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  • #49590
    deliria1
    Flatchatter

    Hi All,

    About 2 months ago we experienced a bout of heavy rain that resulted in stormwater and its associated debris flooding our sub-floor.

    A plumber was engaged to inspect the sub-floors for cause & damage. He then submitted a report to the Strata Manager and Committee.

    I have asked to see the report, however the Manager and Committee are withholding the report from me.

    As an owner impacted by the flooding, and as one of the owners that ultimately paid for this report, am I entitled to view a copy of it?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by .
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  • #49800
    The Hood
    Flatchatter

    There is actually a limit on what you can see in terms of “sealed” legal docs but that is unrelated to your situation.

    In your case if the agent or OC do not want to play nice then you simply make application to inspect the records under s 182. If you follow the process and the OC decline to ‘come to the party’ then it is relatively easy to make application to NCAT (no need for mediation in this case) and get an order that requires the OC to give you what you want; and you are a good chance to get the costs of the application back if you ask for it.
    NCAT frown on OCs who hold out when they are required to produce.

    One reported case is :
    Legge v Network Strata Services Pty Ltd (Strata and Community Schemes) [2013] NSWCTTT 45 (8 January 2013)

    A couple of unreported cases which i can supply a copy of are:
    Jones v OC SP36965 and
    Ross v OC SP 8557

    If the Agent of OC do not want to play nice then it will not end well for the OC.

    JT said: “… and any failure to comply will leave you no choice but to commence proceedings at Fair Trading and NCAT against both the Strata Manager and Strata Committee for failure to abide by their legal responsibilites under the Act.”

    Just to clarify what JT probably means.

    You will have no luck with proceedings against the agent because of s 53 of the SSM Act and you will have no luck with proceedings against the SC because the SC has no legal character.

    Jimmy means to say is proceedings against the Owners Corporation  SP*****.

    The OC SP **** is the respondent if you go to NCAT.

     

     

    The legal stuff:
    182   Requests for inspection of records of owners corporation

    (1) Persons who may inspect

    An owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee of a lot in a strata scheme, or a person authorised by the owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee, may request the owners corporation to allow an inspection to be carried out under this section.

    (2) Form of request

    The request must be made by written notice given to the owners corporation and be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the regulations. ($31+gst)

    (3) Items to be made available for inspection The owners corporation must make the following items available for inspection by the person who makes the request or the person’s agent—

    (a)  the strata roll,

    (b)  any other records or documents required to be kept under this Part,

    (c)  the plans, specifications, certificates, diagrams and other documents required to be delivered to the owners corporation before its first annual general meeting by the original owner or the lessor of a leasehold strata scheme,

    (d)  if in its custody or under its control, the certificate of title comprising the common property or, in the case of a leasehold strata scheme, the certificate of title for the lease of the common property,

    (e)  any applicable 10-year capital works fund plan,

    (f)  the last financial statements prepared,

    (g)  every current policy of insurance taken out by the owners corporation and the receipt for the premium last paid for each such policy,

    (h)  if a strata managing agent has been appointed, a copy of the instrument of appointment,

    (i)  if a strata renewal plan has been given to owners for their consideration under Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015, a copy of the plan,

    (j)  any other record or document in the custody or under the control of the owners corporation,

    (k)  if the duties of the owners corporation under this subsection have been delegated to a strata managing agent, any other records (including records of the strata managing agent) relating to the strata scheme that are prescribed by the regulations,

    (l)  if a building manager agreement is in force or has been entered into but has not yet commenced, a copy of the building manager agreement,

    (m)  particulars of any service agreement entered into by the owners corporation,

    (n)  particulars of any agreement entered into with a local council for a strata parking area,

    (o)  if the request is made within 5 years after the end of the initial period, particulars of any orders made under section 27 and copies of any related contracts or other documents.

    Maximum penalty—5 penalty units.

    (4) Meeting inspections

    For the purpose of complying with requirements for the giving of notice of a meeting of the owners corporation, the original owner (whether or not having ceased to be an owner) or an agent authorised in writing by the original owner is entitled to inspect the strata roll without payment on making a written application.

     

    183   Inspection of owners corporation documents

    (1)  An inspection under this Division is to take place at the time and place, or by the means, agreed on and, failing agreement, at the parcel at a time and on a date, or by the means, fixed by the owners corporation under this section.

    (2)  If an applicant and the owners corporation fail to reach an agreement within 3 days after the owners corporation receives the application, the owners corporation must immediately give the applicant a written notice fixing a specified time (between 9 am and 8 pm) on a specified date (not later than 10 days after the owners corporation receives the application), or a specified means, for the inspection to take place.

    (3)  The means for inspecting documents may be in person or through electronic access to the documents or any other means agreed on or fixed under this section.

    (4)  A person entitled to inspect a document may take extracts from, or make a copy of, the document but must not, without the consent of the owners corporation, remove the document from the custody of the owners corporation.

     

    #49597
    deliria1
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks so much Jimmy, this information is really, really helpful.

     

    #49596
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Any owner can see any document related to their strata scheme – even “sealed” legal documents. You are party to the correspondence as an owner in the scheme, regardless of the fact that you are directly involved.

    Claims of privacy concerns and “commercial in confidence” issues – the usual excuses trotted out – will be BS.

    Your next-door neighbour and even an absentee investor who’s never set foot in the building are entitled to see this too.

    I think a polite letter to the strata manager and secretary asking for you to be sent a copy of the  document (a reasonable request in these Covid-19 conditions) within the next few days, is in order.

    It could also carry a warning that you are aware of your legal rights and any failure to comply will leave you no choice but to commence proceedings at Fair Trading and NCAT against both the Strata Manager and Strata Committee for failure to abide by their legal responsibilites under the Act.

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