Flat Chat Strata Forum Rental rants Current Page

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  • #54413
    I have been the Secretary of a small block on the NSW mid-North Coast for the last eight years. Three of  the units are tenanted. In the past on a couple of occasions I have had to chase up a unit owners rental agent for the tenants name etc. for recording on the strata roll and it has been provided.
    However with a recently let unit and, an agent with whom I have had no previous dealings, after the two weeks allowed for the tenancy details to be provided had passed, on requesting the rental agent to provide the tenancy info required by section 258 to be provided by the  owner/landlord I was informed by the rental agent that the privacy legislation prevented it from giving the Owners Corporation any information except the name of the rental agency and a confirmation that the unit had been leased.
    I queried it as to why the lease would not have had an annexure worded to the effect that the lessee authorised the rental agent to provide the details of the lease being its commencement date, full name of the lessee, and contact information for the sending of notices such as email and phone. The reply was – we do NOT do that.
    I checked the NSW privacy act and found nothing there except that anything in it did not override any provision in another NSW Act that permit disclosure and in any case it seemed to me it was just about disclosure by Government and its agencies.  I found the Commonwealth Act too long to easily read through and follow.
    It seemed to me that Act did not apply to an individual’s ability to disclose info if an unincorporated landlord or unit owner but maybe it applied to an organisation such as  a real estate agency doing property rentals and that a $3 million turnover was also a factor. I will now have to chase the owner who no doubt will have to get the required by the act info from the agent.
    Fortunately as far as I know it is unlikely the owner is marooned by Covid-19 at an unknown address somewhere overseas. The silly part about it is that the Standard Lease, which does have a clause stating the strata schemes’s by-laws are to be provided to the lessee BEFORE the lease is signed, could easily have a clause in it allowing the owner/landlord’s agent to supply the information required of an owner/landlord by section 258.
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  • #54421

    The rental agent needs to hire a better lawyer.

    The Privacy Act doesn’t apply to corporations with a turnover of less than $3 million.

    Even if it did, it doesn’t apply in cases where another law requires the information to be provided (such as the Strata Schemes Management Act).

    Some large strata management firms have cited the first rule to avoid handing over information such as owners’ email addresses, claiming that THEY have turnovers of more than $3 million, therefore the Privacy laws apply.

    But the second part blows that out of the water and they eventually have to provide the info, albeit very reluctantly.

    Section 258 is absolutely clear on this.  The landlord (or their agent) must provide the name of the tenants and any sub-tenants on the lease, as well as an address for service of mail.

    Privacy laws are simply not relevant and you are entitled to wonder why they are invoking them.



    You can also point out to the agent that the owner can be fined up to $550 for not providing the tenants details. That may spur them on.

    And in relatin to privacy laws, they are there to prevent the dissemination of personal details to parties without any interest in the person. Since an OC has an interest ( ie there is a lawful relationship between the OC and the tenant), then the OC has a right to that information. The act just reinforces this.

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Flat Chat Strata Forum Rental rants Current Page