06/05/2019 at 3:49 pm #37369
I asked the strata scheme’s Managing Agent for the latest quarterly report on the strata’s finances. Amongst the papers I was sent was one with a column listing “Levies Due”.
I don’t want to embarrass the Managing Agent, but having studied accounting I know pretty darn well that such a document without a corresponding column of “Levies Paid” or “Levies Received” is meaningless at best.
After all, “Levies Due” does not reveal who if anyone is in arrears.
A lot balance report of all lots was not sent either.
My question is: is the Managing Agent compelled to send me meaningful data? Must he send me what I ask for if I am sepecific? Or can he merely act as the SC’s puppet and send drivel?
06/05/2019 at 9:31 pm #37371
- This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
I don’t want to embarrass the Managing Agent,
Don’t worry about embarrassing them. worry about your money. Having studied accountancy you should be aware that incomplete, inaccurate financial records always have one issue and sometimes two.
The first issue is that the people putting the records don’t know what they’re doing. This means that fees and levies may not be properly collected or appropriately spent on the proper purpose.
The second potential issue is that fraud is occurring and being covered up by poor record keeping. If this is occurring then it needs to be exposed ASAP.
As the chief cook and bottle washer for our OC (i.e. Secretary and Treasurer and everything else) I keep very detailed records on an Excel spreadsheet and make it available to owners as requested and at meetings. With scanned copies of all invoices and receipts I can justify every cent I’ve spent and where it came from.
I can quickly show the paid insurance policy etc.
I can show who paid their fees and levies and when. I have a list of outstanding fees and what is being done to get them paid.
Even on a little OC the m0ney can quickly get out of control and large amounts accumulate. Our small block turned over >$20,000 in the last three years.
Timely and accurate accounting is essential to provide assurance to owners that their money is being appropriately accounted for and properly spent, especially when there is an emergency.
So be polite but don’t be afraid to embarrass anybody. As the old bank advertisement noted:
“It’s your money Ralph!”
07/05/2019 at 7:48 am #37374
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Jimmy-T.
Good advice, thank you.
This reminds me of some time ago when I asked for lot balance reports per lot showing what was due and what was paid. Before the agent could even open his email, the Tsr told me that giving such data was “not possible due to privacy laws”. I told him to stop with the BS, for I knew and Fair Trading confirmed that the Act makes clear that ALL records in the possession of the OC must be made available to lot owners when requested. I told him I was surprised that as a solicitor he could not understand the plain English written Act.