COVID19 confidentiality

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Forums Strata law reform COVID19 confidentiality

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #154383
    Miss
    Member

    Amanda and team.

    I understand that all communication becomes part of the Strata records that can be accessed by anyone paying the fee.  Some Strata Managers even have this as a part of their email signature to remind you that there is no such thing as private in terms of Strata correspondence.

    Does this change in times of COVID19.  One of our committee members has asked owners to let them know if they have the disease,

    Am i correct that this information would not be confidential under the SSMA.

    I understand, what a reasonable person/committee would do.  Unfortunately we are in a self-managed strata schemes where the gloves are well and truly off.  A committee member wrote to an owner accusing him of having a mental illness – you can imagine the distress and they frequently raise really nasty allegations and thrive on this.  I’m too embarrassed to tell you of the other allegations and accusations that the committee hurl about so they would not treat this with any sensitivity.

    Stay well,

    #154474
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Hi Miss,

    At this stage there is no legal obligation to disclose a positive test result to your strata manager or anyone other than public health authorities.

    If a resident did disclose then yes, to the extent that disclosure was recorded in the OC’s books and records, it becomes available for inspection. There is no privacy attaching to that disclosure when it is made to the OC or its representative.

    Amanda.

    #155674
    MC
    Member

    Dear Amanda

    If there is a positive case reported to the committee do they have a duty of care to inform all other owners and residents that there has been a reported positive case in the scheme (without naming names or unit numbers) or should they refrain from doing so? Thanks

    #155689
    Miss
    Member

    Thanks for your response,

    As you’re so active in reform, it may be worth noting, the SCA COVID19 guidelines say that notification of the disease will be kept confidential.  This is what our committee are quoting.

    Our concern is that it creates even more confusion and now there’s a debate in our building – not helping those that are already worried.  The committee have already ‘outed’ and named one of owners and created doubt and suspicion.   thanks so much Miss

    #156166
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    Miss:

    Ah, yes ok. I will add it to the ‘issues’ list.

    MC:

    Yes, I’d say the ‘safer’ option (least worst option?) is to inform all residents of a confirmed case so they can take extra precautions, but not openly give name/unit number. If the virus breaks out on a grand scale in the building and it’s shown the committee knew about it some days or weeks before and did nothing, I believe there’d be plenty of room for criticism.

    This does not solve the problem Miss points out which is: the OC’s records will contain details of the report (presumably) and they are records available for inspection.

    Amanda.

    #159170
    ts1904
    Expert

    Another point to add.

    I understand that under new tenancy laws, landlords have a legal obligation to inform their tenants if there is a risk to them (i.e. someone else in the building having it).

    #163150
    Amanda Farmer
    Expert

    ts1904 – excellent point.

    Landlords in NSW are now required advise tenants “in writing within 14 days of becoming aware of the fact that the property…is subject to a significant health or safety risk and the nature of the risk”.

    There’s a good argument, I would have thought, for COVID falling into that risk category.

    https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/about-fair-trading/legislation-and-publications/changes-to-legislation/new-residential-tenancy-laws

    Amanda.

    #163299
    Miss
    Member

    brilliant thanks

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