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  • #9192
    AvatarEnough of Strata
    Flatchatter

    Attending a recent talk by a Strata Manager on “Strata Committees”, the advice was that the responsibility / function of the Strata Manager is as per the Strata Management Agreement, and if the Powers of the Committee were delegated, then those functions which are specified in the Act.

    However the S’Mgr expects to be given specific instructions by the Strata Committee on matters to deal with (save routine matters they have the expertise to handle like Accts, Changes in Lot ownership, Necessary repairs, etc).

    They expect that after the SC has met (ie at a “formal” SC Meeting OR “in writing”) all decision must be minuted to validate what the S’Mgr is instructed to do. The presenter was quite firm on this.

    A different Strata Manager has categorically stated to Lot owners (for the second time at consecutive AGM’s) that “It is not necessary for the SC to hold formal meetings”, and for this Strata none have been held for over 2 years.

    The current SC has no intention of holding SC meetings based on what was stated, as they say they rely on the S/Mgr for guidance to comply with the Act. 

    I am told there has been & is a lot happening, which to me means decisions of more than maintenance are likely being made but no one (except the C’tee) is informed about them. (Lots <100)

    I made contact with the NSW Fair Trading Strata Hotline and was told that there is “no legislative requirement to hold Strata Committee meetings unless 1/3 of SC Members request one” and was quoted s39 (2). 

    While the statement may be technically correct, I am still not convinced, as the advice appears to be ignoring the (likely) intent of the legislation, and transparency of action to Lot Owners.

    Does anyone know a case(s) that has been to NCAT where the Strata / Executive Committee has been taken to task for not holding Formal Meetings with Minutes?   

    I have looked on NSW “Caselaw” but cannot locate any, and would like to present verifiable information to Ctee members, OR ELSE accept that their position is correct (which I doubt). 

    #20259
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    The essential difference here is the committee not needing to hold a meeting and not being legally required to do so.

    My question, which might have to wait until your next AGM, is why people are being elected to the committee when they have no intention of holding meetings?

    I would be seriously tempted in your case to start agitating for more transparency from the committee about the decisions that are being made (or not) without the committee even discussing them.

    If they are discussing them, they should be holding formal meetings.

    Maybe you need to start a newsletter, asking for support leading up to the next AGM.

    #20194
    AvatarEnough of Strata
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for your input Jimmy. 

    There is only me and one other Lot owner who has a concern, the others who attend meetings (most never have) are either Committee members or lack understanding of the implications and just go with the flow, and accept the advice of the Strata Mgr, as that person’s business is Strata & I am just on old retired pain in the neck. 

    The last AGM passed a resolution to accept one of a number of quotes to replace balcony balustrades which was recommended by a Structural Engineer, however one Ctee mbr liaised with the contractors for quoting, and added metal sun screen Louvers into the balcony quotes (which were not originally part of the external appearance). Previously that Ctee Mbr erected a sun screen on their balcony (against the by Law) and it was removed after a complaint.  All the new balconies now include sun screens, at a cost estimated at about 1/2 of the total cost.   There is now very little money left in the Capital Fund.

    Do I think the majority of Lot owners have been set up by this Ctee Mbr who now gets the sun screens that were previously declared inconsistent with the appearance of the building (By-law), and who will not hold formal Ctee Meetings.  Yes as that person negotiated the specification for the quotes which was beyond the scope recommended by a Structural Engineer.

    I believe if this matter went to NCAT the Ctee Mbr and those supporting Ctee Mbrs may be found to not have acted in the best interest of the Owners Corp, but self interest.  A friend considers it could be “fraud against the minority” & at least one Ctee Mbt is likely to have breached a fiduciary duty. However, I am reluctant to take the matter in this direction as almost all interested Lot owners are on the Ctee and their replacement would be an issue, plus it will further deplete Strata Funds as the Ctee Mbr would want the OC to pay for legal representation at NCAT, and most Lot owners are simply not interested.

    If I took the above to NCAT, its at my expense for “uninterested co-owners”, and if won & then the decision was challenged would incur cost all the way to the Supreme Court, which would make it a poor decision. Even the other person who supports me says it is not worth it.

    The Strata Mgr appears to be in lock step with the Ctee Mbr involved.

    This is why I sought advice on actual cases (from case law) that could be provided to the Ctee & Strata Mgr to get formal Ctee Mtgs happening and Lot owners informed, to validate to those Lot owners who blindly follow the Strata Mgr’s advice, and to provide a paper trail.  Who knows what else has happened / will possibly happen that we will not be aware of.

    #45263
    AvatarColonel Schultz
    Flatchatter

    Case law here

    Lawson & Clarke v Owners Corporation SP 61788 (Strata & Community Schemes) [2011] NSWCTTT 270

    It is incumbent on the executive committee to properly record its decisions and the instructions given by it to the strata managing agent. No such records are extant because no meetings were held.

    #45306
    scotlandxscotlandx
    Strataguru

    The second strata manager is wrong. The EC can choose not to have meetings, but they can’t make a valid decision without a meeting.

    A meeting is one that is convened in accordance with the Act, with the required notice, and an agenda setting out any proposed decisions. How else can the other owners exercise their rights, including to serve notice of objection to a proposed decision?

    I would ask both the manager and the Committee why they think they are exempt from those requirements when they purport to make decisions on behalf of the OC?

     

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