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How do you get the contact details of all committee members?
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Roland
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11/09/2018 - 9:22 pm
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Hi There,

I’m new to this stuff… I recently bought into a block of 12 strata units in a Sydney suburb. They are old and run down. I contacted the strata manager to discover all the contact details of the executive committee and I was told that they would send an email to them asking them to contact me. Ok… so I never heard anything back. Now I’m about to do a title search of each unit to discover the owner (or via local council) and contact each owner (after finding them on facebook, in the phone book or what ever), and ask them if they are on the committee and by a process of elimination work out the contact details of each member of the exec committee etc.

The strata manager actually has given me a login so I guess I can go back through meetings and minutes etc and discover some of the names  – but it doesn’t give me the contact details. All I want is the email addresses so I can write to them.

My question is – is this normal? – why is it such a hassle for a new owner who is not an occupier to get simple information about the exce committee?

 

Regards,

R

 

 

  

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JimmyT
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11/09/2018 - 10:54 pm
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This is a very interesting and relevant point.  If we have to put our postal addresses on the Strata Roll for other owners to see (and we do) and we are supposed to provide email addresses for the service of documents, I can’t think of one good reason for not making our email addresses available to all other owners.

Every so often in my block, someon forgets to put the B in front of the CC and we all get everyon’es email addresses. The smarter cookies sotore them away for such times as they want to get in touch with everyone without their message being filtered by the powers that be – and then all Hell breaks loose with someone on the strata committee screaming about “invasions of privacy”.

An email is not an invasion of privacy.  At worst, it’s an irritating piece of junk that briefly gets in the way when you are trying to find the message with the location of the meeting for which you are already 10 minutes late.

I would hope in the next review of strata law, email addresses on the strata roll will be mandatory.  Until then, all you can do is wait for the inevitable BCC screw-up.

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kaindub
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12/09/2018 - 7:44 am
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Roland

If you have purchased recently, your solicitor would have asked for a section 184 certificate. Amongst other things, the names of the members kf the strata committee and their functions will be listed.

Exercise your rights under section 181 and inspect the strata records where you can get the contact address at least for each committee member. You may be able to also get an email address dependihg on the records kept by the SM.

Also the minutes if the last AGM will record who was elected to the committee. Under sect 181 you can see the minutes.

Too many SMs claim privacy when in fact the affairs of an OC are not private.  That entitles owners free access to most OC records and information.

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g-g
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12/09/2018 - 12:48 pm
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Can you drop a note in letterboxes? And introduce yourself etc. Only 12 units so not a big job.

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Stratabox.com.au
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12/09/2018 - 8:22 pm
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I believe any owner is entitled to a copy of the strata roll, including the names and physical addresses of all members of the OC (note: physical, not email address) This provision overrules privacy law, so if the SM uses that excuse, they either are ignorant, lazy or have a hidden interest in keeping the OC divided.

A completely disengaged OC with no active committee is on autopilot: the SM can do very little, has no scrutiny on spend, contracts etc… you get the picture!

The situation is not created by the SM, it is a result of the collective apathy, disinterest and disengagement from every owner.

Whether they like it or not, they are employed by you and have obligations which they should fulfil. Unfortunately, from the way you describe the building, if all other owners are investors and don’t care one bit about the block, you will face an uphill battle trying to get things back on track.

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Roland
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12/09/2018 - 9:22 pm
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Thanks everyone for their comments – note that I can’t drop a note in the letterbox as I don’t live there and not all owners are occupiers. Will try to get strata roll. I did make some progress with the SM – they have a web portal and I was able to download a listing of all the owners names for each lot. This is a good start. My next enquiry will be the local council (Canterbury – Bankstown) who allow “Access to information – informal & open access application form” – I am submitting the list of owners names and asking for council to provide me with the mailing address of the owner – the reason I have given for requesting this information is so that I can write to each owner asking that we clean up the block. My phone enquiry to council indicates they will provide this information if the request is for a reasonable cause.

On the SM portal I can view minutes and financial statements so I know the names of the committee – but still no way to contact them.

I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks again for the suggestions and advice.

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Happy Strata
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13/09/2018 - 4:29 pm
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Roland, I just suggest you follow the advice from Jimmy, kaindub and Stratabox above, and just request access to the Strata Roll from the Strata Manager. They may feel inclined to charge the requisite thirty odd dollar charge, but you will very quickly then have the mailing address for all of the owners (or possibly their “agents”). Much easier than jumping through hoops with local council, especially when there is already a method in place to access these records. 

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kaindub
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13/09/2018 - 9:18 pm
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Roland

glad to see that you are trying to make a change in your block.

But in strata, often change can take a long time, if at all. Your fellow owners have elected a committee. If your block is like most others, most owners are uninterested in their block and are happy to have the SM or the committee manage the blocks affairs. 

In my opinion a good course of action is to get friendly with your fellow owners. Don’t scare them with how much change you want, because that translates in their minds to higher levies. Tell them how you can add to the management of the block and your interest in being on the committee.

(it’s unlikely you will have much effect unless you are on the committee unless you want to be going to court all the time – and in that case you will just piss off all the other owners)

By getting friendly with the owners and committee members you stand a chance of being voted onto the committee. Once you are on the committee you can start to influence things like what repairs need to be done; budgeting money for future repairs and how levies are raised.

(it’s likely the block is run down because they do not have sufficient money in the capital works fund).

Be considerate of existing owners. You bought into the block knowing it was run down ( or did you buy it sight unseen). They are probably content with the look of the block. So you can’t expect others to change immediately to suit your agenda (though I agree your agenda is a good one)

Good luck

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Roland
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15/09/2018 - 11:02 am
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Good news! After reading all the good advice here I was able to quote the legislation to the strata manager and on my 3rd attempt I was finally able to get a copy of the strata roll with names, address and in most cases email addresses. The cost was $34.10 which will be added to my next levy. 

I did not buy the unit sight unseen – but I did buy it knowing the condition and hoping to improve the condition. I certainly will be considerate of the financial circumstances of others and I am in no rush to increase levies. 

As there are only 2 lot owners on the committee (apathy?) and there only seems to be one meeting a year, my next line of enquiry will be to the committee members (as I now have their email addresses) about a general clean up of the grounds etc.

 

Thanks again everyone.

R.

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dwa
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15/09/2018 - 3:23 pm
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The legislation in your state may be different. However, in WA, it may be worthwhile noting that strata committees have a minimum (3) and a maximum (7) number of members. The number of members on a particular committee is set at the AGM. It may be that your strata committee has a vacancy.

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JimmyT
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15/09/2018 - 4:02 pm
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In NSW, the minimum is one – but it’s still a valid point.  If at the last AGM the number was set at more than two an others either didn’t nominate or dropped off then there is a vacancy.  In that case, in the absence of other candidates, the remaining committee members are obliged to elect you for the remainder of the term.

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JimmyT
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15/09/2018 - 4:04 pm
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Roland said
After reading all the good advice here I was able to quote the legislation to the strata manager and on my 3rd attempt I was finally able to get a copy of the strata roll with names, address and in most cases email addresses. 

if it took you three goes to get the strata manager to do what is standard practice and clearly set out in strata law, then you can see where a lot of your problems start and end.

I would be looking closely at this person’s track record and not taking anything they say as gospel.

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spmanager
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19/09/2018 - 11:08 am
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Sorry i’m a bit late on this topic. But I don’t see the problem with the SM. They did exactly what the should, they asked the committee member for permission to pass on information (email) that is not required to be on the strata roll.

If the SC does not want to they don’t have to. They must provide name and Postal address, but that’s it.

The SM should have come back to you with their response, depending on how long you gave them. What if a committee member had just sent them a thank you email for a meeting that was recently held. Your saying you should have that?

If the SC members don’t want to give out their emails or phone number they don’t have to.

Seriously the first question I would ask if you emailed me would be who gave you my email without my permission?

Also your first issue is lets spend money that the OC has been raising over the years; that you a brand new owner wants to spend without discussing the financial situation, the budget expected upcoming expenses. Landscaping that’s your priority.

Sorry you don’t get what you want (not entitled but want) and your reaction is to start title and council searches.

How many emails have you sent to them? 1 or 20.

The reason I am so passionate on this is that I have seen so many people buy into a property and want to spend, spend, spend to make the place look (nice) and use up the saving that have been built up over years and if they don’t get their way, they harass the SC constantly to force them off the SC so they can be the only one making decisions. If that’s not you great I hope you do get on the SC and help the property be run the best way it can. If you’re that, then you are in the minority based on many years of dealing with these situations.

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Stratabox.com.au
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28/09/2018 - 9:48 am
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Just a couple of observations on the latest comment:

– How can it be preferable NOT to communicate? It comes with the territory if you decide to be on the SC!

– If an OC has built up savings over the years and the building is decrepit, it is clearly not performing very well…

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spmanager
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28/09/2018 - 11:26 am
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Just to clarify.

– I didn’t say it was preferable NOT to communicate. They can BUT they no not have to give out phone numbers or emails. Its just not in the SSMA 2015 or previous Acts.

 It does not come with the territory; that an owner can start stalking you because you don’t provide personal information. What next the committee members get calls and messages at all hours because the other person has a sudden thought bubble. (Yes I have seen that happen and when the SC member got sick of the 1.00 am messages and blocked the number the owner got abusive because they were being ignored).

– IF an OC has built up savings? We just do not know do we! But what if they have built up saving? It could be they need to treat concrete cancer, address a fire notice order, install a security upgrade as they have had break ins and vehicles stolen? Again we do not know.

I think the new owner is looking to do the best for the property, but like everyone they need to work within the Law. If the committee is not responding because they are useless and only on it to be in control. Then remove them at the AGM. Do a Strata search, find the money trail. What have they raised , what do they spend it on whats in the Capital Works Report. Any issues such as the ones I listed above being discussed?

Get information and then you can proceed with confidence with your ideas. I have seen committees that never want to do anything to the determent of the property. So a new owner with a vision may be the best thing to happen to the property.

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kaindub
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28/09/2018 - 4:47 pm
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Dear spmanager

email addresses are not private, for the following reason

Any owner is entitled to inspect the records of the OC, and that includes all correspondence.

correspondence includes emails. 

Therefore inspecting any of all emails will reveal the email addresses of the other owners and committee members ( ie anybody who chooses to use email to correspond with the SC or other committee members) . 

The above is not to infer that email addresses can be demanded. The above only says that if people choose to correspond on OC business via email, their email address becomes public.

oh, and the SC cannot redact any of the correspondence, like blotting out email addresses.

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Lady Penelope
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28/09/2018 - 4:56 pm
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spmanager – Stalking is a criminal offence so be careful how you use this term.

Sending an email to a committee member about the condition of the common property does not satisfy the definition of  ‘stalking’ unless it is worded in such a way as to cause a person to fear for their safety. Sending an email to the Committee about the condition of the common property would be a legitimate reason for sending an email.

Just because the recipient may not like or agree with the content of the email does not mean that the content has caused a person to fear for their safety. Lets not become too ‘fragile’ here. 

As for when the recipient chooses to open the email and whether this caused an inconvenience …. the opening of emails or texts can be done at a person’s leisure – and does not have to occur when the email is received into the inbox.

FYI

Behaviours that constitute stalking or intimidation

The legislation in NSW has a broad definition of what behaviour may constitute stalking or intimidation, which includes the following:

  • Following a person;
  • Approaching, watching or frequenting a person’s residence, work, business or a place that a person frequents for a social or leisure activity;
  • Conduct that amounts to molestation or harassment of a person;
  • Any conduct that causes a reasonable apprehension of injury to a person or to a person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship;
  • Trying to contact the person by any means (which includes using text messaging, email, social media, telephone, or other technologically assisted means) which causes the person to fear for their safety; or
  • Any conduct that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence or damage to any person or property.
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zerobullying
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01/10/2018 - 3:32 pm
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JimmyT said

”-if it took you three goes to get the strata manager to do what is standard practice and clearly set out in strata law, then you can see where a lot of your problems start and end.”

 

Last week in Queensland, the Gold Coast Bulletin published an article on a court case where 2 body corp members refused to hand over Body Corp Records, which was subject to an Adjudication Order. The committee member was fined $7,000 with $11,000 court costs and the Body Corp Manager was fined $4,000 with $11,000 in court costs.

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spmanager
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02/10/2018 - 10:06 am
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Well this has kicked up a hornets nest.

I think the simple points are a new owner wanted the names and contact details of the committee.

The SM should have sent him their names and postal addresses straight away. There is no reason to withhold what any owner is entitled to. But emails and phone numbers should only be sent if the member is willing to share them. Yes a full strata search would have them in it, as all records are available.

Personally I think that emails should be part of the contact details on strata rolls as that’s the way most people correspond. But it was not included in the act when it was changed in 2015.

The remainder as to the workings of the  committee or the owners corporation. Will not be known unless the original poster sends an update.

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zerobullying
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05/10/2018 - 4:47 am
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YES spmanager – email addresses should be part of the strata roll, as this is the ”industry standard” for 2018.

Our adjudicator made it clear and so has the lawyer, that the Body Corp roll belongs to the Body Corporate,  not the Body Corp Manager. And unless the Body Corp Managers declare that the collection of records is for personal use, they are the ownership pf the body corporate.

It’s not the 1980s where people were using mailing addresses to contact people.

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