Reena and I discuss:
– the perfect storm of events that is forcing managers to seek “quotes to get quotes”
– the elderly Earlwood couple bailed out of their “cruel” strata levies with public donations
– a little known Tribunal procedure, and
– what some owners wished they had known before buying in to strata.

Links mentioned:



3 Responses

  1. Hi Amanda and Reena,

    Thanks again for your podcasts. Today’s was particularly relevant. It was interesting to hear what strata managers are going through at the movement (and always are). I was interested in the comments about the comparative protection that strata lot owners are afforded with regard to consequential damage to the lot. It is a stark difference when considered with the different experience of freestanding home owners. When you own a freestanding home, you have the freedom to get onto your own roof and cover up the leaks to at least mitigate damage. A strata lot owner can’t do that, so damage continues until the problem is resolved.
    Regarding getting work to happen, I always ask for the strata manager to copy me into the Quote Request so I can reduce the time it takes for a contractor to make contact. If the strata manager sends me a copy of the quote request or work order, I call the contractor directly and start the conversation as soon as possible, rather than waiting a week or two for the contractor to call me. It also allows me to follow up if I haven’t heard from the contractor. No strata manager has the time to devote to each lot that each lot-owner has, so it makes sense that lot owners are encouraged to be involved. Not that strata managers shouldn’t follow up to ensure work is getting done, but lot-owners can help get work done more quickly which is better for the building and the community as a whole. I firmly believe it takes a team to get the job done and shouldn’t be left solely to the strata manager who often doesn’t have the time to offer exclusive service.

  2. I call it the McMillan principle. It is from SCS 11 / 18269, an unreported matter.
    The OC in question had repeatedly failed to meet a requirement of the Act.
    The OC was going to fail again and an application seeking an order that the OC comply with the particular requirement was made.
    In the dismissal the Adjudicator said “… the Adjudicator notes the Owners Corporation is in the hand of a third party…” as if it was a reason for the OC not meeting its requirement.
    Of course the principle is absolute rubbish but it does go to show that if a party spins the chocolate wheel at NCAT it may get lucky and get a rubbish decision that is favorable.

  3. Thanks Amanda and Reena. About the “cruel treatment”. Some readers on the SMH made the calculations about the final debt incurred by the Lot owners and they came to the conclusion that the pair only owed $5K but their final bill was over $23K?. Also OC do not have to charge interest if they decide to do it.

    The following was my response to our Strata Manager in regards to the new strata legislation. The only item I received was the quarterly financial statement. We know that the new legislation will be another waste of strata funds because the only people who will be liable if the person/s do not provide the right information will be the owners corporation.
    “On 28 March 2022 we had an AGM and I haven’t received a copy of the minutes. As I understand, I should have it 7 days after the AGM.
    Lot 2 was sold on 5 May and I have not received any information as to who the new owner’s name on the strata role is?
    As a Treasurer I should I prefer to receive a financial statement that we used to receive every 3 months (all the owners used to receive it so everyone was able to check the expenses). I prefer to receive that rather than the information you are sending us monthly, that I already receive from Fair Trading.
    On 18 May 2022 we had a gutter cleaner.

    I asked him if he was going to remove the spikes that I believe are obstructing the water flow. He responded that the problem was that the gutter is uneven and too narrow on at the end of southerly corner so that’s why the water stays on the gutter after we have rain.

    I also told him that there is something very wrong on the side of my kitchen window (north side) and it has been there since the gutter was replaced. This was done, as you know, without OC approval and knowledge.
    Did the gutter cleaner advise of the problem?
    Could you please make sure that the information is recorded so everyone knows of the problems we are facing.”
    I could not participate on Fair Trading meeting about the new legislation because I did not have internet access for about 3 days.

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