Flat Chat Strata Forum Strata Committees Current Page

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  • #72229
    unit troubles
    Flatchatter

      I am managing my elderly mother’s unit in a Sydney complex of 36.

      In the time since she moved out, about 5 years ago, the common property has deteriorated.

      The gardens are overgrown, massive above-ground roots heading toward the pool, ferns growing in the mortar of brick fencing, clothes hanging area now a ‘garden’ due to uncontrolled plants and a tree’s root pushing over a brick fence. Not to mention the filth in the disused garbage bays, urine stains on brick walls ………… it’s looking like a ghetto.

      This was once a premium block, but there are only a handful of owner occupiers and the rest don’t care.

      I am at a loss as to how to address these issues. It seems a massive task and I don’t know where to start. Am I taking on too much ?

      I am desperate for advice please…………..

      UPDATE : I requested the Strata Roll from the Strata Manager, as per STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 – SECT 182 & her reply was : 

      ” ….. In accordance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, the strata roll can only be requested/sent to the Committee ”

      Is she correct ?

      • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by .
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    • #72235
      Jimmy-T
      Keymaster

        I requested the Strata Roll from the Strata Manager, as per STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 – SECT 182 & her reply was :  ” ….. In accordance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, the strata roll can only be requested/sent to the Committee ” Is she correct? .

        Yes and no. She may choose only to SEND the strata roll to the committee but she must let you see it and copy it.

        I’m having the same problem with our strata manager (let’s call them BigStrata) who are twisting themselves inside out to even prevent the committee from being given the strata roll for my investment unit on the South Coast.

        They even tried to deceive my fellow office-bearers, implying that in these columns I had written that strata managers didn’t need to hand over the strata roll to the committee, when in fact I had written that they don’t need to hand it over to ordinary owners but they do have to make it available for inspection and copying.

        Why would they not want the committee to have the mail addresses of strata owners? Could it be that they don’t want the committee to contact owners – which may well be an issue in your case?

        Their excuses so far have been that we don’t need it, it’s private and we didn’t make a formal application under the terms of Section 61 of the Act (see below).

        So for your purposes, here’s what you (and your strata manager) need to know:

        We know there should be an electronic version of the strata roll so it would be possible to email it, if necessary:

        176 Form of records
        (1) The strata roll and other records required to be made or kept by an owners corporation must be made or kept in electronic form.

        We know the strata roll has to be maintained and that it MUST have the postal addresses and email addresses of the owners:

        178 Content of strata roll
        (1) Information about lots The following information must be recorded in the strata roll in relation to a particular lot in the strata scheme—
        (a) the name of the holder of the estate …
        (b) an address for service of notices,
        (c) an Australian postal address, and an email address if the holder has one, if not provided as the address for service,
        (d) the name of the holder’s agent (if any) appointed in accordance with this Act and the agent’s address for service of notices.

        Now, we come to the tricky bit.  As an owner you are entitled to inspect all the strata documents but the strata manager may choose not to SEND you a copy as that is not spelled out in the Act.

        182 Requests for inspection of records of owners corporation
        (1) Persons who may inspect

        An owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee of a lot in a strata scheme, or a person authorised by the owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee, may request the owners corporation to allow an inspection to be carried out under this section.
        (2) Form of request The request must be made by written notice given to the owners corporation and be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the regulations.
        (3) Items to be made available for inspection
        The owners corporation must make the  following items available for inspection by the person who makes the request or the person’s agent—
        (a) the strata roll,
        (b) any other records or documents required to be kept under this Part etc etc etc

        But there is a clear process by which they must allow you to see and copy the documents:

        183 Inspection of owners corporation documents
        (1) An inspection under this Division is to take place at the time and place, or by the means, agreed on and, failing agreement, at the parcel at a time and on a date, or by the means, fixed by the owners corporation under this section.
        (2) If an applicant and the owners corporation fail to reach an agreement within 3 days after the owners corporation receives the application, the owners corporation must immediately give the applicant a written notice fixing a specified time (between 9 am and 8 pm) on a specified date (not later than 10 days after the owners corporation receives the application), or a specified means, for the inspection to take place.
        (3) The means for inspecting documents may be in person or through electronic access to the documents or any other means agreed on or fixed under this section.
        (4) A person entitled to inspect a document may take extracts from, or make a copy of, the document but must not, without the consent of the owners corporation, remove the document from the custody of the owners corporation.

        So, looking at that section, if the strata manager refuses to send you the strata roll then they have to make arrangements for you OR SOMEONE APPOINTED BY YOU to see the document and photocopy it or scan it into your phone.

        Does that help?  More on your actual dilemma later.

        61 Procedure for requiring information from strata managing agent
        (1) An owners corporation is to require information from a strata managing agent under this Division by written notice given to the strata managing agent.
        (2) The notice must specify a member of the strata committee to whom the information is to be delivered.
        62 Offences
        (1) A strata managing agent must comply with a notice to provide information under this Division by giving a written statement, containing the information required, within 14 days after the notice is given.
        Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 No 50 [NSW]
        Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.
        (2) A person is not guilty of failing to comply with the notice if reasonable cause for the failure is shown.
        (3) A strata managing agent must not knowingly provide information that is false or misleading in a material particular in a statement given in response to a notice to provide information under this Division.
        Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.

        The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by .
        #72261
        Jimmy-T
        Keymaster

          I am at a loss as to how to address these issues. It seems a massive task and I don’t know where to start. Am I taking on too much ?

          First of all get soemone with some strata savvy to inspect the place and tell you what among these many faults is a dead-set common-property “failure to maintain” issue.

          Then get quotes from local contractors on cleaning the place up and repairing broken stuff.

          Then put a proposal, with quotes, to your committee or strata manager to clean up at the very least, the base-level stuff. You might even investigate how much it would cost to get a loan to pay for it all.

          If the strata committee or strata manage refuse or don’t do anything within two months, start proceedings at Fair Trading with a view to seeking Tribunal orders compelling the committee/manager to look after the property.

          The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
          #72279
          Sammy
          Flatchatter

            Could you please answer this same topic but I am assuming that it may be differ cause I am in Melbourne and that is only a NSW act??  Sami

            #72321
            Ongoing
            Flatchatter

              I’ve gone through something similar to the original poster, unit troubles, in the past 12 months in a small unit block in suburban Sydney.

              The history of my situation arose from a small group of people organizing to artificially hold-down strata levies for 15 years, partly through farming proxies. The result was the Owners Corporation failed to adopt the capital works forecasts, failed to provide sufficient levies for capital works, and refused to carry-out repairs and maintenance.

              The situation was complicated by the fact that there were only two people on the Strata Committee – me, and one other owner who was determined to obstruct repairs being carried out.

              This is the sequence of events for me:

              1. A resolution for certain repairs was submitted at two general meetings, which resolutions were both defeated.
              2. I emailed the then strata manager setting out the issues and the dysfunctional nature of both the Strata Committee and the Owners Corporation, to which the strata manager could not offer a viable solution.
              3. I engaged a strata lawyer to advise the Owners Corporation of its obligations under the Act, requesting a general meeting to authorise repairs and to avoid the matter being determined by the Tribunal.
              4. The strata lawyer recommended I make application to the Tribunal at the same time, setting out the issues in dispute and providing photos.
              5. Fair Trading scheduled a mediation which resulted in a mediation agreement. The agreement provided for the engagement of a structural engineer, the selection of a licensed builder, and the raising of special levies to fund the remedial work.
              6. The then strata manager changed his mind about seeking a new strata management agreement, and the Owners Corporation engaged a new strata manager who happens to have building experience with remedial work.
              7. A contract was signed with a licensed builder and special levies raised.

              This has been a drawn-out process, however, the remedial work should be carried out in the next few months.

              The lessons from this experience are:

              1. Give the Owners Corporation written notice of the issues and allow the Owners Corporation the opportunity to call meetings, raise levies and carry-out the work.
              2. If that approach fails, make application to the Tribunal through Fair Trading, setting out the issues, including photos.
              3. Fair Trading is likely to be extremely helpful in the process, as they were in my case.
              4. An experienced and competent strata manager is a major bonus in achieving an outcome.

              Good luck to the original poster.

              #72662
              unit troubles
              Flatchatter
              Chat-starter

                First, my heartfelt apologies for not responding to posts. I was not receiving notifications of your responses even though the box was ticked !

                Secondly, I wasn’t expecting such detailed replies and suggestions. Many, many thanks for taking the time to do this. Life is so busy.

                All of this is a steep learning curve for me, so I will go over the provided information with diligence and hopefully come out the other end with positive outcomes.

                Who knew this was sooooo complicated !  Thankyou, thankyou 🙂

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