19/08/2019 at 2:35 pm #40853
We are a self managed block of 4. Two sets of owners want to replace all of their aging windows. The other two don’t.
I realize that windows come under common areas. We wonder if we can setup a by-law which transfers responsibility and costs of window repair and replacements to owners.
19/08/2019 at 2:44 pm #40866
- This topic was modified 1 month ago by Jimmy-T.
Most blocks want to retain collective ownership of windows and the like because they can more easily control the design and look of the windows, and make sure they are doing their job in protecting common property.
You could possibly pass a by-law provided everyone agrees (four units of roughly equal unit entitlements effectively need unanimous agreement, since a vote of 25 per cent against would sink any by-law).
But why would the people with the widows that need replacing do so at their own expense when it could be shared?
On the other hand, if it makes the difference between getting it done or not …
Just make sure your by-law contains clauses ensuring that any changes to the look of the windows are agreed by a majority of owners and agreement that the lot owners will repair the windows at their own expense immediately after defects or maintenance issues become apparent.17/09/2019 at 1:34 pm #42251
Thanks for your good advice
We want to know more about the new by law.
Is it better to have these drafted by a professional?
Any idea on cost? Could you recommend someone in Sydney?
17/09/2019 at 1:39 pm #42259
- This reply was modified 6 days, 4 hours ago by Jimmy-T.
I would say, yes, in this case, you would much better to get a strata lawyer to draft the by-law and I can’t go past our sponsors Sachs Gerace Broome who will do a good job for a reasonable fee.
As for cost, I’d guess around $1000 (but don’t quote me on that).
So make sure you have 100 percent vote in favour before you do it. Might be easier and cheaper for all concerned to force the issue by getting everyone’s windows fixed at the same time.
18/09/2019 at 5:26 pm #42332
- This reply was modified 6 days, 3 hours ago by Jimmy-T.
Seems like a over-reaction setting up a by-law that will get used once ever blue moon. Would you not be better to just write it up as a egm/agm Motion with the detail in the explanatory guff and just pass that? As I recently stated I don’t like complex-partial replacements which can be a real hassle over time as things change such as local requirements, parts redundancy, style preferences, engineering changes etc.18/09/2019 at 5:37 pm #42353
There may be a third option which would be to create a “window” fund only for the repair of the windows belonging to the units that have opted out for now, to be spent when they need it.
But really, there are very few options that make more financial sense than persauding the backsliders just to get it done.
A spreadhseet that showed how much it would costs to get four sets of windows done at once, including scaffolding etc etc, compared to doing it all twice, and adding in a figure for inflation for the second round, might be persuasive.
19/09/2019 at 8:12 am #42359
- This reply was modified 4 days, 23 hours ago by Jimmy-T.
Thanks for you advice Flame Tree
I agree that the by-law seems excessive. I also like the idea of using the AGM motion, but I’m not sure how it would work. The scenario is that the 2 owners (units 1 and 3) who want to go ahead with repairs are happy to pay for them out of their own pockets, but don’t want to pay again (from the Strata sinking fund) if new owners in units 2 and 4 want repairs to be paid for from the Strata sinking fund and a special levy. The by-law seems the only way to protect owners 1 and 3 from potentially paying twice.19/09/2019 at 8:29 am #42371
Flame Tree wrote:
Seems like a over-reaction setting up a by-law that will get used once ever blue moon. Would you not be better to just write it up as a egm/agm Motion with the detail in the explanatory guff and just pass that?
General meeting motions do not have the power to ascribe responsibilty for common property to individual owners. You would need every owner to agree to this in a legally binding agreement passed as a special resolution or by-law. That is the law (Section 108) and you can’t just ignore it because it seems excessive.
That is the only way to avoid subsequent owners coming in and saying they don’t agree with the arrangement and that it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny from a legal point of view and they want the owners corp to fix their windows, meaning the owners who have already pid for their own windows have to pay twice.
That said, I reckon we are over-thinking this. The Act says common property has to be repaired. If the other owners won’t agree, then either or both of the owners with faulty windows can take the owners corp to NCAT and seek orders.
And again, it’s a matter of sitting down with a spread sheet and explaining to the recalcitrants how much more it’s going to cost if they don’t just go ahead and pay for the repairs collectively. Otherwise a by-law or special resolution with each owner taking responsibility for their own windows is the simplest and least expensive way forward.
19/09/2019 at 8:35 am #42377
- This reply was modified 4 days, 9 hours ago by Jimmy-T.
One final thought, if you trawl through the last 10 years of Flat Chat you’ll find a stack of posts from owners who’ve had to deal with the fallout from previous arrangements that were done on a nod and a wink, but didn’t stand up to the test when new owners came in and applied basic strata law to their situation. Get it right, right at the start, and save yourself grief down the track.19/09/2019 at 11:54 pm #42421
I am now feeling a bit dim – this is a lot simpler than it seems … provided nobody pays for their own windows to be fixed.
If the owners corp pays for the windows to be fixed (as it should) then it will all even out when the other owners need their widows repaired. If they don’t want the windows fixed, that’s up to them … but the windows aren’t theirs to begin with. They’re common property.
So forget all this stuff about paying for the windows yourself. Raise the money from levies to pay for the windows and do it again later when the other windows start to fail. Nobody loses, nobody pays twice – it’s really that simple.