it’s only your quote!

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by .

    Thanks Jimmy for the advice.

    im actually in a situation where my special levy contribution is $5k higher than the quote I received privately for the same window replacement.

    What are my options? My windows definitely need replacement but I don’t think I can afford that extra $5k. I will barely manage to afford the cost of the private quote.

    Is paying the special levy the only way I can have my window replaced?

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by .

    Can I get the strata committee to divulge all quotes received for the work and how these have been evaluated?

    You most certainly can request to see all documents related to the window replacement and it is your legal right to view them.

    As for how the committee came to its decision, you can ask in writing or at the meeting for this information to be divulged.  By the way, all responses that this is “commercial in confidence” are a pretty sure sign that something either inept or untowards is going on.

    That said, the reason you are being asked to pay more than you would if you were getting the windows done yourself, may just be down to collective responsibility for common property.

    For instance if you have in your block 100 windows, 30 of which can be fixed for $1000, 40 for $1500, and 30 for $2000,  you would be paying your share of $150,000 rather than $100,000, even if yours were among the windows that cost less to fix.

    Add in different unit entitlements and that complicates matters even further.  It may seem unfair but strata is often a case of swings and roundabouts – what you lose on the windows you might gain on the roof.

    However, where you might take issue would be if the part of the quote for your windows was more than the quote you received privately for the same job.

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