Family letting out unit but no contact address | Another day in paradise | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




A A A

You must be registered and logged in to reply to posts or post new topics. Click on "How to Use This Forum" for simple instructions on how to get on board. NB: Please do not use your real name or email address as your screen name - if you do it will be changed to something less insecure.

Avatar

Please consider registering
Guest

Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Family letting out unit but no contact address
Avatar
Not An Apartment
Illawarra
FlatChatter
Members
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
03/07/2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
06/07/2017 - 2:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print
Small block with only two resident-owners.  The third last left about 2-3 mths ago, moving into a family property and handing management of his unit to grandchildren. 
 
Neither he nor his grandchildren have notified the strata management company. Our strata manager has tried various avenues to make contact:  e-mail and messages to mobile have gone unanswered, land-line has been disconnected and paper letter has been sent to the only address we have for him - the unit he's recently vacated. 
 
Unit has been rented out, informally, and problems have developed and are escalating.
 
Our strata manager says she has never encountered this before.  What avenues can I suggest to her to track down contact details for owner, or grandchildren for whom we have no surnames. 
Avatar
Lady Penelope
StrataGuru
Members

Full Members
Forum Posts: 484
Member Since:
13/02/2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
06/07/2017 - 11:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

From lawaccess.nsw.gov.au  comes this suggestion for finding out details of the address of an absentee neighbour so I am guessing the same process would apply for an absentee owner within your strata scheme.

"Your local council will generally have the address and contact details of the owner of the property neighbouring yours. The council may agree to give you this information. You can:

 

  • ​​​​​make an informal application for access to information, or
  • fill out an 'Access Application' form." 

You could also try a title Search. A last resort may be to employ the services of a solicitor, or a private investigator.

Can you speak to the grandchildren and ask for the address? Can you explain to the grandchildren that preparing and maintaining the strata roll (including an address for service of notices) is mandatory and if not maintained may result in a fine?

SSMA 2015 [s177] and [s178] outline this requirement.

177 Owners corporation must prepare strata roll

An owners corporation must prepare and maintain a strata roll in accordance with this Division.

Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.

 

178 Content of strata roll

 

(1) Information about lots The following information must be recorded in the strata roll in relation to a particular lot in the strata scheme:

(a) the name of the holder of the estate in fee simple in the lot (in the case of a freehold strata scheme) or the holder of the leasehold estate in the lot (in the case of a leasehold strata scheme),

(b) an address for service of notices,

(c) an Australian postal address, and an email address if the holder has one, if not provided as the address for service,

(d) the name of the holder’s agent (if any) appointed in accordance with this Act and the agent’s address for service of notices,

(e) information provided under a strata interest notice,

(f) information provided under a tenancy notice.

Avatar
JimmyT
Admin
Forum Posts: 4641
Member Since:
06/01/2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
07/07/2017 - 7:07 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

It's not just that.  Under section 258 the owner must notify the Owners Corp of a change of tenant (see below).

And there is another more cost-effective way of tracing the owner.  If there is a genuine debt against the lot (for non-payment of levies, for instance) you can employ a strata debt collection service with all reasonable charges involved in collecting the debt payable by the debtor.  Debt collection agencies have all the means of tracing people at their disposal.  

This is what I would be telling the tenants - your landlords are about to be charged thousands of dollars in debt collection fees and strata fines if they don't contact the strata manager immediately.

258 Tenancy notice to be given to owners corporation of leases or subleases

 (1) If a lot is leased, the lessor must give notice of the lease, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the commencement of the lease

Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units

(2) If a lot is subleased, the sub-lessor must give notice of the sublease, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the commencement of the sublease

Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units

(3) If a lease or sublease of a lot is assigned, the assignor must give notice of the assignment, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the execution of the assignment

Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.

(4) The notice must be in writing and specify:

(a) the name of the tenant and an address for service of the tenant, and

b) the date of commencement or assignment of the lease or sublease, as the case requires, and

(c) the name of any agent acting for the owner in respect of the lease or sublease.

Note : An address for service of notices may be an Australian postal address or other electronic address, including an email address (see section 261).

(5) This section does not apply to the lease of a lot by the lessor of a strata leasehold scheme to a lessee who is the owner of a lot.

(6) A notice under this section is to be given to the original owner if it is given during the initial period of the owners corporation for a strata scheme.

Avatar
Not An Apartment
Illawarra
FlatChatter
Members
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
03/07/2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
07/07/2017 - 4:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Thanks for above suggestions. The info re 'a genuine debt.....for non-payment of levies' would have been useful some weeks ago, but the previous qtrs levies had been issued several weeks before our AGM in May; there was no mention of being in arrears.  Contacting the grandkids is beyond us - we have no surnames for them and only contact we have is through the grandad who isn't responding to anything!

In the intervening couple of weeks, the residents of unit have been asked to keep their bins in their garage - they have now moved all their bins outside, near the clothesline.  The rubbish bin is almost overflowing, and stinking, but they didn't put it out for collection on Tue;  so it seems they believe that resistance will win out - maybe they think everyone else will move?

I've spoken to the Strata Mng Co. again; she's had no contact thus far and says she's reqd to make three attempts, so will do the rounds of all the contacts they have for the owner once more, this time including advice of what will result from another unanswered set of communications and the further action that can be taken.  Hopefully, this will encourage someone to take their responsibilities seriously.  Meanwhile, next week I'll speak to the Council to see if I can get any updated info to pass onto the SM.        Cheers.......NAA.

Avatar
Digby
Flat(chat)Mate
Members
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
14/01/2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
15/08/2017 - 11:37 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Hi, 

Just a though, authorise your strata manager to search the LPI in nsw which may uncover the last recorded people of interest in the property. 

If council rates have not been paid for some period of time  they could enforce a court order to sell the property after all effects have been exhausted to find the owner.  

 Kind regards

Digby

Avatar
Not An Apartment
Illawarra
FlatChatter
Members
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
03/07/2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
22/09/2017 - 7:02 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Well, things have moved apace and, as predicted, have escalated:

Despite repeated requests, the bins are still under the clothes-lines and don't get emptied until full or overflowing; the bicycle is permanently (except when someone's is using it - which isn't often enough) left behind the front door in stairwell;  cigarette butts still being thrown off balcony onto driveway; a resident observed climbing up onto the balcony for entry to the unit (apparently this person isn't trusted with a key, which explains why the building's door is frequently left open). 

There have bin some minor harassments also: my laundry basket lobbed over the side fence, the  mat outside my front door removed and hidden under door mat just inside the building's front door.

Oh, and did I mention that someone (the really objectionable one), is living in the garage?  Yup, made-up bed with  electrical cord running from power point to the bed, table and chairs set up...........

That would explain why they won't keep the bins in there.

Plus, it's heading toward getting physical - a week or so ago, I was walking down the driveway and saw 'the objectionable one' going in the front door, followed by another person, closing the door behind them.  I got to the front door, put my key in the lock but the door wouldn't open, so I tried again but door still wouldn't open.  I thought I could see, through the glass panels, a tall figure standing close to inside of door, so pushed harder, forcing the door open where I could see said resident leaning against the door, denying me access.

Seriously.

After consultation with the only other owner/resident and the strata management company, a few days later I went to the Police Station and asked them if they could get someone to drop round and 'have a word', which they did later that afternoon.  The attending officers spoke to me first and were reluctant to get involved without evidence of harassment, but, perhaps after I pointed out that the bloke in question is at least 10" taller than me and probably 40yrs younger, they agreed to talk to him, warning him to discontinue whatever he's been doing and to ignore me when our paths crossed, and advising me to do the same.

On the upside, the strata mng co. now has name/address for presumably one of the grandkids.  It's not clear whether details were updated deliberately by the owner/grandkids, or inadvertently when paying the latest strata levies. My money's on the latter, given they've ignored all other contacts. But the SMC sent the NTC to both the owner (at this address) and to the new adddress.

I've also spoken to the Council re their 'living arrangements' and they advise that if the DA for the building is for the structures on ground floor to be garages, then they need consent to vary purpose, from the Body Corp and in the event of such consent being given,  must also meet the Building Code of Australia, which the Council advised includes things like food prep facilities (sink, bench) and personal hygiene (toilet, sink) as minimum.  Any changes would also need to meet fire safety regs (insulation etc) and similarly,  electrical and plumbing works.

Needless to say, such consent has not been sought or given. 

I'm not sure how much more the grandkids need to stimulate them into action, but we'll see how things go from here.

Any further advice or comment will be much appreciated.

Cheers  - NOA

Avatar
Lady Penelope
StrataGuru
Members

Full Members
Forum Posts: 484
Member Since:
13/02/2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
22/09/2017 - 8:21 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

It might be worth the cost of you or the OC hiring a private investigator to track down the owner's contact details so that you and/or the Strata Manager can personally speak to the owner about these issues regarding the tenants.

The PI sites that I have had a quick look at state that a PI costs less than $400.00. Is your peace of mind worth $400?

You should not be harassed or feel threatened by a person in your building. 

If you want to take the quick route then if I was you I would employ a PI myself and if you want to take the slower route then perhaps you can write to your Strata Manager and have this put on the Agenda of the next meeting. The OC may not approve the employing of a PI tho, so you might end up having to do it yourself anyway.

Below is some info about AVOs should you need it if the situation escalates. NB:Legal Aid may also be able to assist, (depending on your circumstances). 

http://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.a.....olice.aspx

Do you know if the grandchildren have a registered tenancy agreement? Perhaps it may be possible for you to contact the Office of Fair Trading’s free tenancy and real estate complaint service and make a complaint about the tenants? 

 
Avatar
Not An Apartment
Illawarra
FlatChatter
Members
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
03/07/2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
22/09/2017 - 8:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Thanks Lady P:  I don't think I'm ready to go down the PI route yet, as the SMC has only recently been able to contact the owner's agents (ie: grandchildren),  so we'll see what sort of response we get.

I spoke to a Court Officer when I went up to the Police Station.  Apparently an AVO isn't for non-related people - partner, parent, child etc, but there is something called a Personal Violence Order which might apply, but for both of the above you need the name of the person to be served, to go on the Order. 

I'm also going to make it abundantly clear to  our SMC that they need to lift their game - the least they can do is actively pursue the SMSA regarding keeping up-to-date Strata Rolls of residents so they, at least, know who lives in the building.

Thanks again

Forum Timezone: Australia/Sydney

Most Users Ever Online: 518

Currently Online:
24 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

kiwipaul: 613

struggler: 459

Austman: 305

Billen Ben: 232

Millie: 213

Cosmo: 170

Kangaroo: 168

considerate band fair: 167

FlatChatFan: 147

daphne diaphanous: 137

Newest Members:

ChrisOldCodger

[email protected]

tonyd

oceancalls

Shazzz

ewright

McCash

Herbie01

Gburraston

Peter M Mills

Forum Stats:

Groups: 4

Forums: 46

Topics: 4398

Posts: 20891

 

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 241

Members: 5005

Moderators: 4

Admins: 1

Administrators: JimmyT

Moderators: Whale, Sir Humphrey, scotlandx, Lady Penelope