Forum: Time to rewrite strata manager contracts?

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The standard strata management agreement – as issued by Strata Community Australia – is a brute of a document.

And while it’s not an mandatory form as, for instance, the NSW and Victoria residential tenancy agreements are, it’s almost impossible to get a strata manager to agree to anything else.

But why would you want to?

Flatchatter Incertus points out that one clause (6.2) excludes the Agent from all liability except for “wilful breach of this agreement, gross negligence, dishonesty, or fraud”. 

He points out that the qualifier “gross” doesn’t appear in the legislation and asks why it would be in the standard contract and, anyway, who defines “gross”?

Also, “why should the Agent not be liable for all the causes of action which it is required to be insured for?” he asks.

There’s also a clause in there that the Owners Corporation indemnifies the Agent against claims that may arise in the course of the Agent’s management of the scheme” by either third parties or the Owners Corporation, “before, during, or after this agreement”.

Individual OCs have tried and failed to persuade strata managers to alter clauses and the SCA has, in the past, threatened to sue for breach of copyright when owners’ organisations have tried to rewrite the standard agreement.

Incertus wonders if it might be time for either the SCA to rewrite their contract, or allow it to be altered, especially since they now have been accepted to the government’s Professional Standards Scheme.

Or perhaps government should step in as they did years ago with tenants, and issue a mandatory strata management contract that’s fair to all involved.  That’s HERE.

Elsewhere in the Forum

  • Has anyone else been sexually harassed on common property and what did they do? That’s HERE.
  • The gate in my common property fence needs repair.  Who pays? That’s HERE.
  • Does the secretary have the right to remove my entertaining ditties and stories from the communal notice board?  That’s HERE.
  • Now it’s easier to reply to just one point in a post.  That’s HERE.

A lot of continuing discussions have moved forwards over the festive period.  Check them out under the “Latest questions and answers” section.

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