Rescuing an Owners Corporation Left High and Dry

We rescued a Tier 3 Owners Corporation whose manager stopped providing the services he had contractually agreed to perform.

In January 2023, a lot owner contacted us about how the services at their apartment complex had ceased and that all attempts to contact the Owners Corporation manager had been unsuccessful.

Background 

  • The Developer appointed a manager to the Tier 3 Owners Corporation (34 lots) prior to settlement in April 2022. Appointment was then subsequently transferred to another manager shortly thereafter.
  • Nine months later, both managers had failed to convene a Special General Meeting to elect a committee and were making decisions on behalf of the Owners Corporation without instruction, including entering into agreements with a range of service providers.
  • The manager had failed to regularly issue levy notices to owners. As the Owners Corporation had no regular income, service providers (including rubbish collection and cleaning) were not paid and therefore ceased services by early December 2022.
  • Multiple lot owners had complained, but the manager was not responding.
  • Lot owners did not have the knowledge or experience to understand what steps to take to formalise a termination and/or how to have services reinstated.

Outcome

  • The OCguide volunteered their services in a pro-bono capacity to assist lot owners to formalise termination and have services reinstated with urgency. This required collecting information from the Developer and a few residents to develop a much-needed Owners List. 
  • The OCguide found a reputable manager, with cost savings to the Owners Corporation totalling $6,200, who agreed to assist until an appointment could be formally resolved. 
  • The OCguide mediated a good faith agreement using its well-known reputation for a waste removal company to collect rubbish from the apartment complex urgently, which was done within two days.
  • The OCguide mediated agreement from the Developer to pay the waste removal company funds to continue rubbish removal services twice a week while awaiting formal resolutions at a Special General Meeting and collection of levies.
  • The OCguide prepared all necessary Special General Meeting documents and personally contacted all owners to request attendance to ensure a quorum was met.
  • At the Special General Meeting, resolutions included termination of existing manager, appointment of new manager, election of committee, and issue of urgent special levy.
  • The new manager is continuing to seek the return of records and management fees via VCAT on behalf of the Owners Corporation.
  • Feedback from the lot owners and committee about the new manager has been very positive and the complex is now clean and well maintained.

Cost Comparison

Previous ManagerNew manager
Management Fees$20,200$14,000
Disbursement$4,000$0
Annual % increase5%0%
The OCguide’s first priority is always to help Owners Corporations in need. When an Owners Corporation requires urgent assistance and requires the expertise and skills of The OCguide but cannot access its records or funds to move forward, we will delay or forfeit our payment until payment resolutions can be agreed and formalised later. 
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