Strata Life

by Rochelle Castro of RC & CO LAWYERS

It's quite a journey for seasons one and two and now we're ready to take it to a higher level. And season three will be a more advisory approach on all matters that could help you enjoy the Strata life.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 3

  • Importance of a special resolution being passed before granting a lease or license over a common property

    Importance of a special resolution being passed before granting a lease or license over a common property

    You see, it's absolutely certain for the strata community to pass a special resolution because it gives the power to all the owners to make a decision if they want to lease or license part of the common property. Now, this wasn't given to the executive committee for the very reason that all the other owners in your community must be given an opportunity to voice out whether they want to lease or license that shared area. Now, if the executive committee decides to skip that requirement, which is really a legal requirement to pass a special resolution, and decides to make that decision, they're really acting beyond their powers. And what could be the consequence be them opening themselves up to any liabilities that could be made by another owner or even the person that's been granted a lease or license? So it's absolutely necessary that your strata community passes a special resolution, records that special resolution in the minutes or a ballot, and then confirms in the lease or license document that a special resolution has been passed. In that way, there will be no future arguments that could absolutely be avoided, and no allegations made against the committee in the absence of a special resolution being passed.

  • Obligation to contribute financially

    Obligation to contribute financially

    One of the common issues that one faces when they start living or owning property in a strata community is the obligation to contribute financially. Contribute to the maintenance of the community. There are times that owners stop providing contributions or giving their contributions because they have issues with the maintenance being dealt with. Unfortunately, that isn't the solution because those who bought into a property with a strata community actually have a legal obligation to contribute. But it's not just about obligation. Keep in mind that because your strata community is maintaining your shared property, your private property value is maintained, and there's a high likelihood of it increasing but not providing or not giving your contribution because you have a concern, that's not the solution. If you have a concern with the way the strata community is operating, you must address it to them in writing. That way, you could demonstrate your seriousness about your concern and that you are addressing it and you would like them, the strata community, to resolve it. On the other hand, where your strata community requires you to complete a complaint form to address your concerns, do so. That way, again, you demonstrate how serious we are in trying to find a solution to your concerns. If that fails, you can then request your strata community to have a dispute resolution meeting so that you are given an opportunity to voice out and explain further what you have written down so that they can understand your concerns. Now, I do say it's important for you to communicate, but it's also important for you to assess the issues that you address. And there may be times when it's necessary for you to get expert advice. Include that expert advice to your written concern that you address the strata community so that they can see how determined you are in resolving this issue.

  • Common issues that the Executive Committee faces dealing with misbehaviors within the Strata Community

    Common issues that the Executive Committee faces dealing with misbehaviors within the Strata Community

    And it gets quite distressful for Strata community, especially when there are a number of complainants who approach them and demand that the issue be resolved. It's important for this executive committee to first determine the seriousness of the issue and how much information has been put forward by the complainant. If there's not enough information that the complainant has provided to the executive committee, it's important that more information is requested. Once all the information, all the relevant information, or enough information is provided, the executive committee. If you're an executive committee, you should determine the seriousness of the issue that has been presented. Is it something that a phone call could resolve? Should a letter of demand to stop the misbehavior be issued? Or is this something where an initial breach notice should be issued followed by a final breach notice? Should there be a dispute resolution meeting allowing the parties to come to the table and discuss ways to resolve the issue? The key here is identifying the correct communication platform to use so as to approach the issue and determine ways, practical ways, commercial ways, or even legal ways to resolve the issue. One thing that as an executive committee should remember is that the legal process is not the only process or what's available, the resource that's available. There are also external resources such as the health department, the police, your local council or local government who could help you, and other centers who could provide the assistance. And those should not be ignored and looked upon as ways to help the complainants and residents who are facing the unfortunate situation of a misbehavior.

  • Season 2

  • 5 REASONS WHY STRATA COMMUNITIES GET INVOLVED IN WATER LEAK DISPUTES

    5 REASONS WHY STRATA COMMUNITIES GET INVOLVED IN WATER LEAK DISPUTES

    Do Strata communities have to get involved in owner-to-owner water leak disputes? Unfortunately, most times they do. This particular podcast provides clarity on the five reasons why Strata communities get involved in water leak disputes. One, the water leak originates from common property. That's quite clear. If the water has come from common property, the Strata community would be involved in the water leak dispute. Number two, the water leak could have originated from private property, but also runs through to common property and has reached another private property. This is where the water leak dispute becomes quite complex, although even if the leak did not originate from the common property as long as it has run through the common property, unfortunately, the Strata community would have to be involved in the dispute. The aggrieved owner of the water leak has filed a complaint to the Strata community and wants it to enforce its rules or bylaws to resolve the issue. This is just like any other issues or complaints raised by any owner or occupier. But it's important that the Strata community make an informed decision as to whether it will enforce the rules. But in our view and experience, it's important that where a water leak dispute is contained in a complaint, the Strata community ought not to ignore it and make a determination on the enforcement of its rules or by-laws. Four, the Strata community could be denied of Strata insurance renewal claim or permanently be denied of a claim relating to water leak damages. This is ultimately a disaster for the Strata community where they have been ignoring water leak issues between owner to owner, or where water leak disputes have been raised by occupiers to the Strata community. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the Strata insurer would deny claims to the Strata community that relates to any water leak disputes. So definitely the Strata community should be insurer would deny claims to the Strata community that relates to any water leak disputes. Definitely, the Strata Community should be involved in these disputes so as not to face a disaster of insurance problems. And five, the integrity of the building could be compromised if the water leak issue is not resolved as early as possible. Acting reasonably and acting timely is important for a Strata community because if a Strata community ignores water leak issues within a building, it could have a significant impact on the integrity of the building and could compromise the safety of its occupiers and investors. So it's important that the Strata community is involved in such water leak disputes. These are the five reasons why Strata communities get involved in water leak disputes. Do you think there should be items that must be included in the list? We want to hear from you, so please share our podcast with those who could learn more about Strata Living or share your comments in a comment section.

  • 5 STEPS TO RESOLVE BUILDING DEFECTS

    5 STEPS TO RESOLVE BUILDING DEFECTS

    A man's home is his own Castle. This is no doubt familiar to you. One of the most exciting times in a person's life is when they buy their first property and more properties. However, the exciting time could turn into a nightmare where building defects are involved. Let's explore the five steps to resolve building defects in the Strata community. 1. Hire a building Inspector to confirm in a report if the defects are structural or nonstructural. It's important to get an expert to identify as soon as possible these components, structural or nonstructural so that a plan could be set by the Strata community on what could be pursued or not pursued for the builder to rectify. 2. Get legal advice to determine if the defects are part of the common property or private property, it's important for the Strata community to determine through legal advice, their rights, and responsibilities. Of course, in the first instance, with a common property, in the second instance with private property and determine why they should even be involved in a private property. This could be obtained through another expert by getting legal advice. 3. Write a letter to the builder to compel them to rectify the defects. Of course, at the end of the day, it's important that the person or the party responsible for those defects, which is the builder in this instance, should be issued a letter of demand to require them to rectify the defects. 4. If the builder refuses to carry out rectifications and if the legal costs to pursue the builder for the defects outweigh the defects rectification costs, the Strata community should make a commercial decision to raise the funds to rectify the defects themselves. This is a commercial decision that should be carefully thought of by not only the committee, but we do also encourage that it would be presented to all members of the Strata community. So everyone is involved to determine whether everyone wants to pitch in making a commercial decision. There are many developments that we know have made decisions such as this, especially where they have determined that the defects are not that significant and they should just and ought to just do away with the stress of litigation and resolve the defects themselves. 5. If the rectification costs outweigh the legal costs to pursue the builder, pass the required resolutions to issue legal proceedings against the builder and action accordingly. Ultimately, there are developments that we know would have to resort to litigation. It's absolutely necessary that the resolutions are passed by the Strata community to allow them to pursue litigation and ultimately reach the goal of compelling the builder to rectify the defects. These are the five steps to resolve building defects. Do you think there should be items that must be included in the list we want to hear from you please share our blog with those who could learn more about Strata living or share your comments in the comments section, as usual, remember to continue upgrading yourself.