2.3.1 Examples of the extent of the power of an executive committee | Owners Corporation Network

2.3.1 Examples of the extent of the power of an executive committee

To illustrate the power of your executive committee below are examples of what executive committees can do.

Possible decisions of an executive committee

  • What work needs to be done and when?
  • What non-essential projects are proposed (common property improvements)?
  • Who gets paid, for what and how much?
  • Whether and your lot renovation gets the owners seal easily and with any restrictions?
  • Does your lot’s Development Application get the owners corporation common seal for consent?
  • Does the serviced apartment consortium who wants to turn your building into a hotel get owners corporation approval and support or considered opposition?
  • How many access devices you and your family get?
  • When and where the executive committee and any general meetings are held, and the basic agenda items?
  •  Who the strata’s legal advisors are, what information they are given, what questions they are asked, and if the executive committee will follow their advice?
  •  New by-laws, changing or repealing old by-laws?
  • Who the strata manager and  building manager are, how much they are paid and how long they stay?
  • Whether you have a building manager / concierge or not?
  • Who are the staff that greet you and work around the building?
  • Whether rubbish and repairs are seen to in a timely manner?
  • Whether you mum, cleaner or babysitter is allowed easy access to your lot when you are not home?
  • Whether the front lobby, gardens, pool or recreational facilities are kept immaculate or so, so?
  • Whether the 25 year old gym equipment gets replaced with state of the art equipment or not?
  • Whether the tatty carpets on your floor lobby get replaced, and with what design?
  • Whether the loud parties that happen every second Saturday directly below you get stopped?
  • Whether there is pressure and action taken to evict the 10 backpackers who live in the 2 bedroom unit next to you?
  • Whether the apartment renovation above is approved with appropriate sound proof flooring or with no checks or care of whether the sound from what is installed will transmit down to your apartment?
  •  Whether you get permission to care for nana’s 13 year old Chihuahua when she can’t anymore?
  •  Will your levies rise (or fall)?
  • Does a special levy need to be raised now, later or never?
“The top three complaints – 1) problems with the management of the owners' corporation, 2) bylaw breaches and 3) repairs to common property - make up 80 per cent of all strata complaints. NSW Fair Trading and the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal have been called in to mediate on a range of sensitive issues which have caused headaches for some of the 2 million people in NSW in strata schemes.” (SMH March 21, 2012)

Legislation covers many aspects of the above decisions with guidelines and criteria. But firstly the executive committee needs to know the legislation guidelines, secondly to care, and thirdly there are a number of ways that the legislation can be interpreted.  Much of it is procedural and does not determine the final decision, only the process for getting there. Different executive committees can and do make very different decisions about the same issues and they can all be legally ‘appropriate’. Even the same building’s executive committee can make very different decisions about the same issue a year or two apart - even where legal advice is sought.

Again, this is but a small list...