Strata FAQ: What About Precedents? – NSW


Each edition we will be taking a frequently asked question received by our community managers and share them with you. This is part of our commitment to providing education and support for body corporate and owners corporation committees across Australia.

If you have a question that you’d like to see featured here, then let your community manager know. We’d love to hear from you.

Question:

I have recently bought a unit in that has a parking space under the building.

This parking space has an opening but not a garage door. I’d like to add a garage door like I’ve seen two other unit owners do, but when I applied for permission it was refused.

I asked the reason because as I see it, a precedent had already been set. I was told the other owners had put the garage doors in without permission many years ago so they have just let them stay.

I also asked permission to put in a split system air conditioner in but was also refused.

Several units in the building already have air conditioning units so once again a precedent has been set.

They committee told me the reason why they were refusing permission is that with several air conditions already installed, one more would make it too noisy.

What can I do?

Answer:

The next step for the lot owner to take would be to apply for mediation through the NSW Office of Fair Trading. Below is a link to the Fair Trading webpage regarding the mediation process, requirements and general information: http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Strata_schemes/Resolving_issues_strata_schemes/Strata_and_community_mediation.page

Should mediation, fail the owner could then submit an application to the Office of Fair Trading requesting an adjudicator’s order.

The final step, should an adjudicators ruling be unsatisfactory, is to contest the decision at a Tribunal. Although in our experience, it is rate that a dispute of this nature would go this far.



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