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  • #73307
    LP_92
    Flatchatter

      Hi!
      So my partner and I are in a bit of a predicament with our Strata, and its committee.
      I must add that I’m also a part of this SC, but I have been left out of any conversations due to ‘conflict of interests’.

      Back in 2021, our unit got smashed with water ingress due to damage of the common property. This caused floorboards to swell, paint to bubble, and all the other fun stuff.

      Now we’re at 2024, remedial works to rectify water issues have been fixed, but our floorboards and paint continues to be broken.

      We’ve sent multiple emails over the three years (200+ emails), multiple photos of damage, Contents Insurer Reports, quotes to replace damage, timelines of every part of contact between ourselves and Strata. We’ve been to Fair Trading, who say we’ve done everything possible as owners, and we currently have a meeting with NCAT lined up in a couple of weeks.

      This is where I need some guidance.

      Today we received the agenda for our AGM next month. This includes most of the information that we passed on (minus the email chains).

      What we didn’t expect was a ‘rebuttal’ that was written by the SC, that completely rips apart every sentence from one of our emails.

      These ‘rebuttals’ were NOT written up about any other tenant requests, and we believe that they have created this masterpiece to influence every other owner in the building.

      I want to know if they are allowed to write these hit pieces and add them to the agenda to pick up votes against us?
      We thought that as the SC denied the mediation request and take it to the owners, that we’d be able to have our say without any bias before we walked in the door. Also doesn’t help that a large portion of our building vote via proxies.
      Some of the information that they have sent to all the owners is also incorrect, and they have put a recommendation to vote AGAINST the request in their notes.

      We would love to know whether this is actually allowed, or are they able to bully people before you get a chance to discuss your claim with the owners?

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    • #73308
      LP_92
      Flatchatter
      Chat-starter

        Sorry, I should add that we are going up against the OC to replace damaged floorboards.
        We really need your expertise.

        Thank you.

        #73316
        kaindub
        Flatchatter

          Since mediation was declined, just go straight to NCAT. The oc has an obligation to repair common property and as is usual if their is consequential damages they r prepare liable for it as well.

          Dont worry what the outcome of the meeting is as a bore cannot a override the act.

          Sounds like you have enough evidence to sway the tribunal

           

          #73319
          scotlandx
          Strataguru

            Yes I agree with kaindub. It’s not really a question of whether or not they can present what you believe to be a false case to the other owners (and it may well be). If you are going to the Tribunal and you have a valid case, then you can use what they presented to the owners as part of your case.

            From what you say it sounds like you have grounds for requiring the rectification works, unless I am missing something on the insurance side.

            #73320
            scotlandx
            Strataguru

              Yes I agree with kaindub. It’s not really a question of whether or not they can present what you believe to be a false case to the other owners (and it may well be). If you are going to the Tribunal and you have a valid case, then you can use what they presented to the owners as part of your case.

              From what you say it sounds like you have grounds for requiring the rectification works, unless I am missing something on the insurance side.

              #73394
              StrataChair
              Flatchatter
              (from NSW)

                Be warned that NCAT takes time (our building went through one last year – it took from January to November) and a lot of energy.

                I would suggest you share the entirety of the email chain with your fellow owners before the meeting (if you don’t have all their email/mail addresses, get it from the strata manager and don’t take any nonsense from them about ‘privacy’: you are entitled to see the strata roll per s182 of the Act. Again, ignore any nonsense about the ‘privacy’ or ‘confidentiality’ of the emails. They are records of the owners corporation, and are thus open to all owners, with the possible exception of legal correspondence subject to privilege.

                If there isn’t time to do this, turn up at the AGM with your completed NCAT application and, ideally, all the emails compiled. Make it crystal clear that if it can’t be reasonably discussed between owners – perhaps asking others how they would feel if they got this sort of runaround – it will be put before an independent person at NCAT who will make a decision under the law. Remind them that this will incur considerable unnecessary cost on the part of the owners corporation and will not change the outcome. s105 of the Act, which governs common property repairs, imposes a ‘strict liability’ on the owners corporation. This is legal talk for ‘you can’t get out of it’. If the damage was caused by the failure of common property, there’s no question it is the owners corporation’s responsibility.

                If other owners are unsure or they haven’t had the time or opportunity to consider your material, the decision can be deferred by agreement to another general meeting to be held in, say, a month.

                One more thing you might want to have up your sleeve is a cost estimate from a lawyer to prepare for an NCAT hearing, let alone conduct one. I think your fellow owners will quickly see that fighting you in NCAT could well cost more than the actual repair.

                Make sure you nominate for the committee, and perhaps get some other like-minded people on board.

                If you do end up at NCAT and they seek leave to be legally represented, oppose it (unless you are a lawyer or know one!…actually if you are a lawyer, definitely oppose it!).

                One more thing I’ve just realised: this sort of damage is often covered by insurance. Is it in this case? And if not, why not?

                Good luck!

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