Who (and not what) is the Owners Corporation? | New to strata - or just strata-curious | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Who (and not what) is the Owners Corporation?
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stratus
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28/06/2017 - 11:56 am
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New to the forum and would be grateful for help on understand a simple matter but which actually isn't when I need to get to obtain details about my building as an owner.

I know that the Owner's Corporation is made up of all the owners of a building and that decisions are mostly made together or by voting. But who is the Owners Corporation?

The problem is when I ask for documents from the company or executive committee managing my building I am told that I do not have that right as in this case I am not the owner's corporation but an individual. 

Apparently I need to ask the owner's corporation for permission to get those documents, and a vote is conducted as to whether the majority agree I can get that document. I am told that this is to prevent people with their own agenda causing problems, and that the owner's corporation is like a democracy where people vote for a president and ministers (the executive committee) who make the most of decisions, and that everything else is voted. Fair enough but I only want one document! 

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Lady Penelope
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28/06/2017 - 12:59 pm
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All lot owners in a strata scheme are automatically part of the owners corporation.

Here are some extracts from the Office of Fair Trading that will answer your questions:

"The owners corporation has a range of other responsibilities under the Act and other laws. These responsibilities can also be delegated to a strata managing agent, including allowing an owner or a person with the owner's consent to inspect the records of the strata scheme."

If the records are kept by a strata management company then you would need to apply to them. If not then you would need to apply to the Owner's Corporation. 

"An owner or mortgagee (or their authorised person) can make a written request to the owners corporation to inspect the records. The request must be accompanied by the prescribed fee (currently $31 for the first hour of work).

The inspection is to take place as agreed by both parties. If no agreement can be reached within 3 days after the owners corporation receives the application, the owners corporation may stipulate the time and date by giving written notice. The inspection date cannot be later than 10 days from the date the owners corporation receives the notification.

Documents can be inspected in person or through electronic access to the documents or any other means agreed. A person may make copies of documents but must not, without the consent of the owners corporation, remove the document from the custody of the owners corporation."

You should not be prevented from inspecting the records by either the management company or the executive committee. It is your right as an owner to inspect the records. These records are owned by all owners. 

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stratus
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28/06/2017 - 6:53 pm
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Thank you for your reply but there is still an issue for me in regard to who is the owner's corporation?

For example "An owner or mortgagee (or their authorised person) can make a written request to the owners corporation to inspect the records." As I understand I need to make a request to myself to inspect the records?

And "The inspection date cannot be later than 10 days from the date the owners corporation receives the notification". Then I need to send an inspection date to myself?

I asked the managing company again this afternoon. They have said I must follow the rules and until the owner's corporation agrees I cannot get the document I want. 

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Lady Penelope
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28/06/2017 - 7:19 pm
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The strata committee represents the owners of the owners corporation and, in the majority of situations, acts on behalf of the owners of the owners corporation. In this instance you will need to send your notification to the strata committee via the management company.

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stratus
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29/06/2017 - 6:42 pm
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As advised the strata committee/executive comittee have already told me I don't have the right because I am not the owner's corporation but merely an individual. This is why I am trying to understand who (and not what) the owner's corporation is.

I really am running around in circles here.

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stratus
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29/06/2017 - 7:05 pm
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ok I think I will leave this query as the fundamental issue is how do I get the document I need. I will post in the relevant section (I hope). Thank you for your help 🙂

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JimmyT
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29/06/2017 - 7:06 pm
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Who are you trying to get the document from?

If it's an outside agency they may be reluctant to give you, an individual, a copy of material they have provided to a body (the owners corp) even though you are legally entitled to see it

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Lady Penelope
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29/06/2017 - 7:16 pm
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stratus - There appears to be serious misunderstanding between you and both your committee and your strata manager.

What type of records are you looking for? If they are strata records that you are looking for then you, as an owner, cannot be stopped from looking at them.

Don't forget that the committee represents the owner's corporation. The committee and the strata manger look after the records on the owner's behalf. The records do not belong to the committee and they do not belong to the strata manager. The records belong to all of the owners. 

Try again with your request by doing just do as the Office of Fair Trade suggested in comment (2) above. 

You, as an owner, have every right to look at the records. The word 'owner' is included in the group of persons who may inspect the records of the owners corporation - see Section 182 of the Strata scheme Management Act 2015.

Also, send your strata manager and your committee these sections of the legislation:

STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 - SECT 182

Requests for inspection of records of owners corporation

182 Requests for inspection of records of owners corporation

 

(1) Persons who may inspect An ownermortgagee or covenant chargee of a lot in a strata scheme, or a person authorised by the ownermortgagee or covenant chargee, may request the owners corporation to allow an inspection to be carried out under this section.

(2) Form of request The request must be made by written notice given to the owners corporation and be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the regulations.

(3) Items to be made available for inspection The owners corporation must make the following items available for inspection by the person who makes the request or the person’s agent:

(a) the strata roll,

(b) any other records or documents required to be kept under this Part,

(c) the plans, specifications, certificates, diagrams and other documents required to be delivered to the owners corporation before its first annual general meeting by the original owneror the lessor of a leasehold strata scheme,

(d) if in its custody or under its control, the certificate of title comprising the common property or, in the case of a leasehold strata scheme, the certificate of title for the lease of thecommon property,

(e) any applicable 10-year capital works fund plan,

(f) the last financial statements prepared,

(g) every current policy of insurance taken out by the owners corporation and the receipt for the premium last paid for each such policy,

(h) if a strata managing agent has been appointed, a copy of the instrument of appointment,

(i) if a strata renewal plan has been given to owners for their consideration under Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 , a copy of the plan,

(j) any other record or document in the custody or under the control of the owners corporation,

(k) if the duties of the owners corporation under this subsection have been delegated to a strata managing agent, any other records (including records of the strata managing agent) relating to the strata scheme that are prescribed by the regulations,

(l) if a building manager agreement is in force or has been entered into but has not yet commenced, a copy of the building manager agreement,

(m) particulars of any service agreement entered into by the owners corporation,

(n) particulars of any agreement entered into with a local council for a strata parking area,

(o) if the request is made within 5 years after the end of the initial period, particulars of any orders made under section 27 and copies of any related contracts or other documents.

Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.

(4) Meeting inspections For the purpose of complying with requirements for the giving of notice of a meeting of the owners corporation, the original owner (whether or not having ceased to be anowner) or an agent authorised in writing by the original owner is entitled to inspect the strata roll without payment on making a written application.

and 

STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT REGULATION 2016 - REG 42

Inspection of records

42 Inspection of records

For the purposes of section 182 (3) (k) of the Act, the owners corporation must make available for inspection the accounting records and other records relating to the strata scheme that are kept by the strata managing agent.

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