Scanners and remotes | Finance, budgetting and loans | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered


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Scanners and remotes
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14/02/2017 - 3:24 pm
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 Hi  Everyone

I am in NSW. There doesn’t seem to be any legislation in regards to scanners and remotes . We have to give a $100.00 non – refundable deposit ( which is not  really a deposit if you don’t get it back in the end) when we bought our apartment. We were given really old scanners and remotes  that are falling apart and held together with sticky tape. If Scanners to enter the building and remotes are not common property, what rights do we have or responsibilities do we have? We have what is called a key muster and lost or damaged remotes are charged for. We are not given any idea of the price before hand. What about wear and tear, our remote was not damaged or lost just fell to pieces from old age. Our building manager runs the key muster like a nazi interrogation. I want to be able to stick up for myself with some kind of knowledge  of my rights. My knees are literally shaking  thinking about confronting the key muster. I hope you can help me with  questions like: How many are we allowed to have? Wear and tear versus damage? Costs? Replacement?  Why don’t our levies cover this?

Look forward to any advice

Lady Penelope


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14/02/2017 - 6:36 pm
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My guess would be that the OC owned the scanners to begin with and allocated those scanners to the Owners. The scanners then became the responsibility of the Owners to repair and replace.

If the scanners were lost or broken then the Owners bought new ones from the OC. The scanners were passed onto subsequent Owners by the Owners, rather than the OC. The condition of your scanner is something that you should have taken up with the person who sold you your apartment rather than the OC.

It would not be unreasonable for you to ask to purchase a scanner for each responsible person and/or adult within your apartment.

The Office of Fair Trading states that keys, security cards and access passes are the responsibility of the Lot owner to repair and replace. See here:

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15/02/2017 - 11:41 am
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Sounds like Whoopi paid $100 deposit to the OC for the scanner/key which is very common. I guess the $100 deposit covers lost/damaged key replacements. Normally an owner would obtain a scanner/key from the OC or building manager. There is no set amount of scanners/keys you are allowed to have, this is controlled by your OC. The legislation doesn’t mention scanners or keys at all.

I guess like anything else, should a dispute arise about a scanner/key and you cannot resolve the dispute internally with your OC, you could apply for mediation and may require a decision of the NCAT as a general dispute under section 232 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.

Happy Strata
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15/02/2017 - 5:22 pm
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Hi Whoopi,

What do the by-laws of your building say? In our complex many of these questions are covered in by-laws but most residents have never read them. Your by-laws may or may not cover this. 

In NSW most residential buildings allow two people per bedroom based upon their DA or other regulations. Therefore in our complex (and many others) we allow owners to obtain two access control cards per bedroom e.g. a one bedroom unit may have two cards, and a two bedroom unit may have four cards. For units that are tenanted, it is suggested that you have as many access cards as their are people on the lease documents, plus ones for the property manager and owner if appropriate. 

If a complex has a separate remote for the garage area, I have seen them being limited to the number of car parking spaces on title. This stops residents getting extra remotes to be used by other occupants or friends to park in visitor spaces when they should not. 

In relation to cost, I have been told of some complexes charging $220 non refundable per access card. In our complex we had a charge made up of both a refundable and a non-refundable component. This ensures that people will return access cards when they don’t need them anymore. 

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