Have You Ever Fought against Strata Committee and Won? Please Share Your Stories

After living in a strata owned property in NSW for quite a few years, we have recently (within the last 2 months) been unfairly picked on and issued with several trivial bi law breach notices. As a result we are considering fighting the strata committee and potentially taking legal action against them. At this stage I would not like to go into specifics as it is an ongoing matter, but would like to read some experiences and suggestions from others on what they have done. Also, how can we get legal help cost effectively to deal with this matter/ and any lawyer recommendations would also be helpful.

Comments

  • +5 votes

    I fought the law and the law won

  •  

    only way to win against strata is be head of the Strata Committee

  • -1 vote

    I needed money 'cause I had none

  • +7 votes

    Which Strata Laws are you breaching?
    Why do you constitute your treatment as unfair?

    These two questions will assist you in determining whether or not you should take legal action. Or whether it's even sensible to.

  • +1 vote

    I had issues with Strata Mgmt & a self-serving committee (South Australia). After a few yrs, I decided that the tension of trying to keep them honest was too great for me. I pulled my head in, ignored the self-serving stuff that they do, swallowed it, in order to live peacefully (I don't even attend the AGM any more!).
    At one stage we had a Strata Manager who tried to do the right thing and keep it honest….they sacked him and got a new Strata Manager in a different organisation that they could control.

    My situation is a bit different to yours, but I imagine if I had escalated things, they would have started picking on me quite heavily (they would say no to anything I suggested, even when it was for the greater good. Their individual and collective ego(s) was too important to them. I just decided to behave differently to how they do). Their 'gang' mentality was disgusting.
    Sometimes I've had to cut my losses in order to live a more peaceful life. It costs me in money (they're self-serving as I said)…but some things cost more than money.

    Good luck. I know how stressful it can be.

  • +1 vote

    What is trivial to you, may not be trivial to them.
    if you breached it,.. you breached it .. stop breaching it

  •  

    A bylaw breach notice…does that really mean anything. As long as you comply with the bylaw then isn't the notice is just that…a notice making you aware of the breach and asking you to remedy the situation.

    I rent one of those type of places and yes they do issue some very trivial notices. Just comply with them or move on if you don't want to comply. If you start fighting them then they can make your life very difficult.

    We've had notices for things left in common area although we were in the process of moving the items upstairs. We've had notices for holding the main door open even though we were having a delivery made at the time. Notices for smoking in the common areas. Neither of us do. Notices for noise after 11pm….no that was upstairs above us. Notices for parking in front of the door. That was so an elderly guest could be dropped off. The car was moved after the guest had made her way into the flat and the driver returned to the car. Notices for sharing the door entry PIN. That was shared with a family member so they could get in just in case of emergency as the phone wasn't being answered they entered. Rubbish bags not being deposited properly in the bins provided. They were but the bin could not be closed due to other crap being in the bin and my partner not being strong enough to move the rubbish and close it. There's been more. I just ignore the notices. I think they spy on us sometimes.

    • +1 vote

      I think they spy on us sometimes

      you think? That's some serious surveillance! Luckily, you seem to have a pretty good attitude about it - that shit would gnaw at me….

  •  

    You cannot beat the Strata Committee, they control everything, and they are usually the majority of the votes.

    • +4 votes

      In case anyone's wondering, I was making a point with my post above to show how frustrating it is to have a post with a situation but jack-all for information. It's possible to go into some detail while still remaining anonymous and keeping the post not traceable to anyone.

  •  

    Move on if you can. You don't want to live with those people even if you manage to win the argument (that's a big if on its own). They're just gonna pick on you even more.

  • +1 vote

    Buy 51% of the units and take control of the strata and make by-laws that they can't help but breach then send them breach notices >:-) And make common area upgrades that benefit only you and make them pay for it

  •  

    Just as an example one item is hanging of laundry on my balcony which is at the back of the block and covered by a fence. Quite A few other lot owners are also in breach and have their own variation of clothes line. It is questionable if they have also been targeted.

    •  

      Are you referring to hanging laundry over your balcony railings? This is a common by law and its reasoning is linked to the requirements of the insurer's public liability insurance policy that the Strata Manager would have out on the complex.

      If not, and you use a free standing clothes hanger/washing line set up — and depending of the exact language of the by-law (which is helpful to quote and justify your position) — write a note in response to your manager and inform them that you're using a fit for purpose, free standing clothesline which you have ensured is secure on your balcony and is not reasonably a risk to other building occupants or the public.

      Again, everything depends on the exact language of the by-laws. If you deal with their concerns in a "matter of fact" purpose, and their claims are unreasonable, they'll quickly be put back in their box.

      •  

        Or is it one of those which says you can't hang anything that's visible from the outside? If so, a bamboo screen might be the answer.

        Just make sure you comply with the by-laws so that they can't make any legitimate complaint against you (& maybe set up surveillance cameras).

        •  

          Yes it is about being visible from the outside and second bylaw about keeping homogeneous aesthetic nature of the building

  •  

    Does anyone know if there is a statutory expiration for strata bylaw breaches? Like can the committee enforce something that has been in place for longer than 5 years?

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