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I hope this is the right place to post about my problem. All of a sudden we have a Special Levy of $330,000 incl GST spread over four quarter instalments. For us that means $10.560 in the next year or $2,640 a quarter. It’s a nasty surprise for our small Sydney block of cheaply built 70s units.
Some of the windows need repairing and some need replacing. The issue has been on agendas for four years with a few repairs etc. along the way, but nothing big has been approved because of the lack of homework done. There have been a rough quote or two without support data.
There were never options, recommendations or choices about materials or contractors. Never enough information to win approval.
Last week’s AGM was an electronic Zoom meeting. I judge the Strata Committee and Strata Manager thought it’d be the perfect time to slip something through under the cloak of COVID. They rightly thought owners would be even more apathetic than usual, ignore the agenda and meeting and the committee lined-up their numbers. There was a quorum but no more. BTW the committee has been the same for a few years and are pretty lazy and incommunicative. They keep outsiders out. Everything is signed over to the unresponsive SM.
When the AGM agenda went round, they must have had SOME blow back. There was an item for window replacement with just one quote at $300,000 for replacing our 150 windows with minimal information about look or materials. Plus a separate item for the Special Levy mentioned above. But a few days later a separate email came from the Strata Manager saying he and the committee had managed to find a supplier who could do the windows for $200,000. A HUNDRED GRAND LESS!
Thinking most other owners like me would see this all sounds weird and dodgy, I voted ‘No’ and sent in my voting paper. But the minutes of the Zoom meeting have made me flummoxed.
The window item did not get approved. ‘No one could agree on materials’. But the Special Levy for window repairs of $300,000 got approved, to be paid over a year as above. No mention at all about the lesser two hundred grand email.
So we have a giant Special Levy for something not hugely urgent over only a year. With COVID-19 causing some degree of financial hardship for some or even many. I think the Strata Committee and Strata Manager were worse than insensitive, I think they were downright sneaky with this.
I would like to readdress this ‘wrong’ and I have allies. I think many more will be shocked to see we’re getting a Special Levy right now, for a project that hasn’t been properly planned or costed or approved in any way, really. Can anyone suggest what we can do?
(I should mention there were additional dodgy things approved as well and some reasonable.)
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