This article about a majority lot owner in QLD who is using their entitlements to run the complex has been supplied by Frank Higginson, Hynes Legal.
Question: We have a majority lot owner who owns almost half of the units in our complex. They are effectively running the complex, making unreasonable decisions, spending money from the sinking fund and raising levies. What can we do?
We have 21 units in our complex, 9 owned by one family group who basically dictate everything.
They decided that they wanted different locks on their mailboxes and apartment doors so had the locksmith create a second master key system for their units only. They paid this bill from the admin fund.
The chairman of the committee tried to bully our onsite manager into prioritising his unit above all others in the letting pool and when they refused he had a Remedial Action Notice issued to the manager accusing her of erecting scaffolding and installing air conditioners to his apartment with a QBCC licence.
He then organised for an increase in our levies of 250% above the last levy and increased the amount of spending allowed by the Committee. All of this was achievable due to the fact that the one family group (he is not part of the group) hold the majority of votes.
To date over $50,000 has been spent in legal fees from our sinking fund and apart from the fact that it is morally wrong, it is a clear case of bullying and I do not believe body corporate funds should have been spent.
He has also written to all owners telling them that the manager is unlicenced, unregistered and unfit to manage their units. Now there are only 7 other owners, including me, still in the letting pool. Despite the manager’s best interests, it is affecting bookings as all of the owners who are no longer in the letting pool have put their units with the same property manager who is not only making her life hard but also ruining the good reputation of our complex by the number of bad reviews his guests leave i.e. no linen in the apartment, rubbish in the bins/fridge, etc. HELP!
Answer: Owning more lots that anyone else does not give you the right to ignore what the BCCM Act requires.
This is very dysfunctional.
While there is nothing in the BCCM Act about the rights of a minority member of a body corporate there are very much obligations about acting reasonably.
If what you say below is correct, then to me it seems that the body corporate is NOT acting reasonably.
I think it is time for the minority group – including the resident manager – to get some legal advice about how to manage their way back to a position where they have some control. That may include seeking the appointment of an administrator to the body corporate, especially if he decision making is as appalling as you make out. There is a process for this which requires some proper strategy.
Owning more lots that anyone else does not give you the right to ignore what the BCCM Act requires.
Do you have a majority lot owner in your complex? If you have a question or something to add to the article, please leave a comment below.
- QLD: That’s it for contribution schedule lot entitlement adjustments
- QLD: Bullying in Strata! Some Committees are Extremely Unreasonable
This post appears in Strata News #315.