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    Faraway girl

    This letter was sent by our Strata Manager to ONE of our owners.

    The background to the letter is that the date of our AGM was determined by the Strata Manager in consultation with our Secretary and that date was posted on our noticeboard.

    One owner some weeks later requested that the AGM date be changed, however all other owners had planned travel, holidays, health appointments around this date so the chairman advised the Strata Manager that the date was unable to be changed.

    My question is : do others believe this email is appropriate for a Strata Manager to write when acting on behalf of the OC and if not what actions could be taken by the OC.

    This is not the first time such things have occurred, however the only reason the Office Holders of the OC saw this is that it was sent to them by mistake as it was in the thread of other emails regarding the AGM.

    Here is the email:

    I received an email back from Xxxx and they  are refusing to change the date.  You may wish to have your lawyers send a letter.  They claim that other owners have already planned their activities around the date of xxxxxx

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  • #38120

    I don’t understand what the problem is here, apart from the SM suggesting that the owner might want to send a lawyer’s letter (which is valid advice and will probably not make any difference).

    What I see here is a strata manager responding to an owner by stating the facts, admittedly by shifting the responsibility away from themselves (which is also valid, since it’s the secretary and committee that sets the date).

    Is your issue with strata managers dealing directly with individual owners?  Many strata schemes wish their strata managers would do that.  Are you saying the strata manager is colluding with this owner?

    Actually, I’m not at all sure what you are saying. Perhaps you could reword your question more specifically: what’s the issue and what do you want as an outcome would be the start. What would you have hoped would have happened in this instance?  When you say this isn’t the first time such things have occurred, what other issues have there been?

    On another matter entirely, the original version of this posts had dozens of lines of coding from the cut-and-paste of the email. This is something we get a lot.

    This is a message to all Flatchatters: Please clean up your posts of all that excess coding when you can. It is ugly, confusing and may result in your post being deleted.

    Faraway girl

    Wow. I’ve been told.

    my issue is that it looks very much like collusion with one owner and I did not see this as professional behaviour. Jimmie, you are saying that it is OK for a SM to advise an owner to get their solicitor to send a letter to the Chair and Secretary of the OC when the SM is meant to be acting in the best interests of the OC . This surprises me.

    However you have answered my question . Thank you.

    On the other matter, some of us do not have the knowledge or skills on how to cut and paste from an email thread and I apologise for the mess you obviously received. On my copy of the comment there was no lines of coding . I won’t do a cut and paste to flat chat in future


    The strata manager works for the owners corp – that’s all owners, not just the committee.

    My guess is that the owner concerned wanted the SM to intercede on their behalf but the SM did something quite clever (in my view) which was to divert them to a solicitor who would either tell them, correctly, that there was little under the law that could be done or write a letter making demands to which they were not entitled (bluffing, in other words) and charge them handsomely for it.

    If the SM had said, “get your solicitor to write a letter and I will tell the committee that they have to abide by the demand” then that would have been collusion.  But he or she didn’t.  To my mind this was a classic diversionary tactic; mostly harmless and largely inconsequential.

    That said, now that I’ve realised who you are, and recognise your strata scheme as having had a long history of problems with the developer and strata managers, maybe I’m being too generous.  But that doesn’t alter the essence of the response. A lawyer’s letter should make little or no difference to anything except the entitled owner’s bank balance.

    Regarding the coding, I did make that a general comment and thank you for letting me know that it didn’t show up on your screen.  Now I have to find another way of dealing with this, as you are not the only subscriber to have done this.


    Timing of the AGM will never suit everyone.  Would-be conspiracy theorists may emerge, but there are various practical considerations.  There will typically be a band of perhaps two months within which the date can be set.  There are five business days within a typical week, and this may be further reduced if the owners include some observant Jews who may feel excluded if the meeting is scheduled for a Friday.  As well, even strata managers are entitled to a life, and a Friday evening work commitment is not the way that many of them may want to end the week.  For practical purposes, the people who have to be at the meeting are the Chair, the Secretary and the strata manager.  Once a date suiting all three is found and settled, no further correspondence should be entered into.

    Sir Humphrey

    People should know all year that the next AGM is likely to be close to 12 months after the previous one. When I was on our committee, we had various criteria:

    -A date we could book our usual local venue.

    -A date that suited the chair, secretary and treasurer.

    -A date when the managing agent was available.

    -We avoided Fridays, not just for the managing agent or religious sensibilities but also because people often socialise then or leave town or want to pack if going away for a weekend.

    -We avoided school holiday periods when owners with children were more likely to go away or have visitors.

    -We needed to leave enough time after the end of financial year to have the numbers finalised and decide on the proposed budget for the coming year, get meeting papers together and checked thoroughly with further time factored in for corrective action when the managing agent leaves something out in spite of our careful checking.

    -We needed to stay before the last date after the end of the financial year when the meeting could be held (3 months, in the ACT).

    -We always tried to get meeting papers out with substantially more notice than the statutory minimum (14 calendar days in the ACT) taking into account of when notices are deemed to arrive (7 working days) when sent by ordinary mail and the above-mentioned stuff-ups. We also needed to comply with a general meeting resolution from years earlier that the EC gives 4 weeks notice, rather than the 2 or 3 weeks minimum notice (in the ACT, depending on the class of resolutions). In practice, we aimed to get papers sent just over 4 weeks before the meeting date.

    By the time we worked through those constraints, we would usually be down to only one or two days when we could have the meeting.

    Flame Tree (Qld)

    With most AGM’s the OC pursue efficiency so don’t prefer to get into long conversations but just want to vote and close the show. If you can’t make the date advised in advance (3 weeks minimum notice in QLd) you can still vote by mail or proxy another qualified person to vote as they feel or on your direction, like if further information will become available on the day from any clarifying questions etc.


    Excathedra said:

     There are five business days within a typical week, and this may be further reduced if the owners include some observant Jews who may feel excluded if the meeting is scheduled for a Friday.

    You learn something every day.  I always though the Jewish Shabbat  was on a Saturday, but I looked it up and apparently it’s from just before sunset on Friday until after dark on a Saturday.  Was I the only person who didn’t know this?

    Anyway, as much as we try to accommodate our neighbours, you can’t let one owner dictate when meetings should be held.  There are so many alternative forms of participation, from proxy and electronic voting, to even Skyping, that there’s no reason to change a set plan.


    Regarding the coding, I did make that a general comment and thank you for letting me know that it didn’t show up on your screen. Now I have to find another way of dealing with this, as you are not the only subscriber to have done this.

    I would have been one of them Jimmy :). Just to confirm, when in Visual mode, pasted in text appears perfectly  without any extraneous formatting commands. Be interesting to see how it handles my smiley…

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