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  • #48185
    JAE in WA

    Thanks for continuing to spread the truth about the entitlement of strata owners to inspect strata records.  Hopefully the following which I’ve learned (and tested) will help too. References to the most relevant caselaw is included.

    The Privacy Act is subordinate to other legislation and consequently does not entitle any strata company (or its agents) to withhold any strata record, even if obtained “confidentially”, IF the strata company is in a state or territory that has passed legislation that entitles owners to inspect strata records. (It is not necessary for there to be legislation which compels owners to provide information such as email addresses).

    Strata records include bank statements, arrears reports, ledgers and communications between the strata manager and/or members of the council/committee, other owners or their agents, government agencies or contractors.

    There is no obligation to specify certain documents/records or categories of same when requesting to inspect thevstrata records.  Nor is there any obligation to justify the request. see The Grange [2018] QBCCMCmr 44 (25 January 2018)

    They also include communications between the strata company and its legal advisors.  These can be withheld on the grounds that they are privileged from an owner or its agent IF they relate to litigation involving that owner but not from any other – see The Owners — Strata Plan No. 74602 v Eastmark Holdings Pty Ltd [2013] NSWCA 221(“Eastmark Case”)

    Unfortunately knowing the above won’t guarantee that owners will succeed in inspecting the strata records that others dont want inspected without a fight…my own strata company is currently [potentially] liable to be prosecuted for contempt of the Supreme Court of Western Australia…this could make them liable for penalties but won’t enable me to inspect what they’ve withheld. [2019] WASCA 190 Engwirda v The Owners of Queens Riverside Strata Plan 55728.


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  • #52371
    JAE in WA
    (from WA)

    Another Tribunal decision which enabled a strata company to withhold “private” strata records from an owner  successfully appealed.

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-<wbr />bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/<wbr />NSWCATAP//2020/192.html

    Walker v The Owners – Strata Plan No 1992 [2020] NSWCATAP 192 (16 September 2020) at 46
    Properly construed, if an applicant establishes a right to access information under the SSM Act, as we have found in this case, then there is generally no discretion enlivened other than with respect to the “manner in which the information is to be supplied or made available” to an applicant under sub-s (3). We say that the discretion is generally not enlivened because absent a reason to relieve the owners corporation from the mandatory obligation to give access under s 182, the Tribunal should make an order under s 188(1) (ie. supply information) or under s 188(2) (ie. supply or make available a record or document). The use of the word “may” in s 188 suggests that the Tribunal may refuse to make an order under s 188(1) or (2) in some circumstances. In our view, there was no reason for the Tribunal to refuse to make such an order in the circumstances of this matter.

    Thank you JAE!

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