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  • #73091
    bigpon2
    Flatchatter

      For a year now I have been a member of a 2 person Strata Committee, of a unit block with 16 units. The other SC member owns half the units and does nothing at all, leaving the Strata Manager (which is a totally inefficient large manager) to do everything. There have been no meetings and only limited financial information given to me in this last year. The other SC member ignores all contact attempts. He is way behind with payment of levies on his units, to the extent that the OC is on the verge of  literal bankruptcy.

      I have requested that the Strata Manager supply me with contact details for the remaining unit holders, so that I can make them aware of all this, as I know that they are all blissfully unaware of this crisis. However the SM refuses, on “privacy” grounds. I know that I am entitled legally to these details, but I need to be able to quote the exact section  of the Act to back up my demand, and I am having trouble finding it. Can anyone advise me on this please?

    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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    • #73114
      Jimmy-T
      Keymaster

        I recently had the same problem with the bullying boss of a big strata firm that was refusing to hand over the strata roll to the company secretary because, basically, it wasn’t their policy and there were issues of “privacy”.

        We got the strata roll and the email addresses.

        Ok, these are all the bits of info you need:

        1. The owners corporation must maintain a strata roll (Section 178) and it must have the email addresses of owners in it.
        2. Any owner is entitled to view the records of the strata scheme which specifically includes the strata roll under the provisions of  Section 182.  Failure to allow that to happen can incur a fine of $550 in the first instance.
        3. The privacy act does not apply to owners corporations.
        4. The tribunal can order the strata manager or secretary to make documents available for inspection under section 188 .

        That should be all the ammunition you require.

         

        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.
        #73165
        Hobbitville
        Flatchatter

          You were a tad extreme in point 1 of your answer.

          Section 178 of the SSMA (2015) does NOT say the Strata Roll MUST have an owners e-mail address. It says:

          1 (c)  an Australian postal address, and an email address if the holder has one, if not provided as the address for service,

          #73169
          Jimmy-T
          Keymaster

            Okay, let’s unpick that. Section 178 says the strata roll must include the email address of the owner if they have one which is not provided as their address for service.

            Obviously I should have pointed out that the law does not expect people to go out and get an email address if they don’t have one.

            So are you saying that I should have made it clear that the law doesn’t expect people to supply email addresses that they don’t have?

            Hmmm.  And I’m being “extreme” for not saying that?

            The point is that the law says owners who have email addresses should supply them to the strata roll and that the strata roll is one of the documents to which the strata manager must allow access for all owners. Surely that’s the issue – not my being “extreme” (for once).

            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.
            #73362
            Steven Brett
            Flatchatter

              Hey Jimmy-T

              I understand Section 178 – in fact my SMA sent me a copy of it when I asked for a copy of the Roll and contact details of the other owners. Is there other legislation or case law (tribunal outcomes) that support your statement 3. The privacy act does not apply to Owners Corporations?

              Also where the SMA claims that the contact information beyond ‘the address for service of notices’ belongs to them, not the OC and is subject to their privacy rules – what do you suggest? and please be as ‘extreme’ as you desire in your response..!

              #73372
              Jimmy-T
              Keymaster

                Is there other legislation or case law (tribunal outcomes) that support your statement 3. The privacy act does not apply to Owners Corporations?

                The Privacy Act doesn’t apply to any corporations with a turnover of less that $3million  pa.  This is why strata managers say they own the strata roll. And I will turn that back on you, if I may: can you show me any instances where the Privacy Act has been enforced by a court or tribunal in relation to a strata scheme?

                Here are the simple facts: All owners and residents (including tenants) must be listed on the strata roll. The strata roll is a document that is owned by the owners corporation and as such must be made available to any owner (although a fee may apply). The strata manager must make the strata roll available to the strata secretary.  Email addresses must be recorded on the strata roll, if the owner has one.

                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.
                #73381
                tina
                Flatchatter

                  As a last resort, doorknock the other lots and find out who owns it.

                  Would it be a good idea to apply for compulsory appointment of strata manager?  The other strata committee member is behind in the levies.  The strata manager is doing nothing about it.

                   

                  #73516
                  Hobbitville
                  Flatchatter

                     

                    Post deleted.  We expect contributions, even if we disagree with them, to at least be an attempt to progress the argument and not an excuse for nit-picking, point scoring and verbal abuse.     – JT

                     

                     

                    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
                    #73538
                    TrulEConcerned
                    Flatchatter

                      Jimmy’s point on the a fee (regulated at $31 + GST for the first hr and additional fee for each additional time) often being charged to owners to access the records of the strata scheme, including inspecting the strata roll is true.

                      But recently when I complained to Fair Trading that a strata mgr wants to charge me $49 for each document that is not available for free viewing on the strata mgr’s portal – and I want a history of a current dispute and have no idea if it’s 10 documents or 50 documents I need – FT told me that a SC member can inspect at no charge.

                      All an SC member needs to do is ask the strata mgr (in writing) when it would be convenient to inspect the records “in order to acquaint myself with all the facts regarding matters currently before the SC, so that I can make good decisions as a member of the SC”.

                      Emphasis must be on “filling your knowledge gaps in order to understand the scheme’s current situation“.

                      FT said that if a SC member comes across as merely wanting to embark on a fishing expedition, without making clear the purpose is to be able to tackle a current problem facing the OC, then often a strata mgr will indeed charge and get away with doing so.

                      The strata roll is part of the records whose ownership is the OC whilst being held by the OC’s agen, the strata mgr.

                      #73558
                      TrulEConcerned
                      Flatchatter

                        Bigpon2,

                        Further to points made earlier, I suggest you email your strata manager and other strata committee member to make all the records available to you within 7 days at no cost as you’re on the strata committee.

                        Tell them that if they fail to do so, you’ll take the matter to NCAT (no mediation needed for such an issue), where your solicitor will remind the Tribunal of the following cases:

                        Legge v Network Strata Services Pty Ltd (SCS) [2013] NSWCTTT45 and
                        Walker v The Owners -Strata Plan No. 1992 [2020] NSWCATAP 192

                        At NCAT, your strata manager and the other committee member will be shocked to learn that the Tribunal in both cases found that “privacy laws” do not protect information owned by the OC, including but not limited to the strata roll or levy register, whether or not such information is held by a strata manager.

                        I repeat, privacy laws do not apply when it comes to strata scheme documentation owned by the OC. While NCAT does not usually award costs, it seems to me that in this situation where you have made the strata manager and other committee member aware of their legal errors and knowing that they continued to obstruct your access to the records, that you may well be awarded costs.

                        Best of luck!

                        #73560
                        The Hood
                        Flatchatter

                          FT said that if a SC member comes across as merely wanting to embark on a fishing expedition, without making clear the purpose is to be able to tackle a current problem facing the OC, then often a strata mgr will indeed charge and get away with doing so.

                          Where does it say one needs to give a reason to see the records?
                          At times FT comes across as protection for rogue agents.
                          The old strata roll access issue.
                          It never goes away; why?
                          Because “the State” is the problem.

                          #73561
                          The Hood
                          Flatchatter

                            The point is that the law says owners who have email addresses should supply them to the strata roll

                            And also
                            “The owners corporation must maintain a strata roll (Section 178) and it must have the email addresses of owners in it.”

                            I feel the average Joe comes away from that thinking i need to give them my email address if i have one.
                            It is just not true that anyone “should” and “must”.
                            What type of must is that must?

                            Giving ones email is an option in certain circumstances.
                            Sure it makes things easier for the management to be digital but let’s not just give the vibe that if you have an email then you need to hand it over.
                            This (CTTT below) is why some people prefer to give a physical address and get hard copies from their OC.
                            My latest copy of my OC’s register of names and addresses has lots of emails and it now includes phone numbers as well, including my own which i do not remember giving as information to be put on the strata roll.

                            “Secondly, even if an address for service of notice is “information … about an individual”, part of the primary purpose of the collection of lot owners’ addresses and their inclusion on the strata roll is so they can be contacted by other lot owners and the Executive Committee of the Owners Corporation. ”

                            Legge v Network Strata Services Pty Ltd (Strata and Community Schemes) [2013] NSWCTTT 45 (8 January 2013)

                            #73574
                            Jimmy-T
                            Keymaster

                              It is just not true that anyone “should” and “must”.

                              OK, for the umpteenth time, here is what the law says:

                              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 in fee simple in the lot (in the case of a freehold strata scheme) or the holder of the leasehold estate in the lot (in the case of a leasehold strata scheme),

                              (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,

                              There’s more, not relevant to this point,but if you editt out the padding an legalese it says:

                              The following information must be recorded in the strata roll… an email address if the holder has one, if not provided as the address for service,

                              Can someone please explain how or why that means anything other than you have to supply an email adress if you have one.  Seriously, I’m intrigued to know on what basis some people are uterly convinced that I am wrong (and are not slow to tell me).  If I have somehow misread this, I will retract and apologise.
                              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.
                              #73606
                              Jimmy-T
                              Keymaster

                                Yes that is what the law says but what does it mean is not for plebs to say  unless we are quoting the Courts.

                                Agreed.  So please point me in the direction of a court ruling that clearly states that this clause doesn’t mean what it says.  Unitl I can read that, I will join the other plebs who don’t apply pretzel logic to find a meaning that doesn’t seem to be the intent of the law.

                                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.
                                #73595
                                The Hood
                                Flatchatter

                                  178
                                  (a) …
                                  (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,

                                  You will notice the “Australian … address” and the “if not” in (c).
                                  If (b) is an Australian address then (c) doesn’t matter.
                                  Take someone overseas and they give their OS address for (b), then they need to fulfill (c).
                                  Meet (b) and then (c) doesn’t matter.

                                  I will just rearrange (c) to make the above more visible.
                                  (c) an Australian postal address if not provided as the address for service, and an email address if the holder has one.

                                  If your address for service is not an Australian address then the Parliament would like the owner to provide an Aussie address and throw in an email if you have one.

                                  If the Parliament, blanket, wanted an email address, if the owner has one, then the requirement would appear in (b), not as an extra in (c) just for those who haven’t given an Australian address for service.

                                  You don’t need to apologies or retract because at the end of the day all we now have is competing interpretations.
                                  I actually do not see why (c) means an owners has to give an email address unless they have failed (b).

                                   

                                  #73596
                                  The Hood
                                  Flatchatter

                                    OK, for the umpteenth time, here is what the law says

                                    I like this “here is what the law says”
                                    That is what it says but what does it mean?

                                    I take the reader to the SSM Act and the 250+ uses of the word “must”.
                                    There would be the best part of 4 or 5 meanings for must.
                                    So many different meanings and some of the “must” reduce to should because there is nothing “must” about them.
                                    I take the reader to the following case – 2 Elizabeth Bay Road Pty Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 73943 [2014] NSWCA 409
                                    The break down at paragraph 35 of what “must not” means
                                    35 These “must not” provisions are of three types.

                                    Yes that is what the law says but what does it mean is not for plebs to say  unless we are quoting the Courts.

                                  Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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