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  • #62647
    Enough of Strata

    Maybe Strata might have its share of cowboys.

    I have just been elected to a committee, read the NSW Act & Regulations and see that there provisions for committee meetings to approve various things related to the activities of the Strata’s operation.

    The Strata Manager says and work needed (maintenance) under $500 he will automatically attend to, anything above will be referred to the Committee to approve the quotes.

    He indicated – Just talk between yourselves and e-mail which one you want.

    Another party say’s according to what he read (Act & Reg’s) a Committee meeting must be called (3 days notice required) to decide, with the minutes being the record of the Committee’s decision.  Obviously the Strata Manager is e-mailed the decision also.

    About 4 years ago I was at a Strata Conference in Sydney, and recall in a general discussion with an attending  Strata Lawyer, he indicated Committee meetings were not required, which surprised me at the time.

    Can someone put me right.


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  • #62653

    It’s a fine line to tread.

    The SSMA says that the OC must maintain the common property. If that’s the case then a committee cannot vote to not do a repair. So in effect a committee decision is redundant.

    The standard strata management contract says the strata manager can authorise repairs up to $500 without referring to the committee. It’s a form of expediency ( and common sense).

    Above $500, it’s assumed that the strata manager will get some quotes and the committee d3cides which to accept. In my experience the committee is polled by email . Remember thst repair is mandatory, so the decision is whom to use to do the repair. Again common sense needs to prevail as one would not do this where repairs ran to thousands of dollars.

    The above decisions can be noted ( retrospectively) at the next committee meeting.

    This informal approval process ensures thst repairs are done in a timely manner. The alternative may be to be calling weekly committee meetings.

    The strata lawyer is sort of correct. The act does not say when or how many committee meetings are required ( unlike the AGM). But good governance would dictate some committee meetings , even if just to discuss things. ( it’s always a surprise to me that people will bring up issues in a meeting but remain silent otherwise)


    In my experience, owners at a general meeting can vote to allow a strata committee (and by inference the strata agent) to spend say up to $500 (in the forthcoming year) per event without being required to hold a formal strata committee meeting, let alone an OC meeting to discuss the matter or consider quotes.

    As to the mechanics of work being done, either one person on the strata committee can be delegated with the role of giving the agent the instruction to do the work or the issue is brought to the attention of all strata committee members, even by email and a majority must be in favour of the work being done before the agent is instructed.

    Neither approach removes the requirement of the SC from minuting the expenditure retroactively, as kaindub states.

    While such a cap, say $500, may work well for  situations such as an emergency, many expenses I have seen are not urgent and I would be suspicious of any situation where the entire strata committee was not informed of an expense prior to it being incurred and allowed to express their views to each other, even by email, before instructing the strata agent to go ahead or not.


    I suggest that if you’re on the committee, you should be notified of everything that is spent.  This will help you get a feeling for what the issues are and who are the more active owners / residents.  It might be more convenient to let the strata manager take care of everything costing less than $500 but you won’t learn much about your own strata plan.  You should be more than a rubber stamp for someone else’s decisions.

    My previous strata manager contract allowed the strata manager to spend up to $500 of owners corp money without contacting the strata committee.  It was remarkable how many jobs cost us $495.

    For urgent/emergency matters, there was no limit to what they could spend.  We found expenditure running into thousands of dolllars because they were “urgent”.  Without a proper definition of “urgent”, it’s urgent because the owners says so.

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