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  • #7344

    Background: We discovered last year that the developer of our strata building had managed to access the common lot electricity for his strata lot – without us knowing. So for 8 years he paid no power bills & neither did his tenant – the company that built the building. When we found out it took us nearly a year to get him to set up his own power (i.e. we eventually said we would disconnect the power). Since then we have been trying to negotiate some repayment (without success).

    Question(s): If we take out a small claim for debt (against the owner of the lot &/or the tenant??) in the local court & are successful – could we ask the magistrate to order the money owed to be added to his lot’s fees so that we might eventually get the money if/when he sells the lot – he also owes unpaid admin/sinking fees & is trying to sell & we hear he is bankrupt/company in liquidation.

    Alternatively: do you think we could file in the NSW OFT for the payment of the money? – still asking for any repayment order to be made to the lot's strata sinking/admin fund (as we don't think we will be able to enforce order for payment any other way against hollow company)?

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  • #12835

    I have a horrible feeling that this falls between the cracks of Strata law and civil law (and I'm hoping a real lawyer will put me right if I get this wrong).

    The developer has basically “stolen” power from the Owners Corporation but it might be hard to get a criminal charge to stick.  Instead I would present him with a bill and invite him to agree in writing that it be added to his unpaid levies (as an alternative to prosecution).

    Then use a reliable and experienced strata debt recovery firm (or lawyers who do this kind of work) and make sure you get a court order that means when he sells his apartment, the OC gets first bite of the cherry before the proceeds disappear.  This can be done at no cost to the OC but it's essential you do this before he sells.

    If he refuses to play ball, then establish this as a separate debt to the Owner's Corporation and pursue it by the same means.


    I hope that's the best advice – anybody out there who KNOWS the best way to handle this?


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