Implementation of Rules
Question: I’d like to find out about the implementation of new Rules. There are some common sense rules I feel we would all benefit from in my 10 unit building. How do I go about suggesting these rules to my committee?
As a first step in the implementation of new rules you should write to the Committee detailing the issues and what rules you believe would alleviate those problems.
As a first step, you should write to the Committee detailing the issue(s) and what rules you believe would alleviate those problems. If the Committee believes that there is merit in lodging new rules for the Owners Corporation then they must first agree on the wording for those rules prior to putting it to all owners for a vote. There are restrictions on what you can make a rule about. A rule must be for the purpose of the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the common property or of a lot, cannot unfairly discriminate or be inconsistent with other laws.
An experienced Owners Corporation Manager may be able to assist you in drafting potential new rules such as the ones you have mentioned, however in saying that it is worthwhile for more complex rules to be written and/or reviewed by a solicitor prior to being put to the Owners Corporation for approval. A poorly worded rule may be unenforceable at VCAT or have unintended consequences.
For new rules to be registered, the Owners Corporation must pass a Special Resolution approving the new rule at a Special General Meeting, by ballot or include it as an item at the next Annual General Meeting. A Special Resolution requires 75% of the total lot entitlements of all lots in the Owners Corporation to pass, so you will need to make sure you rustle up all owners to attend the meeting or submit their ballot paper (if applicable).
Once approved at the meeting or by ballot, the Rule has no effect until it is registered with the Titles Office. A solicitor can help with lodging the new rule or you can do it yourself in person at the titles office and pay the prescribed lodgement fee (NB the rules must be certified by the secretary of the Owners Corporation at lodgement).
Once registered the Owners Corporation must provide a copy of the new rules to each Lot Owner as soon as practicable (the Lot Owner must then provide a copy to their tenants). In practice, the Owners Corporation may also want to provide a copy of the new rules to any tenants to ensure they are aware of the changes.