• This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by .
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  • #67267
    Paradise
    Flatchatter

      So after months of proceedings all the strata manager had to say on the last day was ‘oh we provided those documents last month’ for the case to be closed! This was a deliberate lie but all the emails and text messages given as evidence of the ongoing excuses and obstruction by this manager were totally ignored. It really made a mockery of everything. Now what?

      I need other documents but there’s no point going back to NCAT if its happy to accept a simple verbal promise from a strata manager without any proof whatsoever. What do I need to do or say to NCAT to overcome this? Currently I really feel let down by the system.

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by .
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    • #67278
      TrulEConcerned
      Flatchatter

        My recent experience with an OC and agent doing what he is told by the OC may help you.

        Apart from seeking redress at NCAT for the failure of the OC, you can also complain to NSW Fair Trading about the conduct of the strata manager.

        His/her license is governed by the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2022 and its related Regulations (2014 & 2022). He must abide by the rules that govern his conduct. Note, this has little to do with NCAT.

        If you think he/she was or is dishonest or violated a term or terms of his/her strata management agreement – these are from memory some of the rules – you can make an online complaint at the Fair Trading website.

        I made one, against a strata agent a few months ago.

        The system is as follows:

        NSWFT will examine a complaint and seek evidence from the complainant and the target of the complaint.

        If they find the complaint has merit they will investigate and may find the agent did not act as required.

        Assuming NSW FT  takes action for what they call “non-compliance” with the legislation, they are forbidden tfrom revealing what action they took. I wonder, who wrote the legislation? Strata managers?

        My complaint was upheld and after a little prodding  I was told that non complaint conduct was identified by NSW FT and action (as per the menu of possible actions NSW FT can take) was taken.

        I have no idea what NSW FT did but they must have rattled his cage sufficiently as he quit managing the strata soon after being contacted.

        Then again, some may say the two events are not be related.

        So how to complain:

        Go to

        https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/help-centre/online-tools/make-a-complaint

        and on the page scroll down until you see a tab with

        Go to real estate and strata complaint form

        on it

        click on that tab

        complete the form. It is straight forward.

        If I may suggest: lodge your complaint ASAP. If you have evidence handy, attach it where asked by the form. If you don’t have it handy, lodge the online complaint anyway. Send the evidence when you’ve assembled it. Sooner rather than later.

        Good luck

         

         

        #67280
        Jimmy-T
        Keymaster

          I need other documents but there’s no point going back to NCAT if its happy to accept a simple verbal promise from a strata manager without any proof whatsoever.

          It’s harder to prove someone didn’t do something than show that they did.  The whole Fair Trading and NCAT system needs a radical overhaul, but I doubt if the two bodies concerned – Customer Service and the Attorney General’s office –  even talk to each other. And Labor are absolutely silent on this, so no light at the end of that tunnel.

          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.
          #67291
          Paradise
          Flatchatter
          Chat-starter

            Surely there must be some mechanism as this is not just strata related but the the whole NCAT system assuming the same rules? I’m not arguing with the forum but it would just mean every single application will fail unless the respondent decides to fess up. I also pointed out that even if the documents had been provided the previous month an issue was it had still taken the best part of 3 years. The answer was that records must be made available and since that requirement had been complied with there was no utility in making orders.

            As for Fair Trading they can investigate any complaints but can’t do anything about it. For action they said take it to NCAT for a determination and if succesful report back. But it was added that if it was succesful then nothing could be done since it had already been dealt with by NCAT. Is this the secret to the rumour not one breach notice has been issued by Fair Trading?

            #67292
            Paradise
            Flatchatter
            Chat-starter

              Also wanted to thank the forum for its time.

              #67295
              Jimmy-T
              Keymaster

                Is this the secret to the rumour not one breach notice has been issued by Fair Trading?

                Fair Trading doesn’t issue breach notices – not their job – and its “investigation” unit is non-existent when it comes to strata.  All FT does in strata is offer limited advice and the facility for mediation which is often just a box-ticking exercise so that disputants can move on to NCAT.

                The whole system is unwieldy and ineffective but the mandarins at Fair Trading and Justice will do nothing to fix it in case they have to cede territory.  BTW, Labor is curiously silent on this clear failure of consumer protection, so don’t expect anything to change regardless of the outcome of the election.

                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 year, 2 months ago by .
                #72778
                Paradise
                Flatchatter
                Chat-starter

                  I thought I’d update this post after getting clarification (not really) from the NCAT member for another fruitless application. Quote: For the purposes of the Act there can be no refusal of inspection of records if the respondent has not formally refused inspection.

                  A solicitor did suggest the way to access the records you want to inspect is to have a summons issued during NCAT proceedings.

                  #72788
                  TrulEConcerned
                  Flatchatter

                    Paradise:

                    1. Jimmy is correct about FT not investigating strata matters per se but recommending (as FT recommends) that you go to NCAT (when complaining about the OC ie strata matters);

                    2. But if you complain as I did to FT about the strata agent’s conduct, then FT will investigate (and this complaint is free of charge). From my experience, NCAT is not the forum for such allegations to be tested;

                    3. Noting FT is not an advisory service but merely an information facility,  there’s no harm asking FT what your options are when say yes, you were granted the right to inspect records, but many records were not available for viewing. Were some held back? Lost? If so, by who? Is anyone fined for breaching s. 180 (see below)?

                    STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 – SECT 180

                    Certain records to be retained for prescribed period

                    180 Certain records to be retained for prescribed perio

                    (1) An owners corporation must cause the following to be retained for 7 years–

                    (a) any records, notices and orders required to be kept under this Division or Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 ,

                    (b) minutes of meetings required to be kept under Schedule 1 or Schedule 2,

                    (c) its financial statements and accounting records,

                    (d) copies of correspondence received and sent by the owners corporation,

                    (e) notices of meetings of the owners corporation and its strata committee,

                    (f) proxies delivered to the owners corporation,

                    (g) voting papers relating to motions for resolutions by the owners corporation and to the election of officers or the establishment of a strata renewal committee (under Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 ),

                    (h) a copy of any signed strata managing agent agreement or building manager agreement entered into by the owners corporation,

                    (i) records given to the owners corporation by the strata managing agent relating to the exercise of functions by the agent,

                    (j) any other documents prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.

                    <small>: Maximum penalty–5 penalty units. </small>

                    (2) The regulations may prescribe a different period for which any or all of the things referred to in subsection (1) are required to be retained.

                    4. Trash the idea of a solicitor and a summons. IMHO it’s money down the drain. Yes that may be a means to secure the documents you want, but what if the agent agrees to give them to you only to admit, when handing them over, that “we’re sorry but some (maybe most) are documents are missing, lost, borrowed and not returned”, see (3) above.

                    5. While FT is limited in what it can do regarding the SSM Act, it is the case with most consumer complaints (I am not sure if strata falls under this as well), that the more complaints the better for consumers. It used to be that if a company is complained about 10 times in a month, then that company is listed on a register available to be viewed online by anyone. Of course a company, eg a supermarket with many outlets is more likely to get 10+ complaints per month than a strata agent UNLESS you convince your neighbours to file a complaint themselves.

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