This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by scotlandx 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #36714
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    slim
    Flatchatter

    Hi All

    I was awoken this morning by another resident because there was a trade person bring in flooring, underlay and equipment to lay a hard floor into one of our units.

    We do have a Flooring by-law that states that all bedrooms must remain carpeted and the flooring needs to have an acoustic standard of 45 Lnt1w  (5 star rating) .

    Attached to our by-law is an Acoustic report by a licensed acoustic engineer (also a member of AAAC) testing 8 different systems and the requirements to meet the standard stated above.

    The owners did have a sample of hard flooring tested but it failed the standard.

    They never applied for approval to lay the floor or provide us with any documentation.

    We have been told by their trades person that they are laying the floor in the bedrooms.

    When we found out about the intention to lay the flooring this morning we asked the Strata Manager to get an Interim Order from NCAT. We were told we need to have this minuted in a SC meeting for it to go ahead and that we must give 72hrs notice for the meeting.

    The floor will be laid by that time.

    What is our next step?

    Help please.

    Slim

     

     

    #36716
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    The strata manager is being ridiculously unhelpful here (and I suggest you contact our sponsors Strata Answers to give you the right advice immediately).

    I have to say that the process as outlined on the NCAT website is unclear. Firstly, anyone can apply for interim orders on this form and the secretary can get authority for this by a simple ring-around.  The very idea that you have to wait three days before you can even apply for interim orders is ridiculous.

    You also need to apply for mediation (not to go through the process but I think Interim Orders can only be attached to a full application and that requires mediation).

    In the meantime, I would have the strata scheme’s lawyers immediately send the lot owners as “cease and desist” letter, informing them that if they continue with the fooring, they will be taken to NCAT where they will be ordered to lift the flooring and replace it with carpet.

    Finally, if this was happening in my aparatment block, I would arrange for their electricity to be mysteriously switched off (due to a power overload or something “mysterious and inexplicable” like that).

    And I would also be calling the contractor and telling them that the work is a breach of your by-laws and if they don’t stop immediately, you will be reporting them to the strata contractors blacklist,  and thay can look forward to never getting another contract in a Sydney high rise again.

    Now, cutting off the electricity supply is highly dubious and I don’t think there is a such a thing as a strata blacklist (but there should be).  But if an owner deliberately flouts by-laws and breaks the rules, why should you be the only ones to be squeaky clean.

    Act decisively now or face moths of misery trying to put this right.    Oh, and it’s probably time to start looking for another strata manager.

    #36717
    scotlandx
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    If the owner has not been granted permission to undertake the works then his contractors are trespassing on the common property. Tell them they need to leave (we have done that before).

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by scotlandx.
    #36719
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    ScotlandX said:

    If the owner has not been granted permission to undertake the works then his contractors are trespassing on the common property. Tell them they need to leave (we have done that before).

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!!

    #36723
    Lady Penelope
    Lady Penelope
    Strataguru

    I’m not sure of the legality of the approach of barring the contractor from the common property using trespass as the grounds for this bar.

    The contractor is an ‘invitee’ of the owner and/or occupier.

    If the contractor is an invitee then it is the owner and/or occupier who is responsible for their invitees’s behaviour as they are the people who, when purchasing the Lot,  have agreed to be bound by the Act and agreed to be bound the by-laws.

    The invitee i.e. the contractor, was not a party to that contract.

    #36733
    scotlandx
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    I am not going to argue the finer legal points with you Lady Penelope. We have used this approach on a number of occasions. If you think a contractor is going to start debating a legal issue then don’t try it – but I know from experience the majority will not. If an owner does not have approval, including having given details of contractors and insurance, then both they and the contractor are on shaky ground.

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