Forum Replies Created
05/02/2020 at 12:01 am in reply to: Former committee member using strata searches to harass tradies #48293
Older topic, but loved your intro to this thread JT, https://www.flat-chat.com.au/forum-nutter-abuse/ esp. ‘…there is no strata law that covers “Obsessive Nutter Syndrome”.’ Oh I wish.
May not be a crime to impersonate a committee member, but apparently being Criminally Annoying is. A man has been charged with the criminal offence of “annoying a person”. annoying-tasmanian-man-faces-court
But back to this serious issue. We have exactly the same, but not elderly and it sounds like, more accordingly aggressive. ‘Antisocial’ hardly comes close.
Got the PVO – issued by police, so we didn’t have to get it ourselves. It includes stalking, harassment, intimidation etc – the sort of thing that this type of interference is deemed to be in law. If it’s broken, arrest.
On that basis our strata managers can deny access, being that to supply the info would be counter to the PVO.
So you were right JT, it is a strong argument that this is a form of harassment and the law agrees.
Not sarcasm, she was thanking me for this post which was still in composition. I have great powers of telepathy.
There are specialist strata quantity surveyors who do this. They are worth their fee because although you can do your own plan, they see things you may not and are qualified to give estimates and time frames for future works. They will also look over your past audits to allow for general ongoing costs for your particular building.
Like a GP, they are not so interested in your planned elective surgeries, just medical history and possible impending illnesses.
Committees change, and so does the focus therefore anything which is just a wishlist is up to you to add. Things like roofing, doors, windows, fire safety, plumbing, WHS, air-con or other plant will be particularly noted.
Good luck, hope that helps.
… someone out there.
Thanks Jimmy. I gather any rules of the role would have to be in the form of by-laws to give them any muscle.
Looking at them, I think the requirements of a committee as a whole would first need to be to set. For instance, given the legislation doesn’t demand any meetings be held, it’s easy not to miss too many when there are none. Previously I’ve served in years like that.
I think that brings back the title of the original article, which was pointing to disengagement, not necessarily just money. If you run a closed shop, you can’t expect customers.
We are over 80% investor, but I found with direct engagement many of them were very interested, but there was nothing to get involved in. Not even discussion.
Out there in Investorland, there is talent. Although perhaps not having the time or inclination to be on a committee, some have become valuable consultants. Business owners, analysts, lawyers, engineers.
Career investors have useful comparative knowledge. One of their buildings is run like this, another like that. This is good, that is bad. All is a help to us.
Anyways, back to your point. That does seem to be an answer. Set the structure, then KPIs, now let’s talk money. I have long thought about enshrining committee governance but not in any relation to payment.
I’ll talk to the SM. There must be other OC’s who have brought their committees to a more professional level. That’s the most important thing to us – but in a way which doesn’t exclude those good folk who just want to help – we don’t want a cold board of directors scenario either. As you say, avoid extremes.
Wow, so nice to see this article clearly expressing this conundrum and for me, crisis of conscience.
I do indeed feel begrudging sometimes, particularly when as Ester69 says, facing any implication of being absolutely required to go beyond the call for particular demanding owners above others. Guilty.
The conundrum and conscience are born of the very same fact that it is a voluntary role and a choice, so … suck it up.
I spend easily 60 hrs a week, fulfilling all three executive roles as well as onsite building manager of a very large complex, and also taking up many of the Strata Manager’s trad duties. Believe it or not, while still maintaining my own usual profession (albeit in a highly reduced financial capacity) Some here will understand why this has had to come about.
Many assume you are being paid (particularly when they often spot you down a muddy hole with a plumber trying to stop a mains geyser with your hands or similar). When you tell them different, they are enormously thankful, implore that you should be paid and get quite angry on your behalf.
My steady pony speech is not that I’m a volunteer so it’s my choice, or that I’m not required to ‘do my job’ – but that anything else would be a huge conflict of interest. Yes I agree I should be paid, but in my position, I could be creating my own work orders and signing off on my own cheques. When that sinks in, there is usually an even greater outpouring of gratitude. But no money. Therein lies the conundrum.
I know I’m doing this for the explicit purpose of financial rescue of the building and to provide the best services possible to owners. I have great support from the vast majority who say they trust me to give myself a job so they’d be all for it, but that’s not the point.
I won’t always be here, and setting up a system which is open to any sort of manipulation or even corruption, could take us back to the dark ages and then I’ll have truly have wasted my time and finances.
Truth is, if you pay invisible peanuts, you’re lucky if you don’t get do-nothing, care-less monkeys, or those who’s skills are nil and payment is self aggrandisement and power. These are not the people you want running your home or your managing your investment.
Those who aren’t either of those, will soon tire of ingrates and sometimes even abuse and go back to being paid properly for their expertise or just plain living in peace.
If anyone can, or already has come up with an equitable and airtight solution to this strata-wide problem, taking submissions right here thanks.
Ah ha, so the door was truly an example. Otherwise, important question in there from JT – ‘Your front door or building front door?’ I assumed SC member’s door. Exactly the situation our OC just paid to rectify. Door given a wink and nudge by the chair, replacement a different colour in an otherwise contiguous hall – and not even fire rated. SC member since sold and we couldn’t ask the new owner to pay the thousands for a compliant door. So you see my sensitivity to a private deal about common property, particularly a door!
My point was that a chair should immediately dispel any myth that the committee can make all decisions, and that the chair is the undisputed ruler of the SC. Chairs can even convince their own committees of this, good people included as Flame Tree says.
The committee will end up a being a couple despots and a bunch of yes folk, created by selected favours doled out by a chair who has has no authority to do so. Or worse, a fear of their deliberately implied power if wielded against the others.
Yes, a little legislation quoting can be effective, but just as JT warned, a perceived threat to their position can cause all manner of wrath to reign down on a member rightfully pointing out strata law. In turn, it generates a self perpetuating myth which becomes truth – they do end up with power.
That’s a dysfunctional situation that is too familiar to all of us who read these pages.19/12/2019 at 10:05 am in reply to: High cost of committee and Strata Manager in cahoots #46867FDHFlatchatterChat-starter
I’m glad you got that point JT. It has been mentioned by several, including strata lawyers, that this is a novel approach but really it seemed the most obvious – if not the only option. Removal of the company would have been impossible without removal of committee, and that was impossible under the previous SM.
The other point is that in a very large management company, the heads don’t micro-manage. They have no reason to – they presume. They can’t be expected to know what’s going on without communication – other than that from the recalcitrant employee.
They are also very aware that they, as licensee, hold the can for any misdemeanors or even worse – unlawful acts.
They will also want to keep their contract when it is apparent that they have a determined tide changer on their hands who will by hook or crook, change the balance of power.19/12/2019 at 8:41 am in reply to: High cost of committee and Strata Manager in cahoots #46852FDHFlatchatterChat-starter
Ah, good question. And a very good answer. Resolved!
Removed all offending parties by 1) Confidential chat to the licensee about the SM and what was going on. Replaced. 2) New straight SM made possible above board AGM and proper counting of proxies. Presto.
Not that presto – it was a long and hard process with a fair whack of cloak and dagger. I wrote over two years ago. Had been working on the problem for a few years before that. Presently have been righting the sunken ship for six months. Our finances are still devastated, the hundred grand mentioned in 2017 escalated to more than triple that. Getting back on top of it will take a lot more work and changes to policies and practices.
But all in all, a good outcome and getting there
Result of a non-revolting revolt. 😉
The chair should say no, followed immediately by ‘that is not in the jurisdiction of the committee’. A chair who said yes, definitely would be abusing their power, and putting the owner in a position of having made an unauthorised change to common property.
Excellent advice, but hard to follow. By the time it’s spiraled out of control and dragged on with no respite, of course tempers are raised.
I used the catchee monkey method and it was a revolution in a teacup (AGM), however it took a lot of work and years of patience, followed by a short sharp blow by proxy the larynx.
Chucked out everything and everybody that was part of the incumbant slide into a black hole of governance and quagmire of apathy. The two go hand in to create a vortex which will suck you into its financial vacuum, leave your CWF devastated and debts up to your armpits.
Now those dozens of the previously silent 8-1 majority owners of our large block are loving us sick for the fast turnaround in their fortunes.
Nobody is being told anything and costs are out of control. Just lots of character assassination of the owner who is defending themselves in the way anyone would – against broken strata laws, propaganda, secret agendas and all the stuff you and the other posters are talking about.
I am ashamed to be part of the OC that is letting this happen. $170k and growing, definitely not over yet.
Whoopi did well! We are up to $170K and no end in sight, about one owner!
What’s more, the owner imho is actually the victim in many ways. I feel like a traitor to the cause, but our committee and manager (one and the same in spirit) need to learn a lesson, and feel the wrath of the owners when we lose a lot of money.
Particularly because costs weren’t GM ratified – they don’t even know it’s going on.
It’ll be a very expensive told-you-so for me, and not one I will enjoy in the slightest.