Welcome to our exclusive column by Chris Irons, Dear Strata Solve, untangling your strata problems.
Dear Strata Solve
My strata committee are terrible. I put up a motion 2 months ago and I’ve heard nothing about it. They don’t respond to my emails and complaints. I’m not the only one unhappy with them. Can we move a no confidence motion in them and get a new committee installed?
Regards, Angry in Annerley
It’s tough work when you are dealing with a committee and you think they aren’t being responsive.
That said, let’s break this down a bit. Committees are created by, and operate only according to, legislation. That means they are there to make decisions and their role isn’t necessarily to answer emails or respond to complaints. When it comes to motions, your right as an owner to have a motion considered by the committee is established in legislation (since amendments which came into effect from 1 March 2021, to be precise). Your motion must be decided upon within a 6 weeks, that can be extended by an extra 6 weeks in some circumstances.
You need to be sure you submitted a ‘motion’. A motion is something that enables the committee to know what it is they’re being asked, and then to make a decision on that. If what you submitted doesn’t enable that – well, how can the committee decide upon it?
If you did submit a proper motion and the time has now expired, that’s considered a ‘no’ decision and you can dispute that with the Commissioner’s Office. Before doing that, you might want to communicate with the committee to find out what has happened with what you submitted.
Despite what many people think, there’s no such thing as a vote of no confidence in strata. You can remove a committee member by ordinary resolution. A word of caution: removing a single or multiple committee members is no sure fire guarantee of improving things or getting what you want. It may simply be the committee are just not aware of their responsibilities – with a bit of education and training, they might do better. Also remember that the grass is not always greener. If you are removing a committee member, you need someone to replace them. You need to be very sure your replacements are up to the task. And finally, if you are agitating for committee change, perhaps you need to be putting your hand up yourself – or asking yourself why you haven’t already been elected.
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