When an Owners Corporation Fails to Comply with a Tribunal Order

2 min read

It’s not every day that the Tribunal orders an Owners Corporation (OC) to pay a penalty, but it can happen.

Recently PBL Law Group (Alex Ilkin Strata Lawyers) acted for the Westburys – owners of a lot in a scheme. In this case the OC had already been ordered earlier to perform rectification works to fix water issues on the patio in the Westburys lot.

The OC had attempted to do the rectification in accordance with an agreed scope of works which required changes to cater for water ponding issues. To implement a proper solution to the problem the OC had to get permission from another lot owner – and that permission was not given.

The OC decided it had done everything it could do, leaving the Westburys with the same issues the earlier orders.

Had the OC done enough? What happens if an OC has tried to fix something under an Tribunal Order but couldn’t due to matters outside its control?

There are various sanctions the Tribunal can make against parties who do not comply with Orders. One of those includes issuing a penalty for non-compliance. Most people don’t bother seeking this, because the law requires you to get consent from the Solicitor-General to proceed – a piece of red tape that most can’t be bothered dealing with.

In this case, the Westburys did get the necessary consent, and sought penalty orders against the Owners Corporation.

The Owners Corporation argued that it had a “reasonable excuse” for failing to comply with the Orders, because it had attempted to get consent from the other affected owners for the new works required, and those owners adamantly refused to give it.

The Tribunal, however, was not convinced. It pointed out that the Owners Corporation could have sought an extension of time for the orders, applied for a stay on the orders, or applied for other forms of relief – and that it had done none of those things.

After consideration the Tribunal ordered the Body Corporate to pay a penalty of $6,600 (from an available maximum of $20,000).

The lesson? Don’t just ignore Court or Tribunal orders because you’re having trouble giving effect to them. Get advice and take the necessary steps to solve the problem.

Case citation: Westbury v The Owners – Strata Plan No 64061 [2021] NSWCATEN 3

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Director Lawyer, PBL Law Group

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Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
Kushlan Aluwihare
PBL Law Group were fantastic. Anita from PBL worked with us closely during our property search and made the exchange and settlement process smooth and stress free. Highly recommended.
Gail Whitford
PBL handled my late mothers estate, they were very obliging and patient with any and all questions that we had, thank you to David , Sharon and the other staff that we dealt with, everyone was so easy to talk to and friendly .David came to the home where my Mother was living and helped her to get her will in order, Sharon helped us through the process of executing her wishes when the time came even doing a house call which was so much easier, thank you all so much
S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
Tricia Wheatstone
For almost 18 months I have been a client of Alex Ilkin. Alex is very knowledgeable and professional and has consistently provided me with thorough, honest and well set out advice, including steering my case through appeal proceedings. He always worked for my best interests with integrity and compassion. I recommend Alex and his team at PBL.