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  • #72956
    Bluie
    Flatchatter

      Hello,

      A great forum, with a good exchange of information. Perhaps I can be pointed in the right direction.

      A ground floor unit has water ingress during rains. An engineer’s report has been completed (paid by the lot owner, as the OC was too slow to act).

      The report indicated poor building practices. It will require excavation to properly diagnose and repair. There are other water ingress issues in other parts of the building.

      The builder no longer exists and the ability to claim any insurance has expired. The OC whilst seemly keen to do something, seem to be out of their depth.

      Trades are appointed and then cancelled. Instructions seems to be confused. It is approaching 12 months since the matter was first raised.

      It is not our desire to take formal proceedings, how do we prod the OC into taking action?

       

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    • #72968
      Jimmy-T
      Keymaster

        It is not our desire to take formal proceedings, how do we prod the OC into taking action?

        Why would anyone do anything if you tell them you aren’t going to exercise your legal rights?have a think about what your options are, ranging from a collective decision to engage a project manager (for instance) or direct the strata manager to work out a remediation plan.

        If the strata committee/OC balks at that, then you really have to consider action at VCAT to force their hand.  But before that happens, you can give them the choice – save yourself the legal costs and just fix it, or fight this and still have to fix it anyway.

        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.
        #72971
        JulieMcLean
        Strataguru

          Hi Bluie,

          Have you offered your expertise to the Committee to help them navigate what needs to done? Committee’s are volunteers and are not necessarily engineers, lawyers, accountants etc. I am sure they would welcome your help with your idea of a plan of how to tackle the issue.

          My guess is they are stuck on “who is responsible” which requires an interpretation of the plan. This needs to be done by a lawyer or land surveyor. This advice will cost anywhere from $2,000 – $10.000 depending on how large and complex the plan is.

          Once the boundaries are defined and using the engineers report a clear responsibility and who benefits analysis can be done. Again, this may need legal advice to determine the basis of “benefit”. This advice will cost between $2,000 – $5,000 (but could be more if complex).

          With this information, the committee can seek quotes from project managers – who can identify the scope of works, draw up tender, request for proposal or simple quotes depending on the size of the project, obtain tender/quote, assess the tenders/quotes and make a recommendation to the committee for the works. Seeking quotes from PM will cost if the strata manager is undertaking the task (hourly rate), unless the committee does it.

          Then the committee needs to consider the funding methods for the Project Manager cost, plus the repair cost and voting thresholds. Hold the meeting, pass the resolutions and start to raise the necessary levies based on the legal advice in step 2.

          I don’t know how frequently your committee meets. If is a large scheme it might meet monthly, if small it might only meet quarterly. To navigate this process and achieve the necessary funds could take more than 12 months.

          If you have a funded Maintenace Plan, then funding the works may be quicker.

          Hope that helps.

          #73019
          Bluie
          Flatchatter
          Chat-starter

            Thank you for your responses.

            Jimmy-T, yes I think I am going to have to go the VCAT route to force their hand.

            Julie-  You provide a logical route. I have offered help in arranging trades, quotes etc however this has not be taken up. I believe that as often is the case, personal politics and power play are happening behind the scenes.

            Any pointers in applying to VCAT?

            #73022
            Jimmy-T
            Keymaster

              Any pointers in applying to VCAT?

              I believe Victoria has just recently reactivated its Dispute Settlement Service . That would be a good place to start.  And Julie’s advice to gather as much practical information as possible can only help, whichever way you go.

              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.
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