This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Jimmy-T 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #36634
    Avatar
    NM2018
    Flatchatter

    Hi All,

    After numerous times asking the Strata Managers and OC to not publish my name on meeting minutes or any communication to anybody within my building (ie on notice board or letters to other owners/tenants) they have once again sent out a letter to all owners, now with my full name and full address (addressing matters raised at Fair Trading Mediation).

     

    A neighbour of mine gave me a copy this morning and this absolutely blew my mind that they could be so ignorant as to provide people something with my full name and full address after I on numerous occasions have asked them not to.

    Where can I make a complaint? do I go to the police or other government agency?

     

    #36636
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    All owners are party to Tribunal matters involving the owners corporation so they are entitled to be informed about such matters. Meeting minutes have to accurately record attendance. So you can’t be entirely invisible. However, there are ways to minimise a person’s exposure in sensitive matters. For example, minutes could record decisions about or correspondence with ‘the owner of lot X’.

    A letter to OC members may be needed to properly inform them of progress on a Fair Trading matter to which they are a party. However, depending on the nature of the matter, it might be possible to use an anonymising formula by referring just to ‘a lot owner who …’.

    #36639
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I recently had a similar issue with my committee who love to “name and shame” anyone who suggests anything they don’t agree with.

    You know how it goes – you make a suggestion which is addressed in one line as a topic and the response in the minutes is chapter and verse of all the arguments against and none for, making you look like an idiot for suggesting it.  Of course, this deters people from making suggestions, especially any radically different changes to the way the scheme operates.

    Surprise, surprise, my suggestion that correspondents be referred to by their Lot number, apart from situations where their identity was relevant to the discussion, was rejected by the committee on the grounds that it could lead to “discrimination”.  What?  In the grand parade of lame excuses, that would have to be right up at the front, beating the big bass drum of stupidity.  I still can’t see how that could possible be a concern.

    Back to the original question, this is something you need to bring up at committee and if need be, at your next AGM.

    If the committee and strata manager are instructed to only refer to correspondents by their lot number, they will still have to show the correspondence to owners if requested, but at least it prevents the wide broadcast of people’s names and this subtly pernicious form of bullying that is all too prevalent in our strata schemes.

    Oh, and the people you would complain to are Fair Trading – who are pretty much a complete waste of time in issues like this.

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
    #36640
    Avatar
    Andy
    Flatchatter

    Judging from past posts the first poster is a tenant. They previously mentioned an issue regarding their pet which might be the FT matter.

    #36642
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    Judging from past posts the first poster is a tenant. They previously mentioned an issue regarding their pet which might be the FT matter.

    Even so, there is rarely any reason why minutes that need to unambiguously refer to a person can’t refer to ‘the tenant of lot 123’ and communications can’t refer to ‘a FT matter concerning a tenant and their pet’.

    #36643
    Avatar
    NM2018
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi All,

     

    Thanks for your responses. I am the tenant, and have received a few breaches of By-Laws by the strata/oc. However after attending mediation and not reaching an outcome that they liked (because all the breaches of by-laws I backed with the actual by-law which contradicted what they said) and as mentioned in your replies FT is of no help whatsoever let alone the mediator that just sits back and doesn’t do anything.

    Now the response of the FT Mediator has been sent out to all lot owners, which states my full name and address. They could have whited out my name before publicising it! What if I was on witness protection or hiding from an abusive ex partner? My point is, if white pages now needs peoples approvals to publish their names, numbers and address, then what makes the strata think they can publicise my name and address!

    #36651
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    What outcome do you want from this? If it’s just to get them to stop, how about  a letter saying something like this:

    I note that you have once again ignored my requests for privacy in my dealings with the Owners Corporation.

    While I accept that owners are entitled to know who has been in correspondence with the committee, they can find this information out from the strata manager on request, and there is nothing in the Strata Management Act of 2015 that compels you to reveal private information on every occasion that you receive or send a letter.

    In short, I believe this practice of “naming and shaming” could be interpreted as a form of bullying which I believe undercuts the committee members’ “qualified privilege” that protects them against legal action for defamation.

    With that in mind, I ask you one last time to cease and desist from broadcasting my name and address to all owners. Any repetition and I will be forced to seek legal advice.

    Now, this is just as likely to inflame matters as it is to resolve them, and you know the people you are dealing with better than we do.  So perhaps you should contact the Redfern Legal Centre or the Tenants Union before you do anything else (including sending the above letter)

     

    #36652
    Avatar
    Austman
    Flatchatter

    While I can appreciate what the OP and others are saying, the actual laws on privacy are in fact quite limited.

    So while the OC, the OC committee or the OC manager might choose to use just lot numbers, I doubt they will breaching any actual privacy law if they don’t.

    #36661
    Avatar
    NM2018
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for this Jimmy! Very well worded, will definitely be sending this out once I seek some legal advice.

     

    Thanks again!

    #36877
    Avatar
    Colonel Schultz
    Flatchatter

    They have 30 days to respond to your complaint in writing otherwise you may take matters to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner who will determine if they can investigate your matter on your behalf which is free. If so, you may be entitled to non economic loss costs award depending on the circumstances. As you are a tenant you are not listed on the strata roll and all real estate agents are subject to privacy laws. You may have a claim against 2 parties at best and at worst its just another beat up. Just remember some strata managers operate on the pricipals of laissez faire as do many strata plans.

    More info here

    https://www.oaic.gov.au/individuals/what-can-i-complain-about

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
    #36881
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I have a few issues with Dingo’s post (above):

    They have 30 days to respond to your complaint in writing otherwise you may take matters to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) who will determine if they can investigate your matter on your behalf which is free.

    Only owners corporations or businesses with a turnover of more than $3 million a year would come under the Privacy Laws administered by the OAIC. There is a checklist you can do on the OAIC website – it will tell you that you are probably not covered.

    As you are a tenant you are not listed on the strata roll …

    Landlords are legally obliged to register the names of their tenants with the Owners Corp and can be fined if they don’t

    … and all real estate agents are subject to privacy laws.

    Not all.  Only, those with a turnover of more than $3 million, according to this AOIC fact sheet.  In any case, this has nothing to do with the real estate agents.  It’s an issue between the resident and the owners corp which is highly unlikely to be covered by privacy laws.

     

    #36884
    scotlandx
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    It is not covered by the Privacy Laws. There is extensive information available on the OAIC website, it is very helpful.

    The Privacy regulatory framework is primarily aimed at organisations that collect and use personal information (and also sensitive information) – personal information has a specific definition. The laws deal with how the information is collected and stored/secured, and the use that can be made of that information.

    As a general rule, strata schemes fall outside the ambit of the Privacy framework.

    I think it is reasonable that the OP not have his/her full name and address published and provided to a range of people, in circumstances where it is not necessary. I suggest your best option is to find a solicitor friend and get them to write a letter to the strata manager.

     

    #36883
    Avatar
    Colonel Schultz
    Flatchatter

    Real estate agents are explained below but generally yes if over 3m t/o or if they have a tenant database that is covered by the act.

    https://www.oaic.gov.au/individuals/faqs-for-individuals/tenancy/#are-real-estate-agents-covered-by-the-privacy-act

    So far I cannot find any published cases that have anything to with strata however so you may be right.

    https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/determinations/

    I would still persue this if i was the OP. If OAIC cant help they will advise accordingly anyway so worth the enquiry.

    Im looking into this myself as our SM sent out a lot owners bank account details to the committee without their concent in an email claiming she cannot give out owners private details, it was maliciously done.

    #36889
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    As I said before, this has nothing to do with the real estate agents so even if they were covered by the Privacy laws, it would make no difference. I have done the research for the OP by following the questions on the OAIC site.  I wouldn’t waste another brain cell on pursuing this issue there.

    #36927
    Avatar
    Rosebank91220
    Flatchatter

    Phew! Ok so that has been now been resolved! We ALL know where that witness under protection Lives! lol

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