Flat Chat Forum Strata Committees Current Page

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  • #50572
    Avatarrchin77
    Flatchatter

    I wonder if anyone knows of any success in NSW with removal of Strata Committee members under s 238 of the Strata Schemes Mgt Act?

    I read in Flat Chat column in the Australian Financial Review in Dec 2018 as that is an option. I am trying to find out how difficult it is through NCAT?

    I am the one and only minority owner within a complex of 3 units – father, son and myself. I am outvoted all the time and not allowed to join the SC. An inspection of the books recently reveal that the Strata Mgr has been paying for private repairs of those owners. I have the necessary evidence.

    When queried, the Strata Mgr said to hold an AGM to determine if those invoices for private repairs could be refunded. I don’t think private repairs are to be voted on. They are simply disallowed in the legislation. And holding an AGM will mean that I will be outvoted.

    Does anyone have any comments or thoughts as to how to approach this? Please remember that I am a lone minority owner and cannot enlist the support of the other owners. I am thinking of an action under s 57 as well against the agent for breach of its delegated functions.

     

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  • #50605
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Why I want to invoke s 57 us that there were no strata committee minutes approving such payments and yes, agent is delegated full responsibility per his strata agency agreement … owners can plead that they relied on agent for his expertise and that the agency did that.

    Despite a long and chequered history of highly dodgy strata managers doing extremely dubious things, in NSW at least, no Strata Manager has ever been “struck off” for being really crap at their jobs.

    In fact, someone from SCA once told me that they had pursued a case that involved many egregious examples of ignorance and deliberate breaches of the law against a (non-member) strata manager at Fair Trading, only to be told they were “pretty standard practice”.

    I was told, several years ago,  by the then head of Fair Trading’s section handling Strata Manager’s registrations that when they were given proof of poor behaviour by a strata manager, they would “counsel” the culprit to behave better and do nothing more.

    The point I’m making is that going after the strata manager could be a massive waste of time and energy.

    The lack of strata committee minutes is significant, but the strata manager will just say they were instructed by phone.  Don’t forget that the committee can take back all or any of the roles delegated to the strata manager at any time.

    Your problem will arise when the owners say the work done on their units was the repair of common property that was not required anywhere else.

    This is one of the very few occasions when I would say that the compuslory appointment of a strata manager is probably your best option.

    #50600
    Avatarrchin77
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank you Kaindub. Why I want to invoke s 57 us that there were no strata committee minutes approving such payments and yes, agent is delegated full responsibility per his strata agency agreement. He has always been complicit with the owners to entrench his role. Therefore, owners can plead that they relied on agent for his expertise and that the agency did that. Hence would you think that the agent is liable in the first instance? Thanks.

    #50598
    AvatarBanned
    Flatchatter

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I have not been able to find any published cases on the removal of committee members since the new Act came into force.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I have spoken to several strata lawyers in the past and their advice is the same in that it is a high bar to remove committee members at NCAT.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Potentially if you have a sound case you could individually sue a committee member.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>The protections in the Act that limit liability for committee members have not been tested as far as I’m aware and only apply when acting in good faith.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>In the past limitations on liability clauses have not stood up well in the courts, dare I say for good reason.</p>
    You should always get sound legal advice before taking any legal action, NCAT or otherwise.

    Good luck.

    #50587
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    <p style=”text-align: right;”>It’s difficult to take action under s57 if the manager claims he was doing what he was told to do by the committee. S57 only applies if the strata manager was delegated a responsibility ie treasurer, secretary or chair and in that capacity did something wrong.</p>
    Get your evidence together where you show the other owners have enriched themselves and take it to the tribunal. You are going to have to prove that a) OC money was spent ofn lot owners property b) that any work done on common property was not necessary but used to benefit the other owners.

    Good luck

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Flat Chat Forum Strata Committees Current Page