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  • #44928
    AvatarLosezama
    Flatchatter

    We’re are seeking some Facebook advice on strata groups.

    We have started our own ‘ closed’ FB strata group so we can discuss issues impacting strata owners, and we do not want body corp managers, caretakers/ residential managers or lawyers accessing our discussions. Nor do we want our group discussions to impact relationships. We are inviting owners to join us and they do so using their FB names, although this is contrary to this group where real names are not encouraged.

    Owners are asking various questions by email and by posts, and we are assisting or commenting or answering them frankly and honestly.  We all follow the legislation and regulations and often receive information which highlights that professionals do not follow the legislation.

    We have group ‘rules’ and do not let anyone post anything that appears defamatory, or post names or business’ and we uphold respect and kindness.

    Our question is: Can we discuss body corp managers and caretakers generally, as long as we do not name them and their businesses?

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by .
    #44936
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I was going to say, depends what you mean by “generally”.  You don’t have to name someone to identify them –  association is enough (which is why we discourage people from using their real names).

    However, in your case, if you look at the recent NSW Appeals Court decision in the “letterbox” defamation case, it seems you can say what you want as long as it is within a closed group of residents in the one scheme and it isn’t malicious.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by .
    #44947
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    On the question of offering advice that’s contrary to what, say, your strata manager has given, there are ways of doing this that aren’t directly critical of the SM.

    Say, for instance, your SM (in NSW) has told the committee that it can’t pass a by-law banning short-term rentals.  Rather than saying the SM is wrong, you could post a comment that says something like “this is contrary to advice received from other sources” and you would then quote those sources and let the residents make up their own minds.

    The more authoritative the source of the advice, the greater the chances of the SM reviewing their own position.  But saying the SM is misinformed, biased, out of touch or, worst of all, is wrong AGAIN, strays perilously close to being malicious, which would undermine any defence against defamation.

    Not every criticism needs to be an attack, but faulty advice should be challenged.  However, “faulty” isn’t merely an opininion that disagrees, even with the majority.  There are laws, regulations, tribunal decisions and court verdicts that are all readily available online, and which establish the basic facts of the matters under discussion.

    Just be wary about the “bush lawyers” – online warriors who will cherry-pick a bits of laws and regulations that have nothing to do with each other, conflate them and then present that as a proven legal argument.  Unless they can cite a documented precedent or are prepared to pay for a lawyer to run that idea through a court or a tribunal, their opinion has no more value than a chat at a barbie.

    #44972
    AvatarLosezama
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank you for that good advice.

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