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  • #49055

    Small Strata Committee decided to change Management. EGM held with prospective new manager. Old managers contract expires days later. Old manager hangs onto books and account details for weeks. No handover. Dissenting committee members lobby and form new majority.

    Old manager now claims the EGM was not valid, whilst not handing over books etc. Though says secretary may collect. Request made, but ignored.

    Dissenters write an email to all and declare they have a majority and will call an EGM. Then silence. No EGM called.

    Committee is all owners. We are small. SC is wholly dysfunctional as some are non participators most of the time. One other is harassing another with counterclaims. Its very nasty. There is absolute proof and  years long log of the harassment plus several notices to comply.No tribunal or mediation so far as for a small Strata its far too costly to be represented.

    Advised by prospective new manager that they are no longer interested in representing the SC as we are clearly trouble on wheels, and they also advise that it might be a good idea if a Compulsory Strata Manager should be appointed.

    Have the forms from NCAT. Too stressed to make sense of the forms. Desperately need to know how to put this in action as we can’t pay bills, pay levies or function properly whilst old manager hangs onto books in the hope their contract will be renewed by the dissenters.

    Are the old managers able to hang on to our books and account details months after their contract expired? Would this fulfil criteria for a Strata Schemes Interim application for a compulsory Strata Manager? Running out of steam and want a fair and happy outcome for all warring parties.

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  • #49343

    We have a more pleasant experience while changing Strata Manager. Current & prospective SMs acted professionally barring a few minor hitches that were a carry-over of old practices.

    I appeal to the Owners Corporation, NSW Fair Trading and Strata Community of Australia to prepare a CHANGE-OVER protocol acceptable to SCA to avoid the transition pain.Following suggestions may be considered :

    Documents ( hard & soft copy in a USB with password to access ) to be handed over to be listed , period for which they must relate to, ALL PLAN documents of birth, revisions up to date.

    Latest financial statements of Strata Plan including outstanding creditors,debtors,levies in arrears, levies paid in advance, any special funds held for a specific purpose. If Strata Plan has funds invested in Fixed Deposits, they may be transferred on maturity to new SM if acceptable to Owners Corporation.

    Trust Account bank account balance to be transferred through digital means AFTER new SM gives proof of Trust Account opened with an approved bank showing Strata Plan Number besides BSB & Account Numbers to current SM for electronic transfer. Now SMs transfer amounts through cheque which is susceptible to fraud ( cheque payable to XYZ can ostensibly be endorsed by XYZ to ABC and deposited in ABC’s account and the paying bank has no means of verifying the authenticity of the endorsement by XYZ  and pays as a matter of course to ABC through ABC’s bankers ) besides delays,handling,depositing and funds clearance.

    All contract documents relating to ALL current service providers.

    At the moment there is no standard practice on transfer barring a bland statement about cooperation between SMs for transfer.



    That application, if not interim will probably take around 3 months or more at present. If you don’t have a letter from a strata manager agreeing to the compulsory appointment, that application will most likely fail anyway.

    Aside from JT’s recommendations you could approach 2 new strata managers and request quotes/propsals.

    Also ask them for the correct motions to put on the EGM notice in order to accept their proposal.

    Call an EGM to approve one of the proposals.

    Make sure everyone has a copy of the meeting notice and proposals 14 days prior. You will need have all the required statutory motions as well on the agenda.



    I would still recommend the advice I gave before.  Appointing a compulsory strata manager is often a cure that’s worse than the disease, in terms of cost and loss of control over your strata scheme.  At least check them out, before this gets too far down the track.


    You’d certainly have rounds for applying for a compulsory manager but, as we have said many times in the pages, be careful what you wish for.

    Oddly enough, your plight echoes the scenario I outlined in a recent column about the need for “social profit” strata managers for small strata schemes.

    I can totally understand your new strata manager’s reluctance to take on the contract, given the potential cost of managing your scheme compared to the low income from a small number of units.

    So I have a radical suggestion: Talk to two of our sponsors – Strata Answers and Stratabox – about what you could do to become at least partially self managed and to help you past the current hump.

    As far as the old strata managers refusing to hand over the records goes, tell them that unless they comply immediately, you will take action against them at Fair Trading and NCAT under Section 181 which carries a maximum fine of $2200.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by .

    Thanks for your positive reply. Sadly it was snuck into my junk box.

    I ended up submitting an application at ServiceNSW last Monday for a Compulsory Strata Manager ; with evidence of dysfunction.

    ( scary non social distancing queues outside ServicesNSW-45 min wait)

    This was on advice due to a call to FairtradeNSW that morning. Who knows how long it will take to process due to Covid and bureaucratic lag.

    I then had a real fight getting permission to collect our books and records. After quoting Strata regs as Secretary I was finally given possession on Wednesday.

    A whole new set of problems arose. We have no bank account and can’t open one due to the dysfunctional committee . And the treasurer is trapped in a different state. I have called utilities and negotiated a pause on payments for 6 weeks, and suggested to committee we postpone payment of levies due April 1.

    We have no one to manage us nor anywhere to place existing funds until a compulsory Manager is appointed; if they get appointed by NCAT.

    I have kept the OC informed at each intervention but 50% of OC isn’t replying. I am determined that I continue to do the right thing by the OC  but it may be a long wait till we are operational again. I wish I could fast-track a handover.

    Thanks again for yr advice , even though I didn’t take it. Very grateful


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