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

  • What is Important when Seeking Approval for Renovations

    What is Important when Seeking Approval for Renovations

    What I'd like to talk to you about today is the importance of seeking approval and what are the steps in seeking the approval when you carry out renovations in your property and of course when I say when you seek approval I am really referring to your strata community. It's important for you to understand that when you carry out renovations because you live in a community whether it's physical or whether it is behavioural impact, there will be an impact to the rest of the community and because of that it's important that you seek your Strata Communities approval sometimes in your relevant legislation that you're working on or that your Strata community is under sometimes it is required that a written approval is sought or sometimes them just getting an information or written notice from you that you are going to carry out renovations. The reason for renovations approval is being required by the Strato community is so that they could prepare the rest of the community in the renovations that you are also care that you are carrying out. Not only that it also protects you so that you make sure that when the works are carried out you're not going to get any unfortunate interference or notices from your neighbours that they become quite informed about the renovations that you are carrying out, not only that you are also informing your contractors on the steps that are required so that they are not interrupted when they are carrying out your renovation works So getting an approval from your Strata community is absolutely important because of those two factors; One, for the Strata community to prepare, meaning the community to prepare for the renovations that are going to be carried out and also, so that you and your contractors could better prepare so that you avoid uninterrupted renovation works and so that you can enjoy the product of the renovations you're carrying out.

  • Understanding the Implications of Water Leak from your Balcony and Terrace

    Understanding the Implications of Water Leak from your Balcony and Terrace

    Our discussion for today is about Understanding the Implications of Water Leak from your Balcony or Terrace. The reality is when it is determined by an expert and it could be a contractor when I say expert a building manager, building consultant or an engineer that your waterproof membrane needs to be fixed or it has past its lifetime. The consequence of not fixing that issue is water ingress and water ingress is not good for your neighbors, it's not good for the structure most especially if the structure is common property because what happens is the water ingress would impact not only your property, the common property, and your neighbor's property which is the unit below if any. So, the implications of water leak that you need to understand are contained in three things. Number one, once an expert tells you that you need to fix your waterproof membrane act promptly in rectifying the issue. Second one is inform the parties for in impacted by the issue of the water ingress and tell them that you're being proactive in resolving the issue. No.3 once it is rectified inform the impacted parties that the rectifications have been carried out in that you've been informed, as long as you really have been informed by the contractor that the rectifications have now stopped the water ingress. It's quite important for you to not ignore this issue because the longer it occurs, the longer you allow for water ingress to continue, the more damage and resultant damage could occur and it could not only impact others enjoyment of their property but it could definitely cause in the dispute that could have been avoidable and costs and stress to you would unfortunately unavoidable. So, it is important that more specially if you're in the Strata community or living in the Strata community that you understand these three implications and you must action them best practice as early as practicable in respect of any water leak or water ingress that is coming from your balcony or even your terrace.

  • Season 2

  • 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.