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    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.


    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 3 days, 5 hours 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



    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.

    AvatarColonel Schultz

    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.


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