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Role of the committee in enforcing Owners Corporation rules

By 04/04/2016May 13th, 2016Governance & Compliance

The committee has the job of enforcing the rules agreed to by the Owner’s Corporation. It can occasionally create challenges, but ensuring that everyone follows the rules benefits everyone in the long term.

Simple enforcement of basic rules

Each role of committee owners corporation is slightly different, and the rules that are agreed on will depend on the facilities, the desired lifestyle, and the community living there. Some common basic rules, such as hours of use for a pool, or tennis court, can be enforced by the committee as a matter of routine.

Collecting fees and Levies

Section 18-2 of the Owner’s Corporation act 2007 says that a special resolution is not required for enforcement of rules or recovery of outstanding fees. This means that collecting the agreed upon costs of being in the Owner’s Corporation doesn’t need a special resolution. The Owner’s Corporation has already delegated this power to the committee.

If a rule is breached, it is the committee that decides on how (or if) it will be addressed.

Bringing legal proceedings

Section 18 – 1 says that an owner’s corporation cannot bring legal proceedings unless it has a special resolution to do so. This means that if there is a situation requiring legal intervention (for example, a maintenance contractor who has not delivered the service paid for) then a special general meeting may be called to gain permission from the Owner’s Corporation to pursue a resolution through the legal system.

As this can often be costly and time consuming, it is usually an action of last resort.

Avoiding problems

No one enjoys being told to modify their behaviour, but it can sometimes be necessary for a Committee to do exactly that. Here are some points to follow when enforcing the Owner’s Corporation rules:

  • Ensure everyone is aware of the rules. A current copy should be available to every lot owner and resident.
  • Enforce the rules equally. If everyone is subject to the same requirements, there will be a lot less friction. Problems can quickly arise if favouritism or bullying are perceived to be a problem.
  • Address issues early. A simple face to face talk can often avoid a bigger problem later.
  • Keep a paper trail. If a dispute comes up, keep a copy of all correspondence, and take notes on any face to face meetings. Knowing exactly what happened, and when it happened can be a valuable tool for resolving issues.

Create the culture you want to live in

A community is made up of people of many different types. People think and react differently to the same situation, and this should be considered when enforcing rules. Keep in mind that the goal is to create a community that everyone can enjoy, and a lifestyle that people want to be a part of.

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