The Victorian Supreme Court has upheld an earlier decision by VCAT which found that owners corporations provide “services” in relation to common property for the purposes of s44 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. The practical effect of this decision is that owners corporations are obliged to make “reasonable adjustments” to the common property to avoid discrimination against persons with disabilities. Continue reading
In Black v Owners Corporation OC1-POS539033E  VCAT 185, a resident developed a disability which required her to use a wheelchair or scooter. She had difficulty accessing her apartment because she was unable to operate the entry doors and the ramp from the car park was unsafe for her. The resident sought an order that the OC make adjustments to the common property so she could access the building independently. Continue reading
I was a guest recently on the ABC Radio show “Writs and Cures” with Lindy Burns, BIll O’Shea and Steve Ellen discussing the legalities around apartment living.
A link to the audio is HERE. The apartment living segment begins at about the 19 minute mark.
A range of amendments to the Building Act 1993 came into force during 2017, including changes to service of notices and orders that will be of interest to owners corporations. Continue reading
The Supreme Court has re-iterated that legislative provisions providing a broad power for VCAT to make orders as it sees fit do have their limitations. The Tribunal can only apply a remedy if there is a separate legal right which can be identified enabling it to do so. If the right is identified, the broad power provision to make orders enables wide remedies to be applied to exercise that right.
In relation to owners corporations, the limitation applies to s165 of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 which states that in determining an owners corporation dispute, the Tribunal “may make any order it considers fair”.
The issue was discussed in Energy Technology Australia Pty Ltd v Owners Corporation PS 439401J  VSC 145. Continue reading
The Supreme Court considered the meaning of dispute resolution procedures set out in Part 10 the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and the implications of not following those procedures prior to filing proceedings in the Tribunal in Shearman v Owners Corporation No 1 417405Y  VSC 551. Continue reading