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  • #64244
    newb
    Flatchatter

    Hi. I’ve mentioned my situation before.

    Where I’m at now.

    SM contract is due for renewal at end of September.

    I asked for strata roll and records (as a committee member). After delay and obfuscation the provided strata roll has only property managers email for quite a few owners and in one case this is the only info – no residential or postal address. Are they required to provide more information?

    Records – after delay and obfuscation I was provided some things. This revealed that our SM collects GST on our levies under their ABN. Our Owner’s corp is not registered for GST, nor needs to be. I instructed the SM to use our ABN, not charge GST, and refund the GST that has been collected. I’ve had no reply.

    I instructed that capital works money be returned to capital works fund. This has been ignored. Our fund remains at less than $2000, when last year it was over $27,000.

    Bank statement also showed –

    – charges (amounting to several thousand) for cleaning from 3 years ago and Numerous double charging on the same day or within days of each other for the same thing, and Roof repair costs split into $300 amounts.

    They continue to charge for fixing bath, shower and laundry leaks for which we receive no quotes or information until after the works are complete when I ask for receipts to find out where money went. They continue to do this even after I gave written instruction that it is major work that requires voting on. Obvious external building work is not being done. I’ve started getting quotes for these.

    I ccd the committee on all emails. I emailed the committee showing how our fund is rapidly decreasing and attached bank statement showing double up manager fee charges and double up cleaning fee charges amounting to thousands extra.

    I have asked for a committee meeting to discuss these things and to elect office bearers. I offered a solution where we can self manage, have a transparent bank account with co signatories and transaction notification, and legally pay committee members through s46. We have no meetings at all except AGM. Committee continue to not reply and run away/ not discuss anything when I see them. One committee member is “aged and frail” and unable to be stressed with all this so I’ve tried communicating with her family. More obfuscation. Other committee member told me he has cancer. Neither will resign from committee.

    I told SM I’d spoken to the ATO. I told my committee that if they don’t reply I will start the court process. I sent a clear list of what I want – at least one meeting a year, elect office bearers, oversee spending, maintain our building. Still no reply to agree on a date for a meeting.

    There is a new owner. I asked her to join the committee and help me look after our building. She said she will. Does she need to wait for AGM to be nominated? I haven’t said anything to her yet about all this, just that I want a portal, transparency, building painted and driveway fixed (she wants driveway fixed) and that we can work together. I don’t want to scare her off.

    Should I write to all owners and tell them what’s going on? Is it safe to do it via the property managers? Should I start the court process? Should I ring ATO again and tell them what I’ve discovered?

    I fixed the bins situation which one committee member was upset about. He doesn’t seem pleased. Their attitude is no one else wants to be involved or help (so we deserve to rip investor owners off???)

    It is a horrible situation where I have no idea who to trust. It’s very stressful. I rapidly lost about 10kg. I can’t afford a lawyer.

    Advice please

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  • #64246
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    There are four things I would do if I were in this situation (although these solutions may not work for you).

    1. Identify a strata manager you can trust to do the right thing. We have been associated with our sponsors Strata Choice for years and have no hesitation in recommending them. Mention Flat Chat if and when you contact them
    2. Apply directly to NCAT for the appointment of that strata manager as an statutory appointment for one year, including a provision that they pursue the missing funds.
    3. At the same time, take action at Fair Trading against the current strata manager for disciplinary action and the return of the misspent funds. You can do that by going to this Fair Trading page and scrolling down to the Real Estate, Property management and Strata section.
    4. If the current Strata Manager is a member of Strata Community Association, raise a complaint with them HERE.  But remember that the SCA is primarily a strata managers’ professional group, so don’t expect them to send in the cavalry.

    None of the above actions require a lawyer (initially, at least).  I don’t usually recommend a statutory appointment of a strata manager as that can be tricky for all concerned, but you need a clear-out of the moribund committee members ASAP.

    As for inducting the new owner on to the committee, you need to hold a committee meeting to be able to do that, and it has to be to fill a vacancy.

    As for the money owed through double spends and unidentified spending, assuming you are on the committee,  itemise it and then get your treasurer to send a bill to the strata manager requesting a refund within 30 days, after which the scheme will seek legal remedies.

     

    #64250
    newb
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Ok. I will do those things.

    This stranglehold needs to be broken.

    Thank you so much.

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