233. Strata lawyers and strata managers: the elephant in the apartment

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I’m bringing to the table a rather serious challenge: in a world where some strata lawyers may receive a lot of work via referral from one particular strata management company, are they somehow beholden to that company? If not, why do some strata managers (and maybe even some strata lawyers) think that they are? Reena and I also chat about:

  • legal defence insurance policies
  • lot owners refusing to pay levies for creative reasons and
  • the recent NCAT Appeal Panel case on access to strata records.

Links mentioned:

8 Comments. Leave new

  • How true, strata management needs to pick their act up.
    Holding, sorry hiding information and Secret deals.

    Reply
  • Thanks Amanda, I was lucky to find you to give me advise.
    In relation to Lawyers that do not want to give advise to a person who wants an advise.
    In 2014 I tried to get advise from a Strata lawyer but because the lawyer had? was working for the Strata Manager I was trying to get the advise she wrote back to me saying that she could not advise me because it would had been a conflict of interest.
    Hope people who need a strata lawyer to give advise find you like I did.

    Thanks again!!

    fernanda

    Reply
  • Similarly, within the 2 year prescribed defects period, it’s been my experience that developer appointed Strata managers act for the developer, not the owners Corporation.

    Reply
  • My mother has past 3 years ago and so I have not been able to vote at the general meetings.Now court has finished and I have received the propeties but am still the executor and owner,granted by the courts.
    My solicitor has sent the strata this but now I’m told I cannot vote until the properties are transferred into my name.
    Also ive been charged interest over the past 3 years while the estate was in court.Now its finalised im having to pay almost $1000 in interest but im struggling now as im up for over $8000 is this right.

    Reply
    • Hi Jenni, assuming you’re in NSW, it is correct that you cannot vote until the properties are transferred into your name. Interest would also have continued to accrue on outstanding levies. You can ask the strata committee to consider waiving the interest, noting your unique circumstance.

      Reply
  • Walker v The Owners – Strata Plan No 1992
    One must wonder why we are compelled to be part of an adversarial system.
    This matter continued from first instance on the back of a serious failure of the system yet it is the parties who are picking up the tab for the failure.
    I just can’t subscribe to that idea.

    As far as self managed SP’s and knowing the law goes, the (in)famous Mr Bow Tie once said:
    “Mr Ilkin submits that the appointment of a strata managing agent is not a step to be taken lightly. He refers to Nulama Village Pty Ltd v The Owners SP 61788 [2006] NSWCTTT 550; Dalsiz Pty Limited v The Owners SP 47301 [2008 NSWCTTT 390; and an unreferenced decision of the Supreme Court in Mortlock v The Owners SP 55434. I respectfully agree with those statements of principle. He goes on to submit that a further principle to be drawn is that “leeway must be given for breaches of the Act by laymen (sic)”. I do not agree that that is a principle to be drawn from the cases cited. Further, I do not accept that it is a proper principle to apply. More commonly than otherwise, members of Owners Corporations are laypeople. They, just as the very few who would be lawyers, must provide proper management of a strata scheme.”
    G Durie; Senior Member CTTT. Bushby v Owners Corporation SP 64939 (Strata & Community Schemes) [2009] NSWCTTT 70 (25 February 2009)
    |

    Reply

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