This article is about how to handle a strata committee member either bullying or not acting appropriately in NSW. Can you remove committee members from the committee? If so, how?
Question: What can we do if the Strata Committee does not reply to us when I write to them about an issue.
What can we do if the Strata Committee does not reply to us when I write to them about an issue. We have a water ingress problem causing safety and health issues and damage to our unit. We assume this is a Owners Corporation responsibility.
We wrote to the Strata Committee months ago. We have written an additional 4 times but have not received any response. What can we do?
Answer: There are a few ways one could address a non-responsive strata committee, depending on the circumstances.
There are a few ways one could address a non-responsive strata committee, depending on the circumstances.
However, the way one approaches this will depend on what is causing the water damage (for example, it may be a leaking hot water system that is not common property, or it could be a bathroom floor waterproof membrane that is common property).
1. Removing office bearers (such as the non-responsive secretary)
Under section 45 of the Strata Schemes Management Act (‘the Act’) an officer (secretary, chairperson or treasurer) can be removed by special resolution of the owners corporation in a general meeting. A motion can be put forward to remove one or more officers. If attempting to remove them all, consider putting forward separate motions in case the owners want to keep one (or more) of the officers appointed but still want to specifically remove one. Bundling them all into one motion could cause it to fail.
2. Removing strata committee members
Similarly, under section 35 of the Act, one or more members of the strata committee can be removed by special resolution at a general meeting. Again, consider whether to submit separate motions as opposed to bundling the removal of all committee members in one motion.
Also, it would be prudent to submit another motion for the owners at the general meeting to elect another committee member (or more than one, if multiple positions are being made vacant) to avoid leaving a gap. If the owners don’t elect new committee member(s) and there is a vacancy, the remaining strata committee members could convene their own meeting to consider nominations and elect someone to fill the vacancy.
3. Making an application for mediation
An application should be made to NSW Fair Trading for mediation with the owners corporation to resolve the disputes. This is a precursor to seeking orders from the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (in most cases, but not all – check out the “strata schemes fact sheet” on NCAT’s website for more information). The dispute in question is twofold:
- The lack of a response to your requests. It is only reasonable to expect to be communicated with, especially in these circumstances.
- Finding out whether the owners corporation has determined the cause of the water ingress, and if it relates to common property, what the owners corporation intends to do to rectify it (as well as any damage to your property, in accordance with section 106(5) of the Act).
4. Making an application for orders
An application can then be made to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal for orders under one of the following (or more) sections of the Act:
- Section 232 to resolve disputes or settle complaints (such as to repair common property, or keep you informed of their actions, or for damages suffered as a result of the lack of repair/maintenance).
- Section 238 to remove a person from office or the strata committee.
Before making an application for orders, it would be prudent to seek legal advice to better understand your rights, to strategise and potentially be represented at the Tribunal.
This post appears in Strata News #499.
Question: I live in a block of units that has a resident who is a long term compliance cop. Can this person be removed from the committee before an AGM if the residents agree?
I live in a block of units that has a resident who is a long term compliance cop. The person is always taking pictures of what they consider to be against the rules and formally complaining. I think the term frivolous litigant would be a good description. There is no hesitation to bring NSW Fair Trading into any dispute.
Recently, this person was voted onto the committee mid-year and that has given the feeling of justification in ensuring everybody is following the rules to the letter and no excuses are accepted. They then use the owners corporation to pursue whatever is the latest sin. The term playground bully comes to mind.
Can this person be removed from the committee before an AGM if the residents agree? I say residents, as I am not sure how the committee feels about this. I believe they should be looking after everybody’s interest in a compassionate manner, not ramming the rules down our throats. My belief is we live in a community and there should be a bit of give and take.
Answer: It’s not a decision of the committee, however, to remove a member of the committee. It is definitely a decision of owners at a general meeting.
When you’re living in strata, I always say its ‘community living’. You’ve got to have a level of tolerance, because you are sharing common walls, floors and ceilings. There has to be a level of tolerance when it comes to accepting some noise, behaviour issues to some extent. Obviously, bylaws are there to keep the house in order, it’s a bit like having cars on the road and having no Road Rules. Our cars would just be out of order. It’s the same thing in a strata scheme. We’ve got to ensure that we have rules, and we enforced them when required to ensure that the house remains in order.
I do understand the point because you some people that take it all very seriously and sometimes enforce things beyond necessary. The short answer is yes, you can remove this committee member. It’s not a decision of the committee, however, to remove a member of the committee. It is definitely a decision of owners at a general meeting. It does require a special resolution, so you would need 75% in favour and no more than 25% against to successfully remove this particular committee member from the committee.
You’d have to take steps to convene a general meeting, and there’s three ways to convene a general meeting either by:
- Majority vote of your strata committee,
- The Secretary has the power to call it, or;
- You could get requisitioned and that is when one quarter of the unit entitlements requests at a general meeting be convened.
If the general meeting is successfully convened, that is the meeting where you would consider removing that committee member. You need 75% in favour, so you’d have to be sure that you’d have that support and vote, because it is a big threshold, it’s not your stock standard, ordinary majority resolution of 50%. It’s a higher threshold. You’d want to make sure that you do have a lot of owners that support the removal of that committee member.
What if you’re not successful in removing the committee member via a general meeting?
What if the other committee members aren’t in support? One committee member is one voice. No committee member has a casting vote. No committee member is the one that makes the final decision in any way. Whilst that one committee member is raising things, it just goes back to the managing agent or to the other fellow committee members not acting on one instruction, they should only be acting on the majority decisions of strata committee.
If I had one committee member that was giving me direction, I would be saying “okay, I have noted your position thank you. Can I have responses from the other committee members – Andrew, Paul and Jane? Do I have a majority decision and instructions to proceed by issuing a bylaw breach letter to unit one, for X bylaw?”
I would definitely be encouraging this owner or this particular committee to only act on the majority of the committee’s instructions. But again, going back to a general meeting, this particular owner can requisition the general meeting and have any decision of the strata committee overturned. That’s why notice of strata committee meetings have got to be made aware to owners, so that they are aware of the decisions that a committee will be making a decision in relation to. If they do disagree and they can collect enough votes, they can then take that matter out of the hands of the committee, take it to a general meeting and have the general meeting decide accordingly.
In short, yes:
- they should act on a majority decision of the committee members as opposed to one member who might be the dominating member or
- they can take that particular subject out of the hands of the committee and take it to a general meeting for decision.
This post appears in Strata News #491.
Question: I am the sole committee person (Treasurer / Secretary and Chairperson) in our 7 lot scheme with one other lot owner as a committee member. He’s only concerned is his lot. How can I remove him from the committee?
Our Strata consists of 7 units. I am the sole Committee person (Treasurer / Secretary and Chairperson) with one other owner but he prefers to be a member only of the Committee. He only seems interested in upgrades or repairs concerning his unit and makes no attempt to be involved in the required committee matters.
Can I elect to remove him from the Committee as he does not offer any constructive assistance? If so, how do I go about it?
Answer: Yes, you may take steps to remove him but you will require a special resolution of the Owners Corporation.
This post appears in Strata News #487.
Question: A disruptive lot owner has moved into our well run building and is on the committee. How do we remove this disruptive lot owner from the committee and get back to harmony within the owners corporation?
We are a small complex and 70% of our units are owner occupied.
We have a very cohesive owners corporation and the committee members give many voluntary hours to ensure that the complex is well maintained, secured and all residents are living in harmony.
Some time ago, we had a new owner who bought a unit in the complex. She is demanding, aggressive and totally rude.
She insisted that she wants to be a committee member so that she can ‘have her fingers in the pie’.
We discussed the issue during a Committee Member meeting and despite some reservations from other members, the Chairman agreed to nominate her as a committee member ‘just so that we are an inclusive committee and not prejudice against anyone’!
Sure enough, trouble starts the moment she became a committee member. She lets her cat out on the common area and pee all over the garden and her partner smokes in the common area even though we have a by-law that states “this is a non-smoking complex”. She never volunteers a single minute of her time to the welfare of the complex, but each time we put out a motion to improve the complex, she’s the only one that rejects the motion.
Fortunately, the majority of the committee members are always in favour of the good upkeep of the complex and hence we were able to move forward with any of the needed maintenance.
Our Strata Manager is also aware of this disruptive owner and had advised us to talk to this owner and ask her to step down as a committee member.
Unfortunately, due to past experiences, we know that she will not step down quietly and will cause a commotion if asked to step down.
Can you please provide us with some guidance on how to remove a committee member without making it ugly.
We have 5 committee members and she’s one of the 5. We know that all the other 4 committee members will gladly get rid of her if we vote her out now.
Please let us know what steps we need to take to remove this disruptive lot owner from the committee.
Answer: Removing a member should be done cautiously so take the time to try to set it up properly.
Whilst this seems the solution to your problem – just be aware that this is “not a good look” on your records.
Removing a member should be done cautiously so take the time to try to set it up properly. Do your best to improve how it will appear as it will be on your records for a long time to come. The good news is that your records will already “look good” given the previous harmony you refer to, so you need to make sure it is apparent to those inspecting the books (or a Member at NCAT if she refers it there) that she is the issue.
I suggest starting to minute important points ie those in favour and those against. As it will reflect that:
- She is always the odd one out
- The types of motions she is voting against are those that are for the good of the scheme (reinforcing point 1).
Do this for a few meetings to set things up. That way, if the matter is referred to NCAT you can show her behaviour. It also then is easy to compare the past where things went well before her election. It also lets owners (as they should be getting the minutes) know what she is like so no one votes her on again.
You will need to rally votes, so speak to other owners (even the non-resident ones) before you put the motion forward. That way, if she talks to them they know the committee’s side to things first. Be extremely careful not to slander. Simply state the facts ie what she has voted against. I strongly advise against talking about the cat or smoking unless it is minuted and the committee are willing to do something about it.
- Who are you going to put forward to fill the vacancy once she is gone (and to keep her off)?
- Enforce the bylaws she is breaching. This will show that whilst she is on the committee she is not treated differently. It is often perceived there is favouritism towards committee members and this can get Owners offside. If you do this whilst she is still on the committee, she knows she won’t get treated favourably IF she happens to get back on the committee (which may have been part of her secret agenda too).
Here is the law: SECT 35 – Vacation of office of elected member of strata committee
Steps to Remove a Disruptive Lot Owner from the Committee
- It is a special resolution. That means 75% of the unit entitlement who are present and entitled to vote at the meeting are in favour (or as the Act states – no more than 25% against)
- So it needs to be put to a meeting of all owners (the committee can’t do it)
- The committee can fill the vacancy later or you can do it at the EGM
As an alternative to Removing the Lot Owner from the Committee
- Do as many meetings via online/written vote as possible. Then there is a record of what she voted so she can’t deny it
- You won’t need to see her as often which will remove the angst of dealing with her
- Are you able to hold out until the AGM and make sure no owner supports her nomination back onto the committee?
- I would suggest also doing a report for the AGM on the committee – Chair or Secretary to prepare
- Indicating attendance eg there were 10 meetings and who attended how many
- What the committee achieved eg replacement of intercom (Jill Smith), reviewed cleaners performance (Bob Gregor), agendas and minutes (Don Davis) etc (ie after each name in brackets – who handled it). This will make it apparent she is not pulling her weight, so it is just as much about showing her for what she is but ensuring no one votes for her in the future.
This post appears in Strata News #289.
Question: Our strata committee is controlled by a Company nominee holding the majority votes from 3 company-owned units. They make all of the decisions. How do we take back control?
Our Strata Plan consists of 12 units & 2 shops. It is controlled by a Company nominee holding the majority votes from 3 company-owned units.
The lot owners who are in collusion with the Company Nominee collectively hold 525 Unit entitlements whilst the rest of the lot owners have 481 Unit Entitlements. There are 4 Strata Committee members. Two of these are the Company Nominee and his wife.
The Company Nominee is arrogant and dictatorial and decides how the Strata Plan Levies are spent with no-one being able to interfere on any issue as opposition just gets voted down.
The Strata Committee is dysfunctional due to the situation and no face to face meetings occur. The Company Nominee chose our Strata Manager. The strata manager simply takes orders that have been given by the Company Nominee. The rest of the Strata Committee are not ever included in the decision making process. Most of the time, they don’t even get to see the invoices or put forward an opinion about expenditure.
Where are our rights as owners? What can we do to get back some control?
Answer: Stand united at the next AGM and gather a proxy each and vote the current committee down
You could consider a new by-law that allows strata meetings to be recorded by a participant for a meeting. However, this would require a special majority vote which may not be achievable without enough support from other owners.
If this option is not possible, then it would be best practice to take notes during a strata committee meeting on what was discussed, actions that were agreed and rely on these notes to raise any comments to the minutes that are sent to the strata committee for review before they are distributed to other owners.
This post appears in Strata News #339.
Question: Our strata executive committee has been taken over by a group of lot owners who make decisions in their favour and no longer enforce bylaws. They don’t communicate with the rest of the committee. What do we do?
We’ve lived in a strata scheme for 10yrs and had been on the strata Executive Committee with another two owners since moving in. We ran the place well and kept it neat and orderly. Three years ago, a disgruntled owner became an Executive Committee member, gathered some new owner residents and elected themselves to the chairman and secretary positions, changed the strata manager and have been ruling the roost since then.
The new strata manager openly shows favouritism to them. They have been voting the same people to office bearer positions for three consecutive years via secret ballot and they deal with all matters concerning them and their side of the block via direct phone calls to the strata manager. They should be making these decisions via email, cc’ing all committee members. Our objections to this process have been ignored.
Bylaws are no longer enforced:
- clothes are hung in balconies,
- resident cars (EC members and friends mostly) are parked in visitors parking
- funds are being misused for installation of cameras etc
Many of the other lot owners are investment property owners who aren’t interested in becoming involved. We feel like it is us two owners against four owners on the committee of seven. It’s a block of 14 units only.
We don’t see a way out. We have written to the council and environmental departments of NSW, but enforcing by-laws is the toughest part.
Answer: Stand united at the next AGM and gather a proxy each and vote the current committee down
You are an interested person under the strata legislation and are entitled to ensure the smooth operation of your Owners Corporation through NCAT: Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 – Sect 232
- 232 Orders to settle disputes or rectify complaints
- Orders relating to complaints and disputes The Tribunal may, on application by an interested person, original owner or building manager, make an order to settle a complaint or dispute about any of the following:
- the operation, administration or management of a strata scheme under this Act,
- an agreement authorised or required to be entered into under this Act,
- an agreement appointing a strata managing agent or a building manager,
- an agreement between the owners corporation and an owner, mortgagee or covenant charge of a lot in a strata scheme that relates to the scheme or a matter arising under the scheme,
- an exercise of, or failure to exercise, a function conferred or imposed by or under this Act or the by-laws of a strata scheme,
- an exercise of, or failure to exercise, a function conferred or imposed on an owners corporation under any other Act.
You will need proper evidence to prove your case and will need to apply for mediation first.
This post appears in Strata News #320.
Question: Our Secretary was subject to a Motion of a By-Law breach and worked with the Strata Manager to re-order Motions, placing his own Motion (where he was accused of a By-Law breach) at the very end of the agenda.
A group of owners recently called an EGM due to issues in our building and provided some Motions to the Strata Manager and requested that the order of the Motions stay in the order we had provided.
We also requested that the draft motions be sent to use before the Notice of EGM was sent out.
Both of these requests were simply ignored (and the order of Motions was changed and Notice of meeting sent out before we had the chance to review).
We then found out that the Secretary (who was appointed after we requested the EGM) and who was also subject to a Motion of a By-Law breach had worked with the Strata Manager and re-ordered our Motions, placing his own Motion (where he was accused of a By-Law breach) at the very end of the agenda. We felt this was a conflict of interest.
We requested when the EGM was about to start that we re-order some Motions and the Strata Manager (and meeting Chairman) became aggressive and simply refused.
The Motions regarding By-Law breaches were then dismissed by the Chairman and these Motions were not discussed at all.
I would love your view on this scenario.
Answer: Stand united at the next AGM and gather a proxy each and vote the current committee down
I have had this issue come up myself – I can’t find the advice I was given – but I would expect the following to be the case:
- I believe it is the Secretary’s discretion as to the order of motions on the agenda
- Requests for copies of an agenda – and that motions are kept in order, of course, can be made – but there is no requirement at law to meet that request
- As to conflict of interest – without knowing what the topic is and how serious this allegation maybe – it is likely that morally you are correct – but legally there may be nothing to stop them from doing what they have done.
- A Chairman can declare a motion out of order if it breaches some aspect of the legislation – so you should at the time request the basis (actual section) that this is the case for – otherwise the proposer can withdraw the motion – or the meeting agree (not the discretion of the chairman) to not put the motion. What should happen is that the party who requested the motion on the agenda should have forced the issue by asking the Chair to put the motion to the vote.
- One final point – the Chairman should be impartial – or have the scheme’s interest at heart as a worst-case scenario. If the Chair is the strata manager – he should be ensuring everyone gets to have a say and a vote and that owners make an informed decision.
The chairperson at a meeting may rule a motion out of order if the chairperson considers that the motion if carried, would conflict with this Act or the by-laws of the strata scheme or would otherwise be unlawful or unenforceable.
I cannot see that the Chair or Secretary have breached S18 of Schedule 2 regarding declaring a pecuniary interest.
I am aware many managers do not follow this practice of being impartial and involve themselves in the politics of keeping the committee happy to ensure their contract is maintained. Over time this sort of behaviour only ensures that various people become unhappy (it’s not hard for all to see what is being done and why) and the vote would eventually go against the managers re-appointment – but how long that takes is up to the group who have been disenfranchised to enlist the backing of the others (ie it may happen to you next often works) and so push for a change. Either of the Chair of the committee if that who is at issue (or the Secretary) or the Strata Manager.
I would suggest that those who requisitioned the meeting stand united at the next AGM and gather a proxy each and vote the current committee down for starters but you will need to have others who are willing to stand and do the work. This will send a clear message to the manager and those elected off as to future behaviour. To be successful at this though you need to act by stealth as otherwise the committee and manager will collude to get votes to maintain the status quo.
This post appears in Strata News #271.
Question: We have a toxic person on the strata executive committee who is suing the owners corporation and planning a leadership spill to take over as chairman. How do we handle this?
We have a toxic person on the strata committee who is suing the owners corporation and mediation has just ended with no result.
Is he allowed to attend the meetings while the legal issue is unresolved?
He wants a motion to fire the strata manager and a leadership spill to take over the role of the elected chairman. Unfortunately, he had convinced some members to back him.
What can the rest of the committee do to stop this bully lawyer and to counteract his devious plan to control every decision?
Answer: An owners corporation may, by special resolution, oust the Chairman.
Is this committee member allowed to attend the meetings while the legal issue is unresolved?
He should be asked to leave the meeting while you discuss legal advice, legal strategy etc in relation to the dispute to enable you to properly prepare your case. However, this does not disentitle him from attending meetings per se – you can only ask him to leave while discussing the dispute.
He should also be invited back into the meeting before any resolution is passed as he is entitled as a member to also vote on any proposed motions.
Care should be taken when terminating a strata manager, as it must be done strictly in accordance with the strata management agency agreement and the strata legislation.
It is a legislative requirement that the functions of a member of the strata committee exercise their functions for the benefit of the owners corporation and with due care and diligence.
An owners corporation may, by special resolution, oust the Chairman (in case he gets elected).
Alternatively, an application may be made to NCAT that such officer/member has failed to comply with the legislation or by-laws or failed to exercise due care and diligence, or engaged in serious misconduct while holding the office.
This post appears in Strata News #241.
Question: What can we do about one of our strata executive committee members who disregard the law and people’s safety, and has now driven almost all owners away?
How can a strata owner protect themselves against one of our Strata Executive Committee members, a keenly intentionally negligent secretary who has ruled a scheme for 25+ years with total disregard to strata legislation and other law issues such as public health and risk issues? They have driven almost all owners from the site so that only tenants remain to see, suffer and be at risk?
Answer: I understand the style of building / management structure and this can be problematic.
I have heard reports of strata like this for many years. I’m not sure of the detail on the negligence suggestion, however, I understand the style of building / management structure and this can be problematic.
The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 doesn’t recognise a one person secretary as the only person to run a strata building except in the case where there is only one person on the Strata Committee who is Chairperson / Secretary and Treasurer. The reason behind this is that the Act recognises a strata committee as a whole, rather than a delegation of a Strata Committee (such as one or two members).
I would suggest that you do three things:
- Nominate for the Strata Committee and also speaks to other owners to gain more interest from these owners to join the strata committee (to broaden the membership) and have them nominate at the next AGM. I would not suggest you be negative about the current structure. Focus the conversation towards increasing owner participation, which improves strata communities.
- Making sure that everyone is clear on what role the Strata Manager performs under their agreement and what role the Strata Committee has in the management of the strata. Normally the routine day to day functions are run by the Strata Manager. Changes to contracts in place, trades used on site, insurance policies & operational procedures are usually voted upon by the Strata Committee as a whole. All owners via the AGM make decisions on each of the statutory motions including approving financials, levies and the strata committee election. A high level, 1-2 page document should be prepared and signed off by both the Strata Manager and the Strata Committee (at a Strata Committee meeting) outlining who does what.
- Put in place a Strata Committee Charter to deal with the conduct of the Strata Committee level.
If these changes don’t change the strata culture, changing the strata manager may be the last resort. In similar situations to that which you describe, the Strata Manager is often entrenched with the primary owner so this may need to be resolved.
I hope this is helpful.
This article is for reference purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the developments in the law and practice or to cover all aspects of the subject matter. It does not constitute legal or other advice and should not be relied upon this way. Readers should take legal or other advice before applying the information containing in this publication.
This post appears in Strata News #162.
Question: An old cooling tower in our building only services a proportion of the apartments. What are the strata executive committee powers? The committee is proposing to replace the tower with ducted air conditioning to the affected units at the cost of the Owners Corporation.
I live in a building completed in 1981 with 24 apartments.
At the time of the sale of the apartments, the builder put a cooling tower on the roof and connected 9 units to this cooling tower via air conditioners, which were also installed by the builder, in their own lot.
Although I believe the water pipes to the roof cooling tower for each lot is in place, the other lots have not connected to the cooling tower.
The secretary of the Strata Committee owns 3 lots which are connected. They have always told lot owners who have purchased over the years that the cooling tower would only accommodate 9 lots.
For many years now, I have argued the maintenance of the cooling tower should be borne by the 9 lots. How can this be common property if it is not available to all owners?
This February at the AGM I had a motion passed to get three reports to see if in fact the cooling tower was ever installed to accommodate 24 lots.
The strata executive committee has basically ignored this resolution, but the secretary did use 1 of the work orders to quote on a new system on the roof. On reading this report, it basically reads that the cooling tower is old and hasn’t been well maintained and that it would never accommodate 24 lots. He did say he could put a new unit in to accommodate 19 lots, assuming not everyone would want to use their air conditioner at the same time.
The Strata Committee meeting in May resolved to disconnect the cooling tower. This decision didn’t go to the Owners Corporation. Is this within the strata committee powers? The Strata Committee has raised a motion for an EGM to have the Owners Corporation pay for completely new ducted air conditioner units in each of their lots. In addition, the outside unit which will sit on each of their balconies is to be paid for and maintained by the Owners Corporation.
Of the 9 lots in question:
- 6 are owned by members of the Strata Committee, of which includes 1 which was bought with reverse cycle air conditioners and not connected to the cooling tower;
- 2 were disconnected from the system up to 18 years ago, but they are included in the motion;
- 1 lot has the “cupboard system” air conditioners in their lot but has never connected as she had been advised by a lot owner who had disconnected the system that the air conditioner “chewed up electricity, the heating unit was woeful” and it wasn’t worth using.
The Strata Committee are bringing this motion to NOT replace the cooling tower or equivalent BUT to have 9 lots fitted with the latest ducted air conditioning at a cost of approximately $13,000.00 per lot = approximately $117,000.00 in total to be paid for and maintained by the Owners Corporation.
In addition, there is no costing AT ALL in the motion.
What are the strata executive committee powers?
Answer: The strata committee seems to be abusing their powers and not acting in the best interests of the Owners Corporation.
So, your scheme is not a large one (under 100 lots).
Because the installations were there at the time of registration of the strata plan, it would appear that the cooling tower (but perhaps not the connections) are common property and the responsibility of the Owners Corporation.
Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement for common property to be “available to all owners”. For example, you might have a common property grease trap in the scheme, but it is for the exclusive use of the retail shop on the ground floor which no one else may access.
As you correctly point out, the decommissioning of the cooling tower could only properly be affected by the Owners Corporation.
Strata Executive Committee Powers
Your strata committee is exceeding its powers in that they are not exercising the Owners Corporation’s repair and maintenance function but rather “enhancing” lot and common property with a completely different product.
In our view, such installations should be governed by a by-law at the cost of the individual owners benefiting and they should bear the ongoing repair and maintenance thereof.
The strata committee seems to be abusing their powers and not acting in the best interests of the Owners Corporation (but rather themselves!). In relation to the costings, however, as you are not a large scheme there is no requirement to have a minimum number of quotes. Costing, on the other hand, must be disclosed.
You should be blocking the strata committee from considering the above motions and ensure you garner more than a third of the aggregate unit entitlements to ensure any decisions made in light of the signed objections have no legal force or effect. We can point you in the direction of strata lawyers to assist in this regard.
If they still persist, it seems you might have rights to have a compulsorily appointed manager take over the scheme (so that there is no strata committee or general meetings for one year).
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
This post appears in Strata News #200.
Question: What are my rights as a committee member who is abused in emails constantly with offending words and disrespectful terms about quotes and repairs for the block from another committee member?
I’d like to find out about rules around strata bullying in Australia. What are my rights as a committee member to be abused in emails constantly with offending words and disrespectful terms about quotes and repairs for the block from another committee member?
Answer: Harassment and intimidation is never ok.
Harassment and intimidation are never ok. This kind of behaviour is beyond the scope of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and regulations.
I would suggest discussing the issue one on one with the person responsible after your next meeting. It may be useful to invite an independent person such as a fellow committee member to act as a go-between for the conversation.
Stay calm and don’t get aggressive, the key is to communicate how this issue makes you feel and how you want to move forward. I would open with a discussion stating that a strata committee is required to be run professionally and that you request that they refrain from using offensive and disrespectful terms in emails.
If this issue is unable to be resolved, I would recommend that your building adopts a strata committee charter at your next AGM.
This article is for reference purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the developments in the law and practice or to cover all aspects of the subject matter. It does not constitute legal or other advice and should not be relied upon in this way. Readers should take legal or other advice before applying the information contained in this publication.
This post appears in Strata News #199.
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