Legal Hypothetical: Strata Scheme Sting




Strata Scheme Sting

LUCY and George were recently engaged to be married and began looking for their first home.

They soon purchased a duplex in a small strata complex, consisting of just two lots.

The duplexes shared a main wall and the common property consisted of a small garden shed, a driveway, a courtyard and a grassed area.

Prior to exchanging contracts Lucy and George were informed that the vendor was unable to provide records of strata management meetings and a capital works fund was never established.

The owners did however share payment of the building insurance premiums.

Everything went well for the first couple of years.

Then Dave, the neighbour, decided that the driveway and courtyard on his side of the complex needed upgrading.
Dave obtained a couple of quotes and settled on Peter the Paver.

Dave met with Lucy and George, who agreed that it would make the place look great.

Dave had the work done and Peter’s invoice came to $15,000.

Dave then sought to recover half this cost from Lucy and George.

Lucy and George were shocked as it was their understanding that each owner was responsible for their own “area”.

They sought legal advice and were informed that as the land is strata titled and there were no special by-laws to the contrary, that the strata law applied, whereby all lot owners are liable to contribute towards capital works.

However, they were also advised that Dave may not have complied with the formal requirements regarding notice and voting at meetings of the owners corporation.

It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities if you are part of a Strata Scheme.

Thank you to Anthony Fogarty for his assistance with this column.

If YOU would like a particular issue addressed, please email Manny at [email protected] or call him on (02) 6648 7487.


By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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