A source of frustration for many owners, records inspections is one of the subjects I am most frequently asked about. I’m sharing my 4 steps to a successful strata records inspection, including what to do when particular records are withheld for ‘privacy’ or ‘legal’ reasons. 

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Amanda,
    thank you for your podcast about the book & record searches act and legal obligation emails legal docs. I really enjoyed this podcast because in early Jan 2015 our then terminated strata company refused to hand over the strata roll to the SC members attended their office.

    It was imperative we contact every owner after receiving an NCAT application we urgently required a copy of the strata roll. We emailed the agent for the appointment, paid them the fee when the SC members arrived at their office we were provided boxes of documents except the one we requested a copy of the strata roll? we requested they provide us with a copy of the roll and we were left waiting for 90 mins. Eventually a senior manager arrived refusing us our request claiming it was not permitted under “privacy laws”. We immediately phoned fair trading who advised us to contact the office of land title, we did only to be told that was wrong information. We left the strata co office feeling very worried and defeated and had no knowledge or any idea what to do next.

    This was partially difficult as we could not hold a meeting appoint a new strata company we had to go to great lengths to contact all owners in order to hold the meeting including an SC member taking a day return train ride to Newcastle in order to contact an owner and deliver a meeting document.

    Unfortunately at that time we had no idea that the application the OC received was to appoint the already terminated strata co.

    I understand first hang the nightmare of no strata knowledge and no help from OFT that we relied on for their advice that was “don’t worry you don’t need a lawyer” OC’s usually submit their own reply to the NCAT application for CMA. That was the beginning of a very had lesson for the majority of our owners in our scheme who joined together but we were defeated and depleted.

    With no understanding the SSMA act and not obtaining legal advice representation we lost our scheme ability to appeal as the CMA had complete control of the OC strata funds. The majority of owners had raised funds to visit with lawyers but just just a few days before the hearing The lawyers contacted us to say that they had discovered a conflict-of-interest with the strata managing agency they could not act for us to appeal. We received more legal advice to forget about the appealing the decision because the compulsory managers would use the owners corporation money to fight us or oppose our application and that could blow out to around $60,000 It was a travesty given there was no hearing And that there was absolutely no valid reason on evidence that we are scheme should’ve put in put into a position of compulsory management it was an abuse of process.

    In moving forward to 2021 I am a grateful member of YSP as I know first hand the importance of receiving correct strata legislation legal knowledge.

    Hopefully owners will arm themselves with this valuable strata knowledge so as to avoid our past travesty and for all strata owners to communicate respectful and resolve strata issues for our collective good so as to unite and harmonise our strata living community.

    Kind regards
    Chris

  2. Thanks Amanda for the information.

    I believe that we need a new system where we have proper protection in Strata living that we lack at the moment.
    1. Building building that are built to last.
    2. Making sure that people like plumbers, roofers, electricians and the rest of people we need in our strata schemes to do some work are well qualified. Also how much we expect to pay.
    3.That some Strata Managers do not treat our strata funds as their cookie jar.
    I believe it will be very easy for Fair Trading to check if the business we engage are giving us value for money.
    The experience that people in Chris building is not an isolate one. I read on our local paper about 3 years ago that an Economist Working for a major paper did not know that there was a special levy to be paid when he look at the strata papers because it seems like the strata manager did not have to disclose it.
    The last thing we need are nasty surprises.

    Thanks again!!

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