Flat Chat Forum NCAT – the NSW Tribunal Current Page

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  • #50477
    Tom
    Flatchatter

    Hello,

    We just had our AGM. Our agent informed us several days ago that they will not continue their contract with us. We have thirty days. The committee is run by three members who are reluctant to approve any works. It gets worst but I’m sure you have heard it all before.

    I want to lodge an application to have a Compulsory Agent. Our current agent informed me that they are not qualified and that only a few agents are. Does anyone know how I can find agents that can be Compulsory Strata Agents?

    Thanks

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #50519
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Note to all Flatchatters: If you are copying and pasting, please take the time to remove coding from Apple documents or the original source. Paste first into a blank text-only (.txt) doc and copy again from there if you’re not sure.

    #50520
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Does anyone know how I can find agents that can be Compulsory Strata Agents?

    Contact our sponsors Strata Choice who are as qualified as you will get. Failing that, try the SCA – and you wouldn’t go near a strata manager who wasn’t a member of that organisation.

     

    #50525
    tina
    Flatchatter

    Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 says that the appointed strata manager “must hold a strata management licence issued under the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002”.   You can google “NSW strata management licence” and see if the agent you are interested in holds a strata management licence.

    Perhaps ask your friends and colleagues about their own strata manager?  I recently went through the process of getting quotes from strata managers.  I made up a spreadsheet to compare costs.

    #50534
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    Any person or company claiming to be a strata manager must hold a licence. If they don’t then they can’t charge for their services.

    it seems, reading between the lines, that your strata has some issues. It’s unusual for a strata manager to not at least seek renewal of their contract. I suspect that your strata is more trouble than it’s worth to them.

    Thats also why they gave you the lame excuse about not being qualified to be compulsorily appointed.

    I have spoken to a few strata managers and they view their appointment as the kiss of death. Many owners are unhappy with their appointment and the appointment rarely turns into a long term contract.

    Ascsuggested by Jimmy find an agent who is willing to take on the job and go to NCAT with your reasons why they need to be appointed. You don’t have to do this before the other contract expires as when it does expire you just become self managing. Let the committee then deal with that.

    #50535
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    As an alternative to a compulsory manager, find an agent YOU are happy with, get 25 % of other owners to back you up; ask the secretary to call a general meeting with the agenda item to appoint YOUR strata manager.

    This sort of forces the OC into appointing a strata manager unless they want to be self managed.

    The question is why did the OC find this out at such a late stage. The SSMA says the manager must give the OC three months notice prior to the expiry of the contract.

    Or was the committee informed and did nothing?

    #50562
    Tom
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for your suggestions. I called one of the agents that was suggested.

    I didn’t know that the agent needs to inform three months in advance. Will need to look into that thank you.

    One of the owners was wrongfully disputing the details of the repair work that was carried out. The agent sent an email with their intention to terminate a day later. They also mentioned that their recommendations were not adhered to.

    I found the fact sheet which indicates what to include in my application. Are there any examples online that might help me ensure I provide the right details?  Iym not sure if I need to include emails or if I should include any individual comments that had been made to illustrate their lack of understanding of their responsibilities.

    – I was told I should pay half of the cost to replace my garage roof in order to get the votes needed to approve.

    – one owner said he will give another owner his vote because he looks after the yard which meant my vote no longer counted

    – I was told I already reached my ‘cap’ in repairs and I also made a profit.

    – One of the owners had lied for years about her pergola that was added to her villa. She said the owners corporation decided to look after it as she had a da approval. I later found a letter in one of the old books that said otherwise. For years strata was maintaining the pergola.

    – one owner said he can’t afford to put in more than 60 dollars extra into levies raised. The other two members vote with him as sympathy for his financial position. They are very reluctant to fix issues.

    – two of the owners decided they wanted their roofs fixed / replaced after I mentioned my problem. Then they said they can’t afford to have all our roofs fixed. One of the same owners tenants confirmed to me there were no leaks. I was told I was absurd for listening to a tenant and should listen to the owner.

    – they sought to stop my planned repairs after the quote was approved.

    Do I include this sort of thing and if so do I need proof through emails etc.

    Thanks

    #50568
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    A word of caution – pick the wrong strata manager as a compulsory appointment and you will regret it.  In most cases, the compulsory manager takes over the whole running of the block – the committee and owners have ZERO say over repairs, budgets and levies.  Many strata managers will run the building (usually for two years) precisely by the book and that means no leeway on anything.  Some, it has been reported, have their favoured tradies to do work for inflated prices and there is NOTHING you or your neighbours can do to prevent it until the compulsory period runs out.

    As a final gambit, I would explain to your neighbours that the running of the building has become so untenable that you are considering applying for compulsory management, spelling out exactly what that means. Otherwise, they can elect a new committee, select a new manager and start getting the building in shape.

    If you do go for compulsory management, find someone with whom you can work and they will advise you on the information you need.  But generally is should be evidence of demonstrable breaches of the Act such as failure to maintain and repair common property, failure to pursue unpaid levies etc etc.  Complaints about politicking or personal disputes will butter no parsnips at NCAT.

    #50570
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    Tom

    from your last post I understand why your last strata manager resigned or quit

    When the committee/owners flagrantly breach the law and the responsibilities to the OC it can sometimes become an untenable situation for the strata manager. they are caught between serving their master, the OC, and ensuirng the OC complies with the act.

    Whilst Jimmy makes a good warning about compulsory strata managers, i think in your case a little pain may be required by you to get the OC back into line.

    From what you describe it seems that there is ingrained bad habits within owners and the committee which are unlikely to change unless the big stick is wielded.

    The pain may be for two years, but in that time, as Jimmy points out, things will be done by the book. Maybe in that time the incalcitrants will see that the jig is up and move on.

    #50573
    Tom
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks. Yes, I’ll try not to focus on the politics and instead on the main issues. Most of the repairs have been deferred and our funds are not where they are supposed to be.

    It is scary to venture this way. I have asked twice to meet to plan for the repairs with no response. The fact that strata could make money off of the repairs is a scary thought. I’m hoping it’s possible to limit their power when applying.

    Thanks

    Chris

     

     

    #50577
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    The fact that strata could make money off of the repairs is a scary thought.

    By “strata” I assume you mean the strata manager here.  Be careful with your terminology as that could trip you up in an NCAT case.  There’s strata managing agent (strata manager), strata committee and strata scheme … all different.

    You might do well to get some initial advice from one of our sponsors, like Strata Answers or Sachs Gerache lawyers, or someone more local to you.

    #51037
    newlsie
    Flatchatter

    People, please, please, please avoid at all costs a compulsory strata manager.  In my opinion the number of good news stories is very low.  We are in the midst of a 2 year CSM.   Decisions have been made that are not in the best interests of all the owners, tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on legal fees.  Owners have applied for mediation which has been denied by the compulsory strata manager thereby forcing an application to NCAT which is very expensive so most people give up.  The ‘good’ strata managers will generally not accept a CSM because it signals trouble ahead. Please think twice before you go down this very draconian path.

    #51038
    newlsie
    Flatchatter

    My personal opinion is to get in a mediator.  Pay him / her to educate the owners and solve the problems.  We have a compulsory strata manager and the division between the owners is greater than it was before NCAT decided who would manage us.

    #51903
    chercheuse
    Flatchatter

    does anyone know if a compulsory strata manager can set levy amount?

    I found the following statement:

    “nothing in the strata law or ncat order gives the strata manager to set levies, only the owners can do this at an AGM, therefore them attempting to set levies for years prior to their appointment, and indeed after their appointment but before an AGM is illegal and invalid.”

    The compulsory strata manager in my case has set a levy, no evidence of an AGM held except by manager only in attendance

    #51905
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    does anyone know if a compulsory strata manager can set levy amount? I found the following statement

    A compulsorily appointed strata manager (CSM) can do anything the terms of their appointment permits.  In most cases this includes drawing up a budget and setting the levies to finance it.

    They are different from a regular strata manager who has to do what the strata owners want (within legal bounds). In the case of compulsory or statutory appointment, the owners have to do what the strata manager wants.

    Seeking the appointment of a CSM is the Nuclear option and if you are ever considering it, you and the other owners with whom you are in dispute (assuming you are in a dysfunctional strata scheme) need to know that for at least a year and probably two, you will lose the right to manage your own strata affairs.

    That means the CSM can order work to be done by their choice of tradies at their agreed costs.  That’s why some tradies say that having a good relationship with CSMs is a licence to print money.

    #51937
    newlsie
    Flatchatter

    Chercheuse,

    We have been under a CSM for 20 months.  In the first month the CSM raised our levies 14%.  Despite promising to keep our good suppliers they were fired and replaced with others and in the case of our cleaners sub standard.  We had a million dollars in the sinking fund going in and after massive bungling with a window project I fear we have lost at least half of that if not more – we don’t have the figures yet and I fear we won’t know until the CSM is over. Schedule B fees are 95% more than what the previous SM charged, in fact they are more than double his annual management fee.  This is a very draconian system and if anyone is interested PM me.  We have to lobby government for changes in the Act.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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