Body Corporate refusing to fix common fence

Hi all

For those living in eastern suburbs of Melbourne, remember the earthquake of June 2012 which hit 5.5 on the Ricther scale? A day after the earthquake, the brick fence surrounding my IP collapsed. My IP is 1 out of 8 units.

Body Corporate (BC) got an insurance assessor out to inspect the collapse, but was told that the fence collapsed as a result of normal 'wear and tear' instead of the earthquake.

So BC wrote to all 8 owners providing a range of quotes to re-build the fence, ranging from $1k - $2k.

However, during voting process, one unit owners proposed that instead of a simple fence re-build, why not take the opportunity to make capital improvements to the fence. She proceeded to circulate a paper resolution and requested all votes to be posted to her (instead of BC). Because of this, we never reached a resolution on the original fence re-build (which BC originally circulated).

It has now been 1.5 years since we heard anything from BC or this other unit owner. Everytime I call BC, I'm told that its out of their hands and that they need the committee chairman to propose the resolution.

I find this strange, shouldn't every unit have the same right to propose a resolution? Why do I have to get the Chairman's to do it for me? To make things more complicated, I can't get hold of the Chairman's contact number due to privacy reasons. It just sounds like BC is trying to fob me off because they obviously allowed the other unit owner to run around circulating paper resolutions but I can't even propose a simple resolution to have the original fence re-build.

Any insight into the above would be much appreciated!
 
Write to the secretary of the bc as well as the strata manager. Refer to the unresolved item on the minutes and request to have it brought to conclusion at the agm or at an extraordinary agm.

(If it is only $1-2K what's the issue?)
 
Thanks Scott

We did bring up the unresolved item at last year's AGM but due to no quorom, they could not vote on the resolution.

I would have thought this is just general maintenance and BC should just get it fixed. At most, they need a resolution on the quotes obtained. A bit at a loss on what needs to be put to a majority vote and what is classified as general maintenance.

BC also recommended I call the other owner (the one who wants to make capital improvements to the ppty) and get her consent. I don't see how this is relevant?
 
Thanks Scott

We did bring up the unresolved item at last year's AGM but due to no quorom, they could not vote on the resolution.

I would have thought this is just general maintenance and BC should just get it fixed. At most, they need a resolution on the quotes obtained. A bit at a loss on what needs to be put to a majority vote and what is classified as general maintenance.

BC also recommended I call the other owner (the one who wants to make capital improvements to the ppty) and get her consent. I don't see how this is relevant?

Hi there,

I'll preface this by stating that I am a Strata Manager in QLD do not claim to fully understand the VIC strata legislation, as it varies state by state. That said, the legislation is functionally similar to QLD and is found here:

http://www.vic.stratacommunity.org....Owners_Corporations_Act_2006_v11_18122013.pdf

There is not really such thing as an 'unresolved' motion. The motion is moved, and then it either passes or fails. If the motion does not receive the required number of votes to pass, it fails.

It seems in VIC that if a quorum is not present at a meeting, votes are counted, notices are sent and after 29 days the resolutions are effected by default.

Based on what you have said, it seems like the motion to re-build the fence has failed. This could be addressed at the next AGM. In QLD all Owners are invited to submit motions to the AGM, prior to the end of the financial year. There is bound to be some equivalent provision in VIC.

Also, the motion could be moved to a Special Meeting (a meeting other than an AGM). This special meeting can be called by the Chairperson, Secretary, or on the instruction of owners holding at least 25% of the total lot entitlements. i.e. - if you can convince the other lady to join you and instruct the Strata Manager to call the Special Meeting, the two of you presumably make up the 25% of the lot entitlements (as there are 8 lots).

Having said all that, the Body Corporate or Owners Corporation has a statutory obligation to maintain the common property of the scheme. This obligation does not supersede the requirement for the works you describe to be resolved at a Meeting, however if your motion to repair/replace the fence again fails, I would recommend you contact the arbitration authority in VIC and seek an order.

I can almost guarantee that your Strata Manager has not taken sides, or done anything incorrectly. Strata Managers have almost no scope to make decisions in relation to Meetings, or any other Owners Corporation affairs. I suggest you contact the Manager for your scheme and re-explain your case, and seek their advice - which will be to wait until the next AGM, call a Special Meeting with the other Owner, or proceed straight to the higher powers.

Matt
 
Top