In this case, the owners corporation comprised two stages which were developed by Statehay Pty Ltd. Stage 1, known as Lakeside, comprised 112 units and was completed in about 2009. Stage 2, known as Central Park, comprised 128 units and was completed in April 2014. All 128 units in Central Park were owned by Statehay Pty Ltd giving Statehay Pty Ltd a majority of votes at meetings of the owners corporation.
At the annual general meeting held on 20 May 2015, Statehay Pty Ltd exercised its power as majority unit holder to oppose some of the motions moved at the meeting which were supported by other unit holders, and supported other motions moved by it but opposed by other unit holders.
The applicant was an owner of a unit in Lakeside and sought the appointment of an administrator under sections 136 and 138 of the UTMA (there is also a relevant power in section 129(1)(k)).
The tribunal member held that it was:
(a) ‘difficult to say that the owners corporation is unable to function at an appropriate level’ and that ‘an opportunity should be given to see if these orders resolve the issues, and whether Statehay will now act reasonably and appropriately, and whether the owners corporation and the executive committee will now be able to operate effectively and efficiently’ (at paragraph 63); and
(b) ‘to appoint an administrator in effect denies the ability of the unit owners to manage the affairs, directly or indirectly, of the owners corporation. The unit owners have a right and responsibility to do so. It should therefore not be done lightly. This is especially so when it is proposed to appoint an administrator for a long period of time, in this case for the currently unknown period of the duration of the building quality and rectification process. In other cases, the appointment of an administrator has been only for a short period, such as 28 days, to enable an impasse to be negotiated. An appointment for a currently indefinite and long period requires significant justification.’ (at paragraph 64).
As a result of the above reasons, the Tribunal refused to appoint an administrator.