Maintaining the building is the law
As strata community managers, it is our job to take direction from the committee, who in turn are voted in by the owners corporation or body corporate.
We are legally bound to do our job by strata legislation and regulations in each state. And the law says you must maintain your building. Strata law is complex, that’s why strata management is a profession.
So what if the owners corporation have a different perspective and don’t rank building maintenance high on their agenda due to fear of spending?
In short, the owners corporation may just find themselves locked into legal proceedings, costing more time and most likely more money than the building repairs required.
Recently diverting a very real situation from NCAT was STM Senior Community Manager, Leanne Eardley, for a property she manages in Sydney south.
This property needed major repairs including drainage works throughout the entire complex, amongst other repairs. The owners resisted committing to these repairs, largely due to the cost and the uncertainty of their apartment building being snatched up by developers in the future. Why repair if it’s going to be knocked down, right?
No, not right. One apartment was in such dire need of a replacement sliding door and several windows replaced due to gaps so large it was causing major drafts in the apartment that the children weren’t sleeping in their bedrooms this winter because it was so cold.
When a rogue extra ordinary meeting gets results
To the credit of strata committee member, Erwin, he went to extraordinary detailed lengths to support his cause to repair common property. His photographic evidence, reports from contractor experts and quotations were more than convincing when presented to the owners corporation with Leanne.
As anticipated, the EGM was hostile with owners initially not willing to raise the special levies to complete the works.
According to Leanne, the owners were simply looking for an avenue at the EGM to have their say on the building in which they lived. After all, they are owner occupiers and are affected. They are all to be respected and owners have a right to be heard.
After listening to the owners, and with gentle reminding, Leanne reinforced the owners corporation’s legal obligations to maintain the building and common property and reminded them of legal repercussions should they not comply with these requests.
It was then agreed to raise a special levy of $21,000 for the storm water drainage issue and $10,000 for the windows and doors replacement. The funds would be raised in three monthly instalments starting in September. Combined with existing funds in the Capital Works fund, work will commence shortly, much to the relief of all owners, and Erwin.
“I have to say thank you to STM, because without Leanne Eardley and the team, I wouldn’t have been able to have the meeting and have two motions passed.
“Leanne handled the meeting impeccably. Through her empathy, patience, wisdom and amazing negotiation skills we succeeded in the approvals 4 votes to 3.”
This is a fine example of effective strata management at play to benefit all owners and to maintain building compliance.
Whether you are living within a large strata plan or small, appointing professional strata management can be extremely beneficial.