December 10, 2019 at 12:23 am #27208BMember
The COO with the support from strata manager intentionally built 22 additional new carports structures with significant faults and without approval from the local Shire, Swan River Trust and Water Corporation.
This is documented and it’s signed by strata manager on behalf of the COO to proceed with the works knowing they are not approved by the shire.
Insurance company confirmed in writing that these new additional carports would be an illegal construction and are not covered under the policy.
Retrospective approval from the Local shire was obtained almost 3 years later on the unauthorized carports at additional cost to all owners. Therefore for almost 3 years, strata company was not covered by insurance in the event of accidental damage or liability claim.
Insurance company also confirmed should a defect or non‐compliance be identified this will need to be disclosed. Additional new carports structures are built on common property jointly owned by all owners without obtaining a RWD vote, not built to specifications and carport poles are built in the garden beds that are a hazard.
Existing onsite exclusive use car bays have also unofficially being altered and do not coincide with registered Landgate strata plan by-law that has not being enforced at all. There has already being few injuries at property as a result of carports cross bracing installed that do not comply with shire regulations.
The COO and strata manager placed all lot owners at risk of being personally held liable financially that could have ruined owners lives and their property as they would have had to pay out of their own pockets.
Our strata management always say that they only do what the COO instructs them, however surely a strata manager has a duty to strata company to stop any unauthorized works that does not comply with the law and ensure property is covered under the insurance policy?
Where does due diligence and duty of care come in as what the COO and strata manager did was intentional as documented?
What can owners do about the strata manager and the COO for what they did?
Thank you Amanda.December 16, 2019 at 10:52 am #27434Amanda FarmerExpert
The strata manager cannot hide behind illegal instructions.
If an agent carries out an instruction to do something that they know (or should know) is illegal, then they are themselves acting outside of the law.
I am not sure if this issue of the carports it still outstanding today, or if this is a past issue that has now been resolved with the obtaining of retrospective consent.
If it’s still outstanding today, it sounds to me like you might need to approach the State Administrative Tribunal for appropriate orders – especially if common property has been ‘given away’ without obtaining the necessary approvals.
If it is now resolved and you’re asking: what can be done about the past behaviour, the question to think about is: what loss has the strata company / owners suffered because of this behaviour? Is there some kind of monetary loss that can be quantified (ie: what damages can be claimed?). If everything has (luckily) been squared up and is now legal, there may not be any loss.
If there is now compliance with the law and there is no quantifiable loss arising from the past behaviour, the Tribunal/a court is unlikely to be interested in hearing a complaint.
Amanda.December 18, 2019 at 1:55 am #27491BMember
Thank you for your response.
The document sent by the builder to strata company says, ‘it was agreed that the revised location of the 22 carports would not be submitted back to City of (Shire), Water Corporation, or Swan River Trust due to additional costs & delay in approvals times, but I did make mention that if this becomes an issue in the future, then all costs to re-apply, etc will be bourne by either (strata management) or the council of owners, etc.’
Therefore the strata manager and council of owners agreed in writing to proceeding in building the carports without approval.
This issue of the carports it still outstanding today as the carports have defects and non‐compliance as correct procedures have not been followed. We also have a strata consultant report that document exclusive use car bays have unofficially been altered and incorrect processes have been carried out in building the carports structures.
The loss suffered by strata company because of this behavior from strata manager and council of owners is now well over $100,000. The further cost to rectify all the faults is in the many thousands of dollars that has not being disclosed to all owners that majority do not benefit from at all and the budget was only $40,000 approved at a informal meeting that binding resolutions were made.
Common property that is jointly owned by all owners has been ‘given away’ without obtaining the necessary approvals.
There is nothing legal onsite as the new additional carports are not built to specifications, all owners were not consulted or given any plans, some owners have no access to their official allocated car bay as described on strata plan.
Approval was at a informal meeting that does not document anything about building carports. There is no compliance with the law and there is quantifiable loss as a result that is only getting higher.December 18, 2019 at 8:16 pm #27547Amanda FarmerExpert
This sounds like very serious breaches of (various) laws to me and significant losses to owners as a result. You’d be well placed to invest in some specific legal advice on the issue.
Amanda.January 3, 2020 at 7:51 pm #28388JAE in WAMember
The builder should be reported for knowingly undertakng works without council approval and held responsible for defective workmanship etc…contact the building commissionJanuary 4, 2020 at 1:44 am #28431BMember
This happened in 2009 so need to check with building commission if they can be still reported. The builder has thrown the blame on the Strata Manager and COO but still intentionally went ahead with building the unapproved carports that still seems to be not all approved by the local shire.
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