This article about stopping a senseless proposal to move the bins and potentially causing safety issues has been supplied by Strata Community Association WA.
Question: Our strata manager is proposing new spots for our bins. This whole idea rings safety issues for me and possible injury claim from our Body Corporate public liability insurance should it get the go ahead. How can I stop this?
What WA regulation would apply to not allowing the bins area to be relocated?
Our strata manager is proposing new spots for our bins. Instead of one designated area, he is looking to split the spot into three separate locates, all with access issues.
This whole idea rings safety issues for me and possible injury claim from our Body Corporate public liability insurance should it get the go ahead. The current bins area is easily accessible with no safety issues. Also, the relocation will require funds which I feel do not need to be spent.
This has all come about because a tenant and an owner want the bins moved. I’m looking for a Regulation, a specific area of reference to quote so this senseless plan gets stopped.
Answer: It is very important to note that any proposal for work to common property should come from the council of owners or the owners at a General Meeting.
Firstly, you may find that there are regulations or restrictions imposed by the local council. As a first step, we would, therefore, encourage you to contact your local council to request further guidance on whether or not they have any restrictions in place regarding your bin area. This is likely to take factors into account such as what type of bins you have (are they household sulo bins or are they bulk bins) and whether the bins are collected from the bin area or whether they are required to be placed on the verge for collection.
Secondly, you have mentioned that the proposal to move the bins has come from your Strata Manager which you believe will create access issues and potential safety hazards. It is not clear from your enquiry whether or not there is an active council of owners and if the Strata Manager intends to make the decision, with or without authority.
It is firstly very important to note that any proposal for work to common property should come from the council of owners or the owners at a General Meeting. A Strata Manager is a service provider engaged to act on instruction received from the council of owners and therefore it’s important for you to identify whether or not the council of owners, or owners at a General Meeting, have initiated this proposal (rather than just one individual owner or tenant).
The Stata Manager does not have any authority to proceed with arranging work without being instructed to do so by the council of owners or by a resolution at a General Meeting.
Lastly, it is also important to familiarise yourself with Section 35 (1)(b) and (c) of the Strata Titles Act 1985 “Duties of strata companies” (note that the ‘strata company’ is all owners collectively, not to be confused with the Strata Manager) which states that the strata company shall control and manage the common property for the benefit of all proprietors (more commonly referred to as owners) and keep in good and serviceable repair, properly maintain and, where necessary, renew and replace the common property.
The Strata Titles Act 1985 does not include a provision for the strata company to ‘upgrade’ or ‘alter’ common property, only to manage, control, maintain, renew and replace. Depending on the circumstances of this particular case, relocating the bin area may require an alteration to the common property in which case the decision would need to be made at a General Meeting (at which all owners are invited to attend and vote) and legal advice should be sought on the type of resolution required at that meeting given there is no provision to make such a decision in the Strata Titles Act 1985.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided solely for general information purposes and should not be taken as constituting legal advice or advice that is specific to your particular circumstances. You may consider seeking independent legal advice to see if the information provided relates to your circumstances.
Strata Community Association WA (SCA WA) is the peak industry body representing people who own and work with strata property in Western Australia by providing education and advocacy. Our members consist of strata lot owners, council of owners’ members, professional Strata Managers and associated service providers. Strata is a complex area of the property industry and it can be difficult to navigate without having access to professional assistance. To support our members, we offer a member-only Advice Line that provides general advice, information and guidance. Join SCA WA today from only $60* per annum to gain access to the Advice Line and other member benefits. Contact us to find out more!
This post appears in Strata News #208.
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