15/03/2019 at 7:46 am #36400
As an owner of a strata lot in NSW, what rights do I have to access the records of the Owner’s Corporation?
I currently have concerns about the way a number of claims made by other owners in relation to common property are being managed by the Strata Committee and am keen to access records pertaining to those claims (e.g., engineering reports, repair quotations, etc.) in order to be able to determine whether the Strata Committee has acted responsibly and appropriately in the management of those claims.
Please note, none of these claims have, as yet, progressed to litigation and, to the best of my knowledge, none of these documents are subject to legal privilege.15/03/2019 at 8:03 am #36402
I am in the ACT rather than NSW but principles tend to remain much the same. If anything NSW tends to explicitly codify the minutiae rather more so JT might be able to quote the correct chapter and verse. Anyway, the short answer, I think, is that you are a member of the owners corporation and you can ask to inspect the OC records. Whether they are held by a managing agent or the secretary (if you are self-managed), it is reasonable to book a mutually convenient time.
Perhaps simpler would be to just directly and politely ask for a copy of the things that are pertinent to your concerns. Be open about it. As a member of the OC you have an interest and would like to be reassured by seeing a copy of the engineer’s report and quotes for work to repair … etc. If you have relevant expertise, a non-combative approach might be to offer to assist the committee.
When I was on our committee we would occasionally ask non-committee members with professional expertise to help. Eg. we would sometimes ask an owner with a forestry degree what she thought about a tree someone was worried about before calling an arborist or we would ask an architect owner what he thought about a crack in a wall before getting a builder or structural engineer in. It wasn’t a substitute for professional advice but it helped us to ask the right questions and better understand the answers.19/03/2019 at 11:45 pm #36472
As an owner you are entitled to view any documents that pertain to the owners corporation. Even if the result of litigation between the strata committee and any other party have been deemed private and confidential, as an owner, you are allowed to view them. In extreme cases like that, the strata manager might only allow you to see such documents when you have signed a letter saying you won’t relay their contents to anyone else, but you are still allowed to see them. Why? Because you have shared liability so you are entitled to see what you are liable for.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Jimmy-T.