Do you remember this exercise in mass stupidity?
Well, somehow, it’s happening all over again.
As a basic recap, my condo complex is in desperate need of repairs. There are drainage problems, electrical problems, roofing problems, foundation problems, the windows and patio doors need to be replaced (mine are grayed from captured moisture and my patio door only opens half way), and some of the units are uninhabitable due to mold issues.
Oh, and the sauna has been broken for, like, seven years.
If these issues, totally over 6 million dollars in required repairs, are not addressed, then several things will happen:
a) housing values will continue to decline – already, townhouses in our complex are selling for $50-100,000 less than similar units in nearby complexes.
b) Some units will continue to be uninhabitable due to mould issues, while other units, like mine, will be left with foggy windows, broken patio doors, and rotten fencing (the wooden slats on my fence actually blow in the breeze, like a silent wind chime).
c) Someone will eventually lodge a formal complaint, in which case the government would intervene: we would be declared a “leaky condo”, and all owners would be order to pony up all of the dough immediately. Perfect Husband and I could not afford to do that. We would be forced to foreclose.
So instead, the strata council (owners like ourselves, who have taken over handling the finances, etc) decided last year to propose a levy to cover the most urgent repairs (about half of the total list of issues), in installments over 5 years. So each unit would pay $4,000 a year and the big issues would be resolved.
For some reason, the vote BARELY passed. Because people are morons.
Still, it passed. We payed our money last October, and major repairs were begun immediately. Already most of the drainage issues have been solved and almost all of the roofs are redone.
Some owners foreclosed because they couldn’t find the 4 grand, other sold, and others just refused to pay.
Then one of the twits got a lawyer. They claimed that his ballot, an absentee ballot, wasn’t counted. They lodged a lawsuit against the strata council.
The strata lawyer replied that he had the sealed envelope of votes, which he had now opened and recounted, and the count came to the same number as before AND OH LOOK, HERE’S THE PLAINTIFF’S BALLOT.
The Plaintiff took it to court anyway.
Not because there was a miscount. No.
It just so happens that a recent court decision regaring union voting methods had just happened, which set a new precedent for voting lawsuits. The judge decided that our vote applied, and so we lost, because our vote wasn’t “secret” enough, because there was no ballot box.
So basically, we lost on a technicality and the plaintiff got REALLY lucky.
The upshot is that we have to do this vote all over again.
The twits (the ringleader of which is a woman with a face like a hatchet, who blew cigarette smoke in my face when I was pregnant after the last meeting, because I politely disagreed with her “let’s fix things with no money” stance) have been papering the neighbourhood with their little newsletters, which claim that the buildings are all totally fine and that the strata council are just fabricating all the issues to make us pay money for no reason.
Sure, that makes sense, considering that being owners as well, they have to pay too, and the money goes into a communal pot, so no individual actually profits off of this.
Clearly the issues are totally fabricated, yeah.
Revote tonight – PH is over there. Wish us luck.