Penalty Applications

By 26 March 2024Strata Law
Penalty Applications

Sachs Gerace Lawyers recently successfully represented an owners corporation (OC) in its application seeking penalties against lot owners for their failure to comply with a notice to comply with a by-law.

In this case, two co-owners of a lot continuously parked their vehicle in visitor car spaces in breach of a by-law, which stipulated that lot owners were not authorised to park in visitor parking.

The owners corporation issued a notice to comply to the lot owners who were in breach of the by-law, however the lot owners persisted in breaching the by-law on 14 separate occasions after the notice was issued.

The owners corporation then commenced legal proceedings against the lot owners in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking penalties be made against the lot owners.

We prepared detailed evidence for the owners corporation to show that the notice to comply was validly issued and that there were breaches of the notice to comply, noting that for penalty applications, the rules of evidence apply.

The Tribunal ultimately awarded the owners corporation a penalty against the lot owners because:

  1. The evidence of the owners corporation showed that the notice to comply had been validly issued and breached by the lot owners.
  2. There was no evidence to suggest that the owners corporation treated these lot owners differently to any other lot owner.
  3. The lot owners breached the by-laws 14 times after the issuance of the notice to comply.

This case emphasizes the significance of seeking legal advice when preparing to appear before a Tribunal. A failure to prepare evidence properly and a failure in understanding the administrative aspects of appearing before a Tribunal can impair your standing before a Tribunal member.

If you are an OC and would like advice in your claim against a lot owner for failure to comply with a notice to comply with by-laws, Sachs Gerace Lawyers can assist you at any stage of your claim.