About

I am a strata lawyer who believes that to work in strata you must keep a sense of perspective (and a sense of humour). I have experience in all facets of strata law and act on behalf of owners corporations and lot owners in respect of both strata and community association disputes and building and construction disputes.

My background is in litigation and dispute resolution and my rule of thumb is think twice before commencing litigation and if you have to litigate, prepare, prepare, prepare.

When not working I scuba dive and form one half of an adventure racing team much to the amusement of friends, family and other competitors.

3 responses to “About

  1. Hi Allison,

    I agree with your approach namely, “think twice before commencing litigation” in resolving disputes especially when it involves community living. However, I believe many of the strata disputes are often arose from misinterpretation or unsure of the By-laws. As such, I wish also share a rule of thumb namely, “if not clear, don’t do” which in my view would prevent such dispute to surface.

    For example, if a development with pool and other facilities comprises of a total number of 50 lot owners and there are a total 70 number of car parking space available. 10 out of the 70 designated for visitors while balance 60 available for the 50 lot owners without exclusive right.

    We know some lot owners do not own a car and some may own more than one. In such situation, can owners corporation with the approval of majority lot owners by way of a special resolution impose parking charges on lot owners who has 2nd car using more than one parking space though no parking space is for his/her exclusive use? If so, can owners who do not own any car claim entitlement to such charges? Likewise, can such resolution be passed also for charges on lot owners who use swimming pool more often or because that lot owners have more family members using the pool? How about non-swimmer lot owners?

    I wonder is the By-law clear on such situation? To avoid dispute, my view would be remain status quo and not to proceed to impose charges on any common facilities not for exclusive use. But, in the event if there are more than 60 cars for the 60 parking space the lot owners who own more than one car can go by drawing lot and rotation.

    Your comments would be appreciated.

    Regards

    • Hi Simon,

      Unallocated car parking is one of the areas where I see many disputes. Even those without a car want to have the right to use a car space. Thankfully in most new schemes lots are allocated car spaces and there are allocated visitor parking spaces doing away with this problem.

      If your scheme has 70 unallocated parking spaces then it would make sense for some to be the subject of exclusive uses by lot owners. If the exclusive use right is granted after a set payment by the lot owner then it is also a great way to increase the scheme’s funds.

      There are many ways to do this and I have seen silent auctions and a lotto system with lot numbers drawn out of a hat. Like much of strata law the wishes of the majority will guide the process.

      Allison

      • Thanks Allison,

        I fully agree with you that there are many ways to control, manage and administer common facilities including car parking spaces within a development. However, I believe you would agree that the only way that could involve collecting payment is the “exclusive use” way if the interested lot owner consented.

        Though I agree that granting “exclusive use right” upon payment by lot owner may be a good way but I think in some cases it may not work as the owners corporation may only grant “Exclusive use” By-law to the specific lot owner(s) who is interested and consented to pay for that “exclusive use”.

        As such, if no lot owner is interested to pay to enjoy the “exclusive use” the owners corporation I believe could not unreasonably allocate and lock up any available parking spaces to obstruct or prevent any lot owners who own cars to freely use them on first-come first-served basis.

        I also believe owners corporation even with the “wishes of majority” could not rely on reason to “increase the scheme’s funds” to impose charges on lot owner who are not interested to pay for “exclusive use” and parks 2nd car on the available extra parking space. As lot owners who use more and have more family members using a particular common facility such as swimming pool are not made to pay.

        Regards,
        Simon

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