222. Your Guide to Compulsory Appointments

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  • I have always considered s 237 (formerly s 162) to be a corrective tool.
    There is nothing harsh about a hiatus from management for the owners inorder to correct dysfunction. Yet it seems the term draconian got used once and has since turned into the customary excuse not to correct a poorly managed SP.
    In 2015 when the strata law review was open for submission the following was put to the Parliament.
    Section 233 of the Bill ended up being s 237 of the 2015 SSM Act

    (Edited extract)
    Section 162 of the SSMA has continually been referred to as draconian since that term was first attached to it possibly in 2005.
    To mention just a few of the many cases that refer to s162 of the SSMA as being draconian;
    Sun, Tang v Owners Corp SP 56443 (Strata and Community Schemes) [2012] NSWCTTT 312 (2 August 2012)
    MacKenzie v Thomas & Ors (Strata & Community Schemes) [2005] NSWCTTT 469 (12 July 2005)
    Gershberg & Troyanovski v Owners Corporation SP 5768 (Strata & Community Schemes) [2011] NSWCTTT 411 (5 September 2011)
    Bischoff & Ors v Rita Sahade & Anr [2015] NSWCATAP 135
    Mortlock and Anor v Owners of Strata Plan No 55434 [2006] NSWSC 363 (3 May 2006)

    If s162 of the SSMA is draconian, and draconian is the reason many Members often decline to apply s162 of the SSMA, then why does such a ‘draconian’ provision re-appear in essentially the same form?

    The Macquarie dictionary, the one Members love to quote, says;
    draconian: harsh, severe.

    Section 139(1) of the Bill says a by-law cannot be harsh. Section 233 of the Bill (the new equivalent of s 162) is constantly deemed harsh by the overseeing jurisdiction.

    So the legislation, made by the Parliament, can be harsh but a by-law, made by the owners, cannot; or is the jurisdiction in error in its interpretation? I hope the reader is getting the gist of the perceivable hypocrisy. I feel the interpretation is erroneous.

    Reply
    • Emiliana Estanislao
      July 20, 2020 4:07 pm

      Reading through the podcast, our strata plan SP32469 qualifies indeed for a compulsory strata manager that you, Amanda has recommended to me when you were in my place last January 29, 2020.
      It is not only the strata management but also the strata committee and the apathetic OC as a whole that are dysfunctional making it really hard for me to explain the need for a fresh management.
      It is a pain to correct the corruption schemed between the current strata manager and some EC members who connive, simply because they benefit from such arrangement.
      There is stark infringement and blatant disregard of the rules and the by-laws that are well-documented and yet are set aside because this strata management is just after management extension of our strata plan. The anointed EC members who are active in attending meetings, hold the key to the management term blocking all my motions, so I get defeated. The rest of the members just wait and see.
      As an office bearer holding on the management agreement, I have tried to get this strata management to resign, submitted the motion to the OC during AGM last June 2020 to terminate based on its neglect to monitor and work on levy arrears of one owner who is still living in the property despite the accumulating arrears for more than 3 years now + the lawyer’s fees that have eaten up our administration fund; dishonesty/fraud for rigging the EC membership, allowing favourite EC members to be smuggled in the EC when one was not even present to accept the nomination in EC and the other one simply added into the minutes as EC when she declared she would not be in the EC during the AGM.
      There is also incompetence to permit an EC member to occupy a common property parking much against the special by-law we have adopted from this strata management on towing and parking. Furthermore, an owner who is a service provider repeatedly sits in the EC despite the conflict of interest invoked in allowing that. This owner also sold us a faulty CCTV that he refused to operate saying that surveillance was not part of the contract, hence the OC will have to pay extra for every footage neede. He as EC member would not even volunteer to do for the OC, neither his cohort sitting in our EC.
      Then, this owner who I asked to mediate at Fair Trading and refuse to do so, was then declared ‘safe and compliant’ by the strata manager who applied for such certification with Ebix Trades Monitor.
      The symbiotic relationship between the strata management and some EC members cements such business of running our strata plan much to the detriment of the OC that I sought legal advice at my own expense. I couldn’t even get a meeting with the strata manager herself and then with the rest of the EC members for this purpose so I paid the fees myself.
      With the ‘gamble’ involve with the application for compulsory manager at NCAT, is there another option to deal with this nastiness of unscrupulous strata managers lest the result proves to be unsuccessful.
      Is there a regulatory body that could execute a ‘busting power’ similar to the trade unions when they nab an erring company once reported as it happened to me before? There is tenants union. What about strata?
      (I called up NCAT and was told that it is not hearing strata issues as yet).
      My attempt to resolve nagging strata issues, drew me to member the Owners Corporation Network to share my story. Even, I consider approaching the media to sell my case with the hope of reaching wider publicity and attract attention of the strata regulating bodies regarding the dirty tricks strata managers employ to perpetuate themselves in business forever.
      After the AGM, I no longer belong to the strata committee. I am not an EC chairman anymore. A ballot vote was done, where the result is expected to kick me out and shut me up.
      The minutes of the last June 20 AGM was not even provided to me online or by mail. This is one of the difficulties an owner has to deal with a against a strata management that is adept in all kinds of tricks and manipulation to get rid of resistance.
      If there is also no guarantee to apply for a compulsory manager, how do we curb corruption and atrocities in the strata industry?

      Reply
  • Like in my previous comments the worst thing that our Strata had gone through was the CTTT appointing a compulsory Strata Manager for 6 months.
    We were left with shonky work that it had to be rectified. Debt Collector to collect levies that some of them were not even due. The Strata Manager paid the debt collector but for some reasons the debt collector made us pay another bill just to send 2 letters demanding the payment that I was questioning the price of the repairs and the need of most of them.
    Please keep away of having a Compulsory Strata Manager.

    Reply

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