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Names of tenants to be given to the SM
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Felix
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05/08/2017 - 12:39 pm
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I know this subject has come up many times but I just want to make sure we have it right!

This concerns a strata in NSW.

Is it compulsory for an Owner, or their Real Estate Agent, to provide the Managing Agent of the Strata with the names of the tenants of their unit.?

How soon must this be provided if required?

What should be done if the tenants change?

One of the units that is leased is suspected of subletting and how are the SC and Managing Agent going to control this.

In fact it may be that the lessee does not even live in this unit and in fact may live in another city.

It is also suspected that the subletting, if in fact it is sublet, is for a very short period like a week or two at a time, and therefor a short term let.

Any advice would be appreciated!

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scotlandx
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05/08/2017 - 1:19 pm
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Yes the Act requires an owner to notify the OC of a lease, and the notice must include the name of the tenant and and address.  Notice must be given within 14 days.  The same applies to a sub-lease. or an assignment of a lease or sub-lease.  In other words whenever there is a change in tenant notice must be given.

If the tenants change, the same notice provisions apply.

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).

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Felix
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09/08/2017 - 8:49 pm
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After passing this info on the the Managing Agent of this Strata, the Managing Agent is informing that they are passing this query on to the SC for clarification on how they might want to proceed.

The Managing Agent is not providing the list of tenants as they have not been informed of the list of tenants from the Owner or their agent.

Some Owners can't understand why this is necessary when it is obligatory for the Real Estate agent to provide the Managing Agent with a list of the tenants within 14 days.

Some Owners think that it is the responsibility of the Managing Agent to provide the list of the tenants to the SC and the OC and if necessary if an Owner may call upon the Managing Agent to provide a view a list of the strata roll.

Would appreciate your thoughts!

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scotlandx
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11/08/2017 - 4:52 pm
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Real estate agents often don't do it, but it is a requirement under the Act that owners give the details of tenants within 14 days.  Some people don't use real estate agents, it doesn't matter, one way or another it should be done.

If those details haven't been provided, then the strata manager needs to contact the owners and tell them they are in breach, and that those details must be provided.  So then either the owner or the real estate agent gives the strata manager the details.  If the owner is non-responsive then you can ask the tenants who the agent is.

That is what the strata manager is for, to enforce those types of requirements.

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JimmyT
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11/08/2017 - 5:07 pm
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scotlandx said
Real estate agents often don't do it, but it is a requirement under the Act that owners give the details of tenants within 14 days.  

And it's a maximum fine of $550 if you don't - now payable to the Owners Corp.  Heck - it's a virtual revenue stream!

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scotlandx
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11/08/2017 - 6:17 pm
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That's true, given how slack they are you could bring your levies down!

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Felix
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11/08/2017 - 9:10 pm
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Thanks very much for your comments.

One further question.

Is it the responsibility of the Managing Agent to keep the Strata Roll up to date or does the Managing Agent have to be instructed by the SC to contact the Owners or the Owners agents to get a current list of tenants.

If the Managing Agent was to get a current list, is there a charge for this by the Managing Agent?

Some Owners feel that this is one of the duties of the Managing Agent!

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JimmyT
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12/08/2017 - 1:28 pm
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The duty lies with the lot owner.  No one else can possibly be expected to know whether or not they have let the property or to whom they have let it. 

Since strata managers are rarely if ever in the building, how can they be expected to know when there are new faces in a property?

This is something the committee needs to be aware of (and one of the many reasons why it's a really dumb idea to allow your committee to be dominated by absentee investor owners).

If you have an on-site building manager, the committee should be asking them to take note of changes of residency in units, which should then be pursued with the lot owner.

There's a reason there's a $550 fine attached to these breaches - it's both a deterrent and now makes it worth the strata committee's effort in pursuing them.

If I were on the committee in a building that had a problem with this, I'd be sending out a notice reminding landlords and agents that they have a duty in this regard and asking other residents to alert the committee about changes in tenancies of other units.

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Austman
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12/08/2017 - 5:29 pm
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AFAIK, NSW is unique in this area of strata law.

While I agree it can be useful to know tenant details, in reality an OC/BC can never know for sure who actually resides in a lot (owner occupied or leased).

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JimmyT
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12/08/2017 - 6:13 pm
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Checking that names had been registered was a tactic suggested by the now-departed Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe as a way of clamping down on short-term letting.

But it's one of these things that usually only becomes an issue when it's a problem.  If you have a problem with a tenant, you try to find out their name and if you don't have a record, you ping the landlord for failure to notify.

Nine times out of ten you will find that the landlord or agent hasn't notified the Owners Corp (because very few people do) so you are fairly safe in seeking a fine via the tribunal. Of course, first you would have to seek mediation at Fair Trading so it may be just more of a bureaucratic hassle than an actual penalty.

Having said that, I haven't heard of anyone actually doing this, but the mechanism and the penalties are there if you want to go down that road.

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