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My partner and I own in a block of 16 in Sydney. However, I am concerned about our strata managing agent and a level of ” conflict of Interest “. The principal of the firm owns 3 lots ( strata offices ) in our building and there is a insurance broker who owns 2 ( offices ). They have a company together and also insures the building. Now, the person that chairs our strata meeting works for the said agent. It feels like it’s hard to speak up and many times I’ve felt bullied trying to get my points across at meetings. Once, when discussing a questionable remedial building item which I thought not necessary, his reply was ” I’m not going to argue over $8k! You can imagine my shock with that but the chairperson ( employee of said owner ) chimed in with ” it’ll be good for the building!. I feel that the principal sometimes crosses over to a strata management persona rather than EC member and owner.
How SSMA2015 allows this but if you are the real estate agent managing a lot in the scheme you cannot be strata manager? Not saying there is anything fishy happening but surely this creates an environment for possible abuse intentional or not!
There are certainly competing interests (bloc of commercial owners vs domestic residents) and a failure to meet appropriate standards of governance (which surely demand that insurance be arranged through a competitive quote-seeking system). Your managing agent’s dismissive attitude towards spending $8K is unacceptable. This appears to be a case for referral to NCAT or equivalent.
Thanks Excathedra for the response,
Things have escalated slightly over the weekend, our building has started remedial building works 2 weeks ago ( yes part of which was the $8k the Strata manager / principal owner dismissed ). My apartment and the 3 others on the top floor have now lost all their tenants and will more than likely be vacant for at least 2 months due to repair works being carried out, I told him about the situation and his response to me was ” you can’t expect the other owners to pay for the lost rent! The project manager was organised by the Strata and seems to have an excuse for anything you question that puts him in a bad light, already we have seen bad practices going on. I know that section 161 of the SSMA 2015 covers damages to property caused by defects that are not rectified by the OC. Strata Insurance usually covers loss of rent when fire , water, storm or insured events occur which make lots uninhabitable but what happens when you lose rent or the lot is unihabitable due to necessary works ordered by the OC like in our case.
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