VCAT Owners corporation list - The cat's out of the bag / VCAT Owners corporation list corrupt
Are you an owner who’s been harassed and bullied by a VCAT member?
Managers wholly fund VCAT’s owners corporation list. They do this with money taken from owners. Managers are stealing owners money and using it to payoff VCAT, Find out about this and lots more below...
We know that VCAT was originally designed to resolve disputes fairly with no legal cost, but how does its Owners Corporation List actually work?
I give you 19 facts.
The majority are documented in Annual Reports, official legal sites, Acts of law, leading newspapers, and at VCAT itself.
You make up your own mind.
Fact 1. If you call a specialist owners corporation lawyer and ask him to represent you against an owners corporation manager, he will almost certainly refuse to help, claiming they have represented the manager, ‘conflict of interest’.
There are hundreds of managers in Victoria. Have all these lawyers really represented every manager?
While these lawyers refuse to help owners, they all help managers and some even offer free advice (Eg: SCA Annual Report 2014, page 8, TressCox Lawyers)
Fact 2. VCAT has an office that provides free legal aid. However it refuses to help individuals against managers (Eg: Written on the legal aid office door)
Fact 3. An official VCAT video states that if a judge cannot finds a resolution, he will side with the numbers,
For an owner, who is against a manger who is representing the owners corporation, this means the owner will always lose. This because technically the owner will also be against all the others owners (Video that loops in VCAT hearing waiting room).
Fact 4. . Owners from each block of units put their funds in a pool. The pool is managed by the manager. The owners corporation law allows managers to transfer money from the pool to their own private bank account. This means if a manager steals money from the pool, the Police will be reluctant to take action, as by the law it’s perfectly legal (OC Act, Section 27)
Fact 5. Due to how VCAT interprets privacy laws, some owners corporations can not even access their own accounts, let alone do an audit. They are forced to trust the manager.
Why does the law & VCAT not allow owners to access their own owners corporation account?
Fact 6 From the owners pooled money, managers take the interest and pay it to the Victorian Property Fund. From this fund more than a million is paid to VCAT yearly. It wholly funds VCAT’s OC list (Eg: SCA Annual Report AGM 2014 page 18. VCAT Annual Report page 53).
Effectively, managers are funding VCAT using owners money.
Owners know nothing of this.
Fact 7. VCAT judges and owners corporation lawyers work together to chair and speak at seminars. These are legal seminars for owners corporation managers and lawyers (Eg: Legalwise.com.au)
Owners are not permitted to attend.
There are no seminars for owners
Fact 8. In 2012, the VCAT President invited managers and their lawyers to meet him on a regular basis. Since this time they have regularly met and discussed how VCAT should run cases. (Eg: VCAT Annual Report 2013-14, page 28).
Owners are not permitted to attend.
So can VCAT’s President be relied upon to protect owners when meeting with the managers and their lawyers?
Is he fair?
Fact 9. The VCAT president himself was involved in a controversial tribunal case against a property owner.
A water company cuts off the water to a property making it worthless. The water company then forces the owner of the property to sell it to them, dirt cheap.
When the owner appeals for justice, the tribunal ruled that the water company had the right to do this, and orders the owner to pay all legal costs for complaining.
Yes, it was the VCAT President who represented the water company that allegedly cut off water to the property and forced the owner to sell the property to them, dirt cheap.
How did he do it?
It certainly appears that the VCAT president deliberately fabricated a mass of evidence against the owner, and presented it as fact to the tribunal.
It appears the judges were fully aware of the fraud.
Details of this extraordinary case, and what the President and judges got away with, is on the website courtsontrial.com
This is not an official legal website however, if the fraud allegations are false, how could someone openly get away with making false claims against our esteemed VCAT President?
Fact 10. VCAT, with the manager’s funding it, the user group, and the Presidents dubious past, and more, appears loaded with conflicts of interest
So do owners get a fair go at VCAT?
Fact 11. Owners win less than 5% of cases at VCAT (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/).
Fact 12. This Age article titled “Rip off managers” highlights the bias against owners (http://www.smh.com.au/national/rip-off-body-corporate-managers-stay-registered-20130205-2dwj0.html).
It humorously refers to a manager who was repeatedly taken to VCAT . The manager even admitted charging owners for water supplies to individual car parks.
In another case he allegedly took $10, 000 from an
owners corporation’s account that had sacked him,
because it was summer and he wanted air conditioners to cool himself (Not listed in article).
VCAT continually refused to rule against him. After an outcry he finally he lost a case, and in the article says he only lost because he did not turn up. With this statement, he appears to be ‘bang on the money’.
Perhaps not all owners corporation managers are fraudsters, but they have to be competitive, and they have a reputation.
What does the law say about VCAT’s perceived bias against owners?
Fact 13. The law states that managers must act in good faith (OC Act, Section 5)
It’s an act of parliament, it can’t be ignored. Right?
The percentage of VCAT cases won by managers
strongly indicates that the laws only apply against owners. It certainly appears that managers are a protected party, and can act outside of the law without consequence.
The sting in the tail
If an owner complains to VCAT, he risks being ordered to pay all of the managers legal fees. This especially applies if fraud was alleged.
The reality is, the more fraud the manager has committed the more trouble the complaining owner is in.
But Judges must act fairly, surely they don’t lie or deny the law?
Fact 14. Unlike Europe, in Australia, just like many of our politicians, the great majority of judges are ex lawyers.
Fact 15. A leopard does not change its spots.
But what about court procedure?
Fact 16. An owner can appeal against a tribunal decision, but effectively only through the Supreme Court, which will probably cost at least $30, 000
Only small percentage of appeals are successful. Why would an owner risk $30, 000 or more through an appeals system that in over 95% of cases, supports the previous judge’s decision, regardless
Fact 17. VCAT’s own act admits that it edits the recorded audio of its hearings (Supposedly to delete breaks). If a VCAT ruling is appealed, without question, VCAT will use the edited version to support its decision. VCAT, at its discretion, can also refuse to supply the audio.
(VCAT form, Request for audio CD of VCAT hearing)
“Legal people always back up legal people, and the legal system”.
If VCAT, its president, judges, lawyers or even employees read or hear this, they will act horrified.
“You’re saying VCAT’s corrupt, how dare you… vexatious!
Vexatious is the argument that lawyers use when their crook has no defence. It’s a boring, lazy, cliché defence. It takes no skill, research or effort to claim vexatious, and it appears it’s exactly how VCAT deals with ‘difficult’ owners (VCAT Act, Sections 75, 79, 109)
Fact 18. When VCAT rules an owner as vexatious, it not only dismisses the case But orders the owner to pay all the manager’s legal costs.
This can cost the owner from hundreds up to $30, 000, or more. Not only does the owner lose the case, not get back owed money, and be ordered to pay all costs, but the same manager is free to carry on ripping off the same owner
Fact 19. An overwhelming majority of lawyers not in VCAT’s inner circle despise VCAT for its lack of due process, fairness and natural justice.
A final fact
Fact 20. Lawyer James Johnson, a solicitor and barrister of the High Court of Australia, has openly referred to VCAT as a criminal Star Chamber, and the corrupt nature of the VCAT President and others at VCAT, by name. (http://jamesjohnsonchr.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/all-the-attorney-generals-men-vcat-political-crime-spree-show-trial-j1342011/).
VCAT and its members are just another ‘lawyer joke’.
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