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  • #63220
    Mailbox
    Flatchatter

      We have been given a special levy $2Mill among fewer than 25 units. Out of the blue we have not been given any minutes who voted and where it comes from. We are told are Balconies are not regulation height.

      Thus to them comply we have to rebuild balconies thus upsetting waterproofing so they will have to be retiled and this will affect the sliding doors which will have to be replaced. The Body corporate paid an engineer for specifications.

      We had a delayed AGM with the AGM Notice we were given the our special Levy is to be in one lump sum in July The meeting was early April. On.May 6th we get garbled report of what happened at the zoom meeting.

      Three people who were on the body corporate sold out a year ago

      What is the best course of action.

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by .
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    • #63223
      Jimmy-T
      Keymaster

        This looks very suspicious. Three committee members sell out just before  a special levy of on average $80,000 per unit is required.

        First, you need to get legal advice from a specialised strata lawyer.  Our sponsors Bannermans and Sachs Gerace  (ads on the Forum page) are both excellent.

        Then you need to find out what has triggered this requirement for an upgrade. There is no requirement to upgrade balconies to current standards unless something else in the block has needed planning approval.  (See comments below)

        Also, there must be cheaper alternatives available. Many schemes simply raise the effective height of the balcony by adding a toughened glass screen  to the top of the existing structure.  That would not require tiling or the $2 million of work.

        You need to collect enough signatures to call another meeting to discuss this (25 per cent of owners) and agree on another plan. The owners corp (all owners) can overturn its previous decisions at a subsequent general meeting.

        Notwithstanding cheaper alternatives, you should be looking at a strata loan to spread the financial pain over several years.

        Also, subject to legal advice, you probably need to start action at Fair Trading to get interim orders to stop this process before it goes too far.

        And you might want to try to find out how much the recent committee members who sold out knew about this, and whether or not they told prospective purchasers.

        There’s a lot to do but the first thing would be to contact all the other owners and tell them they are betr options available, and call a specialised strata lawyer as soon as possible.

        Alternatively, you could approach another of our sponsors, Strata Answers, who will provide expert advice (at a modest cost).

        The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
        • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by .
        #63226
        chesswood
        Flatchatter

          How could a strata loan help you? At (say) 8% interest, you’d need $160,000 p.a. just for the interest. Then you need to reduce the balance and pay all the other bills.

          #63235
          Jimmy-T
          Keymaster

            How could a strata loan help you?

            Because you pay it off over a longer period, obviously, on a reducing balance over a 10-year period. Some people simply can’t lay their hands on a lazy $80-100k in one hit.  The problem is that the law doesn’t allow the strata owners to choose – it’s either all special levy or all loan. That’s what really sucks.  People who can afford it should be allowed to pay their share up front, the others could pay off a smaller loan – if the law allowed it.

            Or do you think people should be forced to sell their homes if they can’t afford a special levy?

            The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
            #63289
            Barney
            Flatchatter

              The issue is not the loan but whether or not the work needs to be undertaken in the first place.

              (EDITED: See Comments on the recent Doherty case, below)

              • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by .
              #63346
              Strata Answers
              Flatchatter
              (from NSW)

                It is hard to imagine that the Committee would have put forward a motion for a Special Levy costing each unit owner approx $80,000 and expected owners to pay up within a couple of months….Any owners corporation trying to raise that sort of money would have to seriously consider taking out a loan for at least part of it  – repayable, as Jimmy notes above, over the next 10 years by today’s owners who will get the benefit of the new balconies.

                Secondly when $’s have to be raised on this scale the owners are usually given at least 6 months notice and then maybe a couple of instalments to pay it in. Of course some owners may still just not have the capacity to pay unless they can draw down on their mortgages etc. and the OC could well expect some owners to default under such an ill considered plan, meaning more argument and more legal costs and the money not being there when needed.

                So the first thing to do is to check the facts…

                What does the AGM Motion actually say in the Minutes of Meeting?

                Were owners sent copies of the Engineer’s report / scope / recommendations with the Notice of Meeting ?

                If not, you need to ask  the strata manager for a copy and if they won’t give it to you, arrange to go round to their office and find it.

                I hope this helps

                John Hutchinson

                S T R A T A   A N S W E R S  PTY  LTD      practical solutions for strata living
                abn 11 600 590 083
                http://www.strataanswers.com.au
                Ph: 0418 797 470

                 

                #63495
                Paddy37
                Flatchatter

                  Re Jimmy-T writing that the current BCA requirements on balustrades does not apply unless . . . . . .

                  Surely this has been overturned by the Doherty case decided by the Appeals Panel in September, 2021?

                  #63501
                  Jimmy-T
                  Keymaster

                    Re Jimmy-T writing that the current BCA requirements on balustrades does not apply unless . . . . . .
                    Surely this has been overturned by the Doherty case decided by the Appeals Panel in September, 2021?

                    You’re right, although the NCAT Appeals Board decisions are not “settled law” and can be overturned by a higher court (as in the Coopper pets case).

                    Nevertheless, judging by this article and this one, Tribunals are more likely than not to insist on common property being brought up to scratch.

                    NB: To avoid confusion, I have corrected this in my earlier post.

                    The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
                    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by .
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