Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Common Strata Disputes

Common Strata Disputes – Steps to Resolve the Issues

If you raise a motion, remember that a resolution made by the owners corporation is binding, as long as it follows the correct procedure. If your motion is rejected and you believe the decision did not follow the correct procedure, or there are extenuating circumstances, you may consider applying for mediation. This is possible for matters including renovations, requesting exclusive use of the common property, changing a by-law and other issues listed on the Fair Trading website.

A resident is breaching by-laws Eg. unauthorised parking, excess noise, nuisance smoking
  1. Talk about it with the person who is responsible for the breach and/or advise the owners corporation (OC)
  2. The OC can serve a notice to comply on an owner or occupier
  3. If the conduct continues, the OC can make an application with the Tribunal seeking an order to impose a penalty.
How to obtain exclusive use of common property
  1. Submit a motion to the secretary requesting exclusive use of common property
  2. A common property rights by-law must be passed by special resolution. Your written consent (as an owner) is also required.
How to do a renovation
  1. If the work is cosmetic, the lot owner may undertake the work with no approval from the OC
  2. If the work is classed as a minor or major renovation, write to the secretary requesting a motion to be put on the agenda of the next meeting.
  3. How to have a by-law changed
How to have a by-law changed
  1. Request a motion for a special resolution with the secretary
  2. If the decision of the OC supports the motion the by-law is adopted and must be registered with the NSW Office of the Registrar General.
Disagree with a decision by the owners corporation
  1. Talk about it: write to the strata committee or strata manager or access the schemes internal dispute resolution process
  2. Submit a motion to the secretary for inclusion on the agenda of a general meeting for consideration.
Dissatisfied with the strata managing agent
  1. Talk about it: write to the strata committee or OC
  2. Submit a motion proposing to terminate the strata manager’s contract or to address the conduct of the strata managing agent to the secretary so it may be included on the agenda of a general meeting
  3. If supported the OC can apply to the Tribunal for an order
  4. Complaints about the strata managing agent’s responsibilities and conduct required as part of their licence conditions should be directed to NSW Fair Trading.
Prospective collective sale
  1. The established process must be followed before a collective sale may proceed (refer to the Fair Trading website for the full details)
  2. Read all documentation and seek independent advice before signing any agreement
  3. Know your rights and contact Fair Trading if you require further information.
Damage to a lot
  1. Talk about it: write to the strata committee or strata manager or access the scheme’s internal dispute resolution process
  2. Submit a motion to the secretary so it can be included on the agenda of a general meeting for consideration
  3. If not resolved, apply to Fair Trading for mediation
  4. If the matter remains unresolved, apply for a determination by the Tribunal.
Getting repairs to common property done
  1. Talk about it: write to the strata committee or strata manager or access the scheme’s internal dispute resolution process
  2. Submit a motion to the secretary so it can be included on the agenda of a general meeting for consideration
  3. If not resolved, apply to Fair Trading for mediation
  4. If the matter remains unresolved, apply for a determination by the Tribunal.
Building defects
  1. Submit a motion to the secretary for inclusion on the agenda of a general meeting for consideration
  2. If not resolved, apply to Fair Trading for mediation
  3. If the matter remains unresolved, apply for a determination by the Tribunal Remember: Strict timeframes apply to your right to have action taken against those responsible for defects under the statutory warranties for the building work.

© State of New South Wales (NSW Fair Trading). For current information go to fairtrading.gov.au


Read related: Dealing with problems in Strata

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