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Emergency lift phones
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mushroom
Sydney
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11/03/2018 - 4:17 pm
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We are in Syney NSW.

We changed strata manager last July. For some obscure reason the new strata manager didn’t or couldn’t pay Telstra’s bill for the emergency phones in the lifts (2 buildings each with one lift) so they cut off the phones. We became aware of this when someone got trapped in the lift in November last year and they tried to use the emergency phone.

The bills have been payed for some time now but we still have no emergency phones connected in the lifts and people have been trapped again last month. Telstra doesn’t answer calls from committee members. Not sure what the strata manger is doing.

Seems criminally negligent to me or is this just the new norm.?Any suggestions for getting some action?

Tx mushroom

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Lady Penelope
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12/03/2018 - 1:53 am
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mushroom – There may be additional issues that are impacting the emergency phones in the lift, such as how the NBN service is impacting your building. The NBN System employs IP technology which is not compatible with the current lift phone systems. Your Committee and then your OC may need to look at alternatives to the Telstra emergency lift phone line. 

See here: https://www.nbnco.com.au/learn-about-the-nbn/device-compatibility/lift-emergency-phone.html

In addition I would advise you and your Committee to check the Strata Manager’s Contract. What does the Contract say about the responsibilities of the Strata Manager v the responsibilities of the Committee?

Your Strata Manager may be breaching their contract by not dealing with this administrative matter expeditiously, particularly as safety is clearly involved.

What does the Contract say about the process of how to deal with Strata Manager Breaches of Contract? Does the Contract state that the Committee and/or the Secretary is required to send a ‘reminder and/or warning’ letter to the Strata Manager about the Breach?

See below for information about Strata Managers:

https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Strata_schemes/The_owners_corporation/Strata_managing_agents.page

From the OFT web site the Secretary usually has the authority to undertake the following roles:

Powers and duties of the Secretary 

The powers and duties of the Secretary of an owners corporation include:

  • preparing and giving minutes of meetings and putting a motion to confirm the previous minutes
  • giving notices for the owners corporation and its strata committee
  • keeping the strata roll
  • giving information to a person for the owners corporation under section 184
  • answering correspondence addressed to the owners corporation
  • convening meetings of the owners corporation and its strata committee (apart from its first AGM)
  • doing all administrative and secretarial duties for the owners corporation and the strata committee.

If termination of the Strata Manager for poor performance is being considered then the OC can look to section 72 of the Act. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has powers to make orders in relation to agency agreements, including the termination of an agency agreement. 

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