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  • #42978
    AvatarTom
    Flatchatter

    We had a crystal clear AGM recently, the results of which was approval for my garage to be repaired. This is the second time I have formally tried to get the garage roof fixed. During a rainstorm, water pours down three sides of the garage as well as runs over the electrical lighting. The problem I have since learned is a design fault of the garage. The guttering can not hold the amount of water that is pouring down from my main home onto the flat roof garage.
    I have had damage to my personal property over the years and have submitted photos and videos along the way to the committee as evidence. I also have repeatedly told the committee of safety concerns.

    First attempt to rectify – 2017
    – received 3 quotes
    – Once the committee was informed I wanted to fix my garage, then they decided they needed repairs as well. I found this a form of sabotage as it made it more unlikely that my request would be passed.
    – The chairman told me he can’t afford a special levy
    – A committee member said she wouldn’t vote for the contractor which was our best option as he was affordable and offered the best solution
    – at the time I didn’t see a way forward and gave up as two out of the two committee members more or less said no.

    Second attempt to rectify – 2019
    – received 4-6 quotes
    – A committee member told me a garage does not need to be leakproof
    – A committee member told me I should wait 6 months after clearing the guttering before requesting quotes
    – A committee member told me I should pay for it myself as others can not afford a special levy
    – A committee member told me I should put in some money in good faith and strata will pay the rest
    – A committee member told me to just fix the guttering first and then see if it improves
    – Committee sent email to stop current work order
    – Committee members approved quote at AGM but now requesting an EGM to change the motion
    – During AGM committee would not vote for me to fix my roof unless all garages get to be repaired (regardless of proof of damage…)
    – After the AGM, one of the committee members told me he voted to have all roofs replaced/fixed, because the ex-chairman was planning on selling his villa and would like to replace his roof.
    – They accused the strata manager of not being partial. This is absurd. I walked out of that AGM feeling like I was blindsided. In order to have my roof replaced, I had to vote to have everyone’s roof repaired regardless of whether or not they needed to.

    They are currently disputing the minutes from the AGM. There was a side conversation that happened after the meeting and after voting has ceased which was not recorded. They are now blatantly lying. They appear to want to choose among all the quotes I had already presented and either choose a cheaper quote or make alterations to ones I already have.

    The work order has been given and the deposit has been made. Three of the five committee members have given their motion for an EGM to reverse the decision from the AGM.

    Can anyone suggest what we can do? It seems really unfair that they can overturn a decision that was voted on. Any advice would be really appreciated.

     

     

     

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by .
    #42989
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    You (or an independent person) needs to sit down with the committee and explain the facts of life to them.

    The strata scheme is obliged by law to maintain and repair common propery – no ifs, buts or equivocations.

    If they refuse, you will take them to NCAT and force them to have it done.  If they get lawyers involved, you will seek orders to ensure  that they and not you have to pay for legal advice.

    So, at the end of the day, they will still have to fix the roof, and they will have been charged legal fees.

    And if they still don’t get it, you will apply to NCAT to have them replaced by a strata manager – then they won’t get to make any decisions for a couple of years.

    This would be a clear case where our sponsors Strata Answers could step in and explain rights and responsibilities.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by .
    #42999
    AvatarTom
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank you. What they are doing now appears to be an attempt to delay the process. The new motion is that they can choose the quote which contradicts the AGM minutes which let me choose the cheapest of two shortlisted quotes. They also seem to want to make adjustments to the quote such as only replacing my guttering first to see if the problem gets fixed.

    I think they will let me fix the roof but under their terms. Im only confident on one of the quotes actually fixing the problem. My worry is that they will stop the work order and choose another repairer who will do unsatisfactory work.

    A lawyer friend told me I should probably start the NCAT process as the new motion has already been written.

    Does that sound right? He also suggested we fill out a letter of demand.

    #43006
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    You can’t really work on the assumption that they won’t fix it properly (regardless of how likely you think that is).  However, you are entitled to pursue this at Fair Trading, in the first instance, and at the obligatory mediation you can demand a written undertaking that they will sign the contract by a reasonable date, that this is not contingent on anyone else’s roof being fixed and that it must be done by a licensed professional with the relevant warranties and insurances.  If they refuse on any of those points, you proceed to a Section 232(2) at NCAT.

    You could also seek a Section 238 order to have the obstructive members of the committee removed for failure to manage the building according to the Act, but that’s a longer shot.

    #43011
    AvatarColonel Schultz
    Flatchatter

    From a slightly different perspective, be aware that once you start an action against the OC you will need to stay the course and hold your ground. They may have ways of wearing you down and pressuring you into giving up.

    If the OC dig in aginst you, which from your post appears likely, you may find that your roof repairs get dragged out for a long time.

    NCAT hears many cases, there is a long lead time to get a hearing and orders and going without a lawyer will not help. Lawyers fees may exceed  the roof repairs.  (See the whoopi case)

    Also be awarec that NCAT don’t award costs under 30k unless there are specific grounds to do so.

    What I would do before gping down that road is to try to negotiate to get the repairs done.

    I would tell them you will consider a contribution towards the repairs, but you are only willing to pay it after the work is completed.

    When the work is competed tell them you had advice that you can’t contribute towards common property repairs as a seperate contrubition as there is no by law or special levy in place that makes you responsible for payment or ongoing maitenance and refuse to pay.

    Ps. Don’t sign anything. This is not legal advice and there are no refunds.

    #43592
    AvatarStrata Answers
    Flatchatter
    (from NSW)

    Tom – After reading your story it seems like there is a world of difference between what you can technically do and what is practical under the circumstances.

    If you wanted to have a talk with us at Strata Answers about options open to you,  we would be happy to hear from you.

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