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  • in reply to: Who owns garage door opener? #64524
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    My view is in the absence of documents for your specific strata showing they are common property the SCA guide “who is responsible” is authority to say the openers are an owner responsibility.

    in reply to: Forcing the whole block to be non-smoking? #64414
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    Sir Humphrey, what you said is pretty much the model By Laws STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT REGULATION 2016 SCHEDULE 3 which states:

    OPTION B

    (1) An owner or occupier of a lot, and any invitee of the owner or occupier, must not smoke tobacco or any other substance on the common property, except–

    (a) in an area designated as a smoking area by the owners corporation, or

    (b) with the written approval of the owners corporation.

    (2) A person who is permitted under this by-law to smoke tobacco or any other substance on common property must ensure that the smoke does not penetrate to any other lot.

    (3) An owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that smoke caused by the smoking of tobacco or any other substance by the owner or occupier, or any invitee of the owner or occupier, on the lot does not penetrate to the common property or any other lot.

    in reply to: New to strata – am I the problem? #63380
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    newb, I have found in these cicumstances it is best to hold informal talks with other owners.  Point out your concerns and see how much support you have.

    in reply to: Do we really need a manager? #58548
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    The hiring of a strata manager versus self managing is a such a personal choice for each strata. Mostly it depends upon the skills and knowledge of owners and everyone’s willingness to pitch in.

    I lived in a 5 unit strata and we decided to self manage.  In the end we decided that it was preferable to spend the money that would otherwise be spent on a manager on repairs and improvements on the property.

    Professional managers in my experience restrict their contacts to a very narrow range of administrative duties.  They will go beyond this but it costs.  We decided that we could do the admin stuff ourselves (there are a few very useful resources for this and I am sure Jimmy knows these).

    We put our bank accounts on line and arranged that any owner can view the accounts and transactions.  We all exchange emails and have discussions that way.   A few of us are ok with spreadsheets and drawing up agendas and taking minutes.

    Finally as Jimmy rightly points out things can get very personal and a a bit awkward but no more than with a larger strata I think.  The main issue is that some are less reluctant to take duties but if something affects their unit they want and expect it done straight away!

     

    in reply to: Other side of the pet debate #58442
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    The issue of pets has numerous issues.  The following is not meant as an anti pet rant.

    Certainly the laws have veered towards making it harder for strata to prohibit pets.  However both owner occupiers and owner landlords have what I believe are sometimes reasonable and valid concerns.  Those concerns aren’t always medical.

    Once permission is granted, in practice it is very difficult to get some wayward animals out.  Gathering the evidence is often nigh on impossible: (are you sure it was my dog? my Mrs XXX overreacted my dog wasn’t threatening/intruding, any animal could have done that, maybe a stray off the street) .  Enforcing eviction often equally difficult: after a lengthy and costly process  a promise to not offend again and plead that the animal is like family often succeeds.

    For occupiers, often the keeping of pets does result in denying them ‘the quiet enjoyment’ of their unit but also common property.

    For owner landlords, the damage to their property often isn’t covered by any bond and some damage not detected till the next tenant complains.

    in reply to: Strata Committee paying invoices #55393
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    TruEConcerned asked,

    1. Can the agent (who routinely passes emails to the SC) and SC ignore my questions?
    2. Can invoices be paid without having been approved by anyone?
    3. Can invoices be so meaningless as to raise the possibility that the OC is being fleeced?

    Unless enough owners are willing to demand better the agent can do all those things even if they aren’t aren’t authorised or legal.  Everything maybe above board or it may be as  dodgy as hell.  My view is that this, like most issues regarding common property, is one that must be transparent to all owners.

    I have experienced such issues often.  The only way to properly address this issue is to get enough other owners on side.  Approach them point out how much the owners are paying and how little they really know about what value they are getting for that money.  Put a resolution either at the AGM or otherwise.

     

    in reply to: Payment for services #53215
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    The only option I see is refusing to provide the service.  Recommend that they get another service provider.  The strata can then get quotes to compare with what you charge.

    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    “This makes me really angry. Before our strata introduced a pet ban living here was impossible.

    I have rented and lived in strata where pets have been allowed, unfortunately I can see and have experienced AJP’s point of view.

    I have had pets do a lot of damage to strata property or more than the bond.  I have had circumstances where the full degree of the damage done was not discovered until occupiers have been long gone.  I have had owners swear the pets are quiet and won’t be a nuisance only to find out that they are both.  In practice there are sometimes real lifestyle and financial issues, with allowing pets.

    Evicting a pet, especially where the pet’s owner ‘owns’, is extremely difficult and creates acrimonious disputes.

    I am not saying pets should not be allowed but I think the current laws (in NSW) are adequate and reasonable.  Other owners have an asset and lifestyle that they need to and have a right to protect.

    EDITOR’S NOTE:  When Flatchatters use “quote” rather than “Reply”,  it should be to highlight a specific point, or respond to a particular post, rather than just repeat the whole of a previous correspondent’s post.  But it’s a great device, when used correctly.

    To use it, click on “quote” on top of the post you are responding to, delete the parts you are not referring to (or just leave the first sentence if you are responding to the whole post), and don’t forget to “unquote” your response.  I have corrected this post as an example of what to do. Previously it had the whole of the previous posters message, then the response, all as “quotes”.  But kudos for at least trying.

    in reply to: Losing battle with dysfunctional committee #51175
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    “It’s basically dominated by two men who do what they want. They hold the purse strings and insist on managing everything. The Strata agent manage is useless and under their thumb. The rest of the committee is also useless, refusing to stand up to them because they hold the purse strings and self-serving committee members want them to sign off on expenses which should be personal”

    You will probably find that technically the two men haven’t done anything they personally can be confronted with.  People like this make sure the minutes reflect overwhelming agreement to their actions or that others have signed off on stuff.

    I have encountered this on many occasions and many different circumstances. Do your numbers and find how many like minded owners there are.  Start the process informally outside of meetings. Discuss with the ‘likeminded’ the need to stand up to these ‘two men’ and the best issues to do it on.

    I have had both success and failure but found political lobbying is the only practical solution.

    in reply to: Are there limits on the Chairperson’s power? #46991
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    I am in agreement with the above replies.  A lot of owners assume the Chair carries a  lot more power than they do.  Many Chair’s exploit this.

    In this case the issue of replacement should go to the owners and they vote on it.

    Put the issue up for vote at the next AGM.  As far as I know as long as it is properly put and approved (seconded etc) the secretary has to list in the agenda and it should be voted on.  To this end the more support you have from fellow owners who agree with you the better your chances.  This support needs to be gauged and engaged before any submission or meeting.

    I am not sure that the Chair or the secretary can take it on their own authority to not list the issue for vote.  Although I am sure many do.

     

     

    in reply to: Parking in private space (not visitor parking) #45983
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    VeeDub, I have no comment about the substantive issue or the legal action you should take.

    My only comment is that you need to take a photo of the offending vehicle every time this occurs.  This will build a picture for any action you may decide to  take.

    Nothing impresses a tribunal etc like a photo with  date stamp! *smile*

    in reply to: Are these strata manager fees fair? #44517
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    Hi Gumdrops, just regarding the 20% commission for insurance.  It is common and accepted practice (I think) for insurance brokers to take 20% but this is off the insurance companies profit.

    Our Strata uses an insurance broker and the broker gets paid a 20% commission but we pay the same as if we had purchased the policy directly off the insurance company.

    So if the 20% you referr to is this, it is standard practice.  However having said that your Strata manager appears overly remunerated!!

    in reply to: Need new Strata Manager for block of 3-NSW #43934
    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    ShawTodds, For small strata the manager costs per unit can be considerable.

    Has your strata ever thought of self managing?  It involves more effort but saves heaps of money.

    These days with electronic bank accounts and email it is a good option.

    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    I would have thought that even though “the standard by-law on parking was deleted when the by laws were updated in 2017”.  The way they are parking is a ‘nuisance’ and denying you the quiet enjoyment of your property.  Under both strata and common laws they can’t do that.

    First you need to document the ‘nuisance’.  These days, with everyone having smart phones that shouldn’t be hard.  When it occurs. take a photo and make a note of the time, registration etc.  Such evidence will be valuable if you have to take this further.

    Cosmo
    Flatchatter

    Let’s face it serving is a thankless task.

    If you get off on power and control that is one reason you get on committees. Another (and we all think we are in this category even the control freaks!!) is we want to do our bit and ensure the strata is well run for everyone!

    Oh how this soon changes as time wears up down.

    Over the years I have decided there is only one criteria that is a must.  All the others (enthusiasm, professionalism etc) are bonuses.

    The one must? TRANSPARENCY

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 212 total)