Forum: High anxiety and double-dip voting


There’s an intriguing conundrum in the Forum this week.

An owner in a small walk-up block wants to install a stairlift – one of those chairs that takes older or incapacitated people upstairs – up to the third floor in the common property stairwell of his block.

It’s for his mother who, according to a concerned Flatchatter, doesn’t live there. The Flatchatter is worried that empathic non-resident owners might just flag this through, without considering the impact it might have on already narrow stairways.

It’s a tough one – you don’t want to deny anyone visits from Mum, but then you don’t want to put everyone else in the block at a disadvantage, especially if this was the only means of escape in a fire.

The search for a solution took me down a rabbit hole that you can read about or listen to via a variety of media, including my column in this weekend’s Australian Financial Review (which you can also read here) and this week’s podcast.

But let me just say it ends up with a solution that could see owners spending $25k each to enhance their value of their properties by between $100k and $150k.

You can read the original posts and replies HERE.

Two votes

Moving just slightly down the list, we find a question about whether an owner who has two properties can have two votes on the strata committee.

There are three answers to this:  No, no and no again.  NSW strata law is quite specific on this. It’s one committee member, one vote and they can’t flash their additional properties or even their unit entitlements at committee.

There is a way the multi-unit owner could get an extra vote on the committee but it would require such dumb acquiescence on the part of other owners that they would kind of deserve it.

You can read the original post HERE.

Motion sickness

How many times can one owner keep proposing motions on the same issue, asks a Queensland Flatchatter?

As someone who frequently raises the issue of people stinking up my flat with their barbecues – and gets nowhere – my answer is “no limit”.

But there’s a story behind this.  Our Flatchatter, a few years ago, had lot property fixed out of common funds. 

Everybody thought it was all kosher, until a tribunal ruled otherwise. But then it was decided it had all been done in good faith so a motion was passed at a general meeting saying they didn’t have to repay the funds. Small war, not many dead.

Except there’s one person who doesn’t want to have contributed to this misplaced payment and proposes a motion at every AGM that the erroneous payments should be refunded. 

Hence the desire by our Flatchatter for a limit on the number of times that this issue can be raised and the coals raked over.  We all can see a simple solution to this but, to quote the five words lawyers love to hear most: “It’s a matter of principle.”

You can read the original post HERE.

Elsewhere on the Forum

  • I suspect, judging by the herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across my ceiling that, in a breach of by-laws, the new upstairs neighbours have removed their carpet.  The building manager won’t investigate.  What can I do?  That’s HERE.
  • Our current security provider wants to change the system and charge us $200 a pop for swipe entry cards that can be cloned for $20 in the city. What are our options?  That’s HERE.
  • In a duplex, is it a good idea to make both lot owners responsible for their own property? That’s HERE.

There are more questions for you to answer, and answers for you to query, every week on the Flat Chat Forum.

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