Forum: A warning about issuing warnings


I have to admit I’m feeling unusually smug this week – but that’s what happens when you get things so precisely right it feels like there was a betting fix in and you had the inside tip-off.

A couple of weeks ago an owner wrote to us about a barking dog and her committee’s reluctance to do anything about it.

I recommended she go back to them and tell them they had a legal obligation to enforce their by-laws and, with the evidence she had provided, they should issue a notice to comply.

Sure enough, an item to discuss the issue appeared on the agenda of the next strata committee meeting. “Do I need to do anything else?” the Flatchatter asked.

“Attend the meeting and ask to speak to the motion,” I replied. “And beware of anyone who says they must or should send a warning first.  Tell them a Notice To Comply IS a warning. Sending a warning that you’re going to send a warning is only slowing the process.”

So she logs in (it was a Zoom meeting) and sure enough, some action-averse member of the committee pipes up that they should send a warning first.

“Tap, tap. Excuse me,” she says, “a Notice to comply IS a warning, that’s just slowing the process and I’m the one who’s suffering.”

Bingo.  The strata manager agrees and an NTC is issued. Now, we know this is just the start of what could be a long process but at least the ball is now rolling.

And it’s a lesson to us all. Justice delayed is justice denied and it makes zero sense to warn people that if they don’t behave they’ll get another warning.

A Notice to Comply states that the recipient has breached a specified by-law and if they don’t stop, they could be fined.

It might be seen as more of a threat than a warning but it will get the miscreants’ attention more effectively than faffing around with meaningless “naughty notes”. You can read the whole saga HERE.

Elsewhere on the Forum

  • Overflowing drain on my terrace flooded my bedroom.  Who pays to repair damage?  That’s HERE.
  • I chose the wrong section of the Act to pursue two committee members who gave themselves permission to knock holes in common property walls. What happens next? That’s HERE.
  • Can we change the number of members on our committee before the next AGM?  That’s HERE.
  • Should strata law demand police checks for people who have access to master keys?  That’s HERE.
  • Fire inspections are finding faults where none existed previously.  That’s HERE. But the system’s about to be revamped, according to this story.
  • Neighbour disconnected his communal aircon, now he wants access through my lot to install his own pipes.  I’ve said “no” – can he force me? That’s HERE.
  • My rental agent closes down over Christmas and I’m worried I might lose my key. That’s HERE.

How to ask and answer questions

Anyone can read our posts any time but now there are several easy ways you can search, access, ask questions and reply to others’ queries. 

The best way these days may be to click on “Forum: Your Qs & A’s” on the top menu bar on a computer screen or on the drop-down menu (three lines) on the right of the screen on phones and tablets, under the Strata Choice ad.

Then click on the topic title that interests you, and off you go.  

Alternatively, you can look at the list of “Your latest questions and answers” under the ads on the right of the page on a computer screen. Or at the bottom, after the ads and stories, on a tablet or phone.

Or you can go “old school” and go to the Forum Home Page and work your way through the topics there.

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