This topic contains 27 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Jimmy-T 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #37377
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    Hi all,

    I am an owner but am not on the Strata C’tee because I insisted on transparency. Gaining access to the OC’s accounts has been very hard over the years. Finally when I did gain access, many documents were missing.

    Recently every owner agreed to change managing agents. Just prior to the change, I asked to inspect the books held by the soon to be ex-managing agent. Lo and behold, SOME documents previously denied me magically appeared. Amongst them was a lot balance report of the Tsr.

    I saw that a couple of years back rather than pay $1,000 in levies in one qtr he paid $10,000. No explanation at the time or since was given why he made such a payment.

    A month after his $10,000 payment, the strata manager withdrew $10,000 from the OC’s account. No explanation by the managing agent or the SC or the Tsr at the time or in the documents made available to me elaborate on why this dubious payment was made and to whom.

    Two months later the Tsr’s lot balance report reveals the strata mgr paid the Tsr $10,000. No explanation at the time or in the accounts made available to me explain why $10,000 was repaid and repaid without the OC’s approval.

    I asked the new managing agent to look into this and his reply was “this was done by the previous agent, I cannot help”. Of course this is obfuscation at best. ALL available records were handed over to the new agent. How can the previous agent help, even if he wanted to as he has no documentation with him.

    What steps can I take to get to the bottom of these “irregularities”?

    Thank you.

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
    #37380
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    It sounds like one unit owner overpaid and was repaid. If the situation now is that the OC has no more or less money than it should have, including all owners having paid correct levies, I would not worry about trying to make sense of it. Move on with the new managing agent but keep an eye on things.

    #37383
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Maybe you were voted off the committee because of your overuse of abbreviations … you neighbours didn’t think you’d serve a full term! Ha!

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
    #37386

    So if the treasurer paid $10,000 and then received a refund of $10,000 do they still owe the $1,000 in levies?

    It would be interesting to see exactly how the transaction was processed. Was it returned to the same account from which it came? Paid in cash? Or transferred to a third account?

    If transferred to a third account it could be viewed as money laundering with the money initially coming from the treasurer’s account to a ‘clean’ business account (the OCs) and going to a third account where there needs to be ‘honest money‘.

    If cash was involved at any stage then there are huge red flags and follow up is required.

    Does the strata manger have the authority to withdraw that much (if any) money? If there is a requirement for a second approval was the treasurer the person who gave that second authority? If so there is a huge conflict of interest noting their initial payment of that amount

     

    Finally, is this query related to another of your threads?

    How full should strata financial reports be?

    #37394
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for the responses.

    Before addressing them, let me clarify something.

    According to his ledger, the Tsr paid $10,000 into the levy account. A few days later he paid $1,000 (the regular levy).

    According to the managing agent’s cash payments journal, a month later $10,000 was paid by the OC. No mention is made as to who was paid or why.

    Several weeks hence, the Tsr’s ledger shows he was paid $10,000 by the OC.

    As I see it, the Tsr for his own reasons, paid $10,000 more than he should have and that $10,000 was repaid to him 2 months after his payment. Why the Tsr over paid and why it took 2 months to repay him, I do not know.

    But its the other $10,000 that was paid by the OC for reasons unknown to persons unknown that stinks.

    The new managing agent seems disinterested in looking into the matter. The fact that the SC is ignoring the matter (because the new agent doesn’t blow his nose without the SC’s approval) makes me think someone on the SC may be up to no good.

    #37395
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Jimmy LOL

    #37398
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi VicRes

    You mention

    So if the treasurer paid $10,000 and then received a refund of $10,000 do they still owe the $1,000 in levies?

    Allow me to clarify: Tsr paid $10,000 then $1,000. Two months later the $10,000 was refunded (or so it seems). The $1,000 was the correct levy due.

    It would be interesting to see exactly how the transaction was processed. Was it returned to the same account from which it came? Paid in cash? Or transferred to a third account?

    The document I found, ie the Tsr’s levy ledger, does not answer your queries. Should I ask the new managing agent to inspect the records in her possession to answer your queries?

    If transferred to a third account it could be viewed as money laundering with the money initially coming from the treasurer’s account to a ‘clean’ business account (the OCs) and going to a third account where there needs to be ‘honest money‘.

    I do not believe it. You Sir (or is it Ma’am) are a mind reader. I asked myself that question when I saw the $10,000 was paid by the Tsr just before financial year end.

    If cash was involved at any stage then there are huge red flags and follow up is required.

    Could the new managing agent when inspecting the records determine if pmts to/from the strata’s accounts were in cash or not? Could the managing agent ascertain if the a/c the $10,000 was paid from is the same as where it was refunded to? Can I compel the managing agent to investigate this important issue? What if the SC forbid her or discourage her from investigating this? After all she reports to them.

    Does the strata manger have the authority to withdraw that much (if any) money? If there is a requirement for a second approval was the treasurer the person who gave that second authority? If so there is a huge conflict of interest noting their initial payment of that amount

    I know that anything >$500 [or so] cannot be withdrawn/paid by the ex-managing agent without approval by the SC, which in fact means the Tsr because the Chair is a rubber stamp. So your point on conflict of interest is a valid and a good one.

    Finally, is this query related to another of your threads?

    Yes, in as much as it relates to the same managing agent, but no, as I am also interested in the levy ledgers of all proprietors given some are slow to pay (in fact at times they are unfinancial) but that fact is hidden by the SC from the OC, for reasons unknown.

    #37412
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Memo from Strata manager to treasurer:
    Mate, you’ve got all these bills coming in and there’s not enough in the kitty.  You’re going to have to default on some, pay interest on them or strike a special levy.

    Reply from Treasurer to SM:
    A special levy?  The owners will have my guts for garters. I thought we had that all covered in this year’s budget.

    SM to Treasurer:
    We had, but the job was completed early and the levies money hasn’t come in yet.

    Treasurer to SM:
    How about if I loan the money to the strata scheme and you pay it back when the money comes in?

    SM to Treasurer:
    Do you trust me that much?

    Treasurer to SM
    No, but if you dud me I’ll write to Flat Chat.

    SM to Treasurer:
    Send the $10k.  Your money is safe with me. I’ll pay you back as soon as the levies come in.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Jimmy-T.
    #37419
    Avatar
    LKY
    Flatchatter

    Our Secretary paid himself through his shell company a number of large sums for time spent with lawyers / contractors without these payments being mentioned in Strata Committee Meeting Minutes or getting it approved before payment at an AGM required as per Section 25 ( now 49 of SSMA ) of old Strata Act. No Strata-specialist lawyer was prepared to help us fight with the dominant strata management company at NCAT. At NSW Fair Trading, there was no help really. At NCAT, we were asked to get ourselves represented by a lawyer.The exorbitant fees ( demanded by the only lawyer prepared to represent us ) forced us to drop the case at NCAT.

    #37427
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for your replies Jimmy and LKY. I will reply to them very soon.

    BTW this is not the first time I discovered dodgy pmts being made by the Tsr (acting through a managing agent puppet). In fact I sought the strata go into administration a couple of years ago but my application was not well written and the Tsr, a lawyer, writing on behalf of the OC, convinced NCAT (on the paper not in a hearing) to not prder administration but to keep things as they are.

     

    #37431
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I find Jimmy’s scenario plausible.

    #37441
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Jimmy and Sir Humphrey,

    I closely examined the papers I have and see that when the Tsr paid the $10,000, the OC was flush with funds. It was not a case of insufficient funds in the kitty that needed to be topped up.

    #37464
    Avatar
    Silly Cow
    Flatchatter

    Despite all this, if the Strata Plan hasn’t lost any money I would let it go and move on.  We have enough day to day issues to deal with.

     

    #37468
    Avatar
    TruleEConcerned
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Silly Cow, I think you missed my first memo. The SP lost at least $10,000 because after the Tsr wrongly paid $10,000 into the OC’s accounts, two lots of $10,000 were paid by the OC. The evidence shows one lot of $10,000 was paid to the Tsr. Who approved this pmt? Not the OC, that I know.

    And another  $10,000 was withdrawn from the OC’s account with no explanation then or now as to who paid and why.

    So, with respect Silly Cow, I am not “moving on” when I smell “irregularities”.

     

    #37470
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I don’t think it was at all clear that two payments of $10K were made. Hence both my comments and JT’s, not just SC’s.

    Does your OC have its books audited? Ours does and the audit report is included with the papers for each AGM.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Sir Humphrey.
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