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Caretaker contracts limited to 10 years being extended beyond by options
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bearforce1
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19/05/2015 - 11:52 am
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Hi all, 

I am in a large apartment block in George Street Sydney. 

At our last AGM it was resolved to give the Caretaker an additional 5 year option to their existing contract for being so excellent. This brings the contract terms from 2031 to 2036. 

The legislation limits these contracts to ten years. What can I do about this if anything?  

Our caretaker has for years held a large proportion of proxy votes 90 out of just under 400 apartment. Our caretaker is in effective control of our building. This together with the long contract has made people give up hope of making any progress or changes.

Even our chairman admits that there is nothing he/we can do. He said if he says something he will be removed and replaced with someone else. 

Please help....

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kiwipaul
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19/05/2015 - 4:39 pm
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This might help from the Strata Management Act 1997

Schedule 2 Section 11

7A) Other limits on exercise of proxy
A vote by a proxy who is a caretaker, an on-site residential property manager or a strata managing agent is invalid if it would obtain or assist in obtaining a pecuniary interest for, or confer or assist in conferring any other material benefit on, the proxy.

So if he used his proxies to extend his term the motion was invalidly passed and so would a lot of other motions, depending on how active he was in using his proxies.

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Whale
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21/05/2015 - 9:27 am
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...additionally, as matters involving a caretaker agreement (contract) may be taken under a simple majority vote by those present at a General Meeting (incl. by proxy), I don't understand how this person can effectively control your Scheme with just 40% of the max possible votes.

As both provisions of the Strata Schemes Management Act that you and KWP have referenced do apply, so do the terms of the caretaker's agreement, so I think your Owners Corporation needs to seek the advice of a lawyer who's experienced in contract law.

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bearforce1
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21/05/2015 - 1:42 pm
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Hey, 

 

Thanks to both Kiwi and Whale. This site is invaluable for people and gives us some comfort.

 

In answer to Whale.

Most companies can be effectively controlled with relatively small non majority percentages. It seems to me to be even worse for the Strata schemese in my limited experience.

Only twelve people attended the AGM. As i noted earlier people have given up because of the length of the caretaker contract, the proxy situation and some bullying for good measure. 

The caretaker is a family, husband and wife and son. In February this year the caretaker business was rolled into a trust. 

I did poll the vote for item.

What I would like to know is whether or not the option periods would be considered part of the length of the contract?

Alternatively I need to take some advice form someone. Would anyone be able to recommend someone in the Sydney city region. 

Many thanks

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Whale
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22/05/2015 - 8:26 pm
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bearforce1 - there's been a deal of discussion HERE about strata savvy lawyers, any of whom would be able to guide you through the process of applying for Orders under Sect 183A of the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act (1996).

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Whoopi
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25/05/2016 - 4:13 pm
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Just want to commiserate with you . We are in the same boat. The conflict of interest having managers and secretaries and owners  and proxies is toxic.

Ours has 75% or so he says I will be doing a poll next time.

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JimmyT
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25/05/2016 - 6:23 pm
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Look at item 2 and (as I advised elsewhere) consider taking a Section 162 for the statutory appointment of a strata manager. Or tell the bullies that if they don't behave, that's what you are going to do.  Do it in writing so they can't say they weren't warned. I'm a great believer in the old Spanish Inquisition tactic of showing their victims the implements with which they were about to be tortured.

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