19/02/2019 at 12:39 pm #35883
A fellow owner resident and I want to inspect the strata records at the strata manager’s office for our Sydney block of 40, ahead of the AGM in two months.
All strata committee functions are signed over to the strata manager. No strata committee meetings have been held in 10 months since the last AGM.
Obviously things have been done over that 10 months and we want to see how decisions were arrived at for matters which, we judge, should have required decisions at a strata committee meeting. Or at least been covered in an agenda for a strata committee meeting and minutes.
Are we entitled to see correspondence files? Emails between the strata committee and the strata manager, for example?
19/02/2019 at 6:10 pm #35886
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Jimmy-T.
From the Owners Corporation Network website is this extract:
All the correspondence between the executive committee, the strata manager and any service provider or lawyers should be available for viewing. If something is missing the Act allows you to request that it be produced within 10 days. You are entitled to write notes or copy anything and take this copy away.
You should be able to take a photo of any docs with your smart phone.
Note SSMA 2015 [s180 (1)(d)].
STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 – SECT 180
Certain records to be retained for prescribed period
(1) An owners corporation must cause the following to be retained for 7 years:
(b) minutes of meetings required to be kept under Schedule 1 or Schedule 2,
(d) copies of correspondence received and sent by the owners corporation,
(f) proxies delivered to the owners corporation,
(g) voting papers relating to motions for resolutions by the owners corporation and to the election of officers or the establishment of a strata renewal committee (under Part 10 of the <i class=”ref”>Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 </i>),
(j) any other documents prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
<small>Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.</small>
(2) The regulations may prescribe a different period for which any or all of the things referred to in subsection (1) are required to be retained.
06/08/2019 at 9:32 am #40143
- This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Jimmy-T.
I’ve repeatedly requested the ability to inspect all strata records including correspondence received and sent by the council of owners and much more…the State Administrative Tribunal agreed that the Privacy Act was not grounds to withhold records and ordered that I could inspect “all requested documentation excluding that which is privileged” … 18 months later I’m still waiting!
The strata manager (and current council members) persist in asserting that records can’t be provided because of privacy concerns and that the records I want to inspect either aren’t strata records (tender documents re the facilities manager), belong to the strata manager (data entered into Strata Master) or don’t exist (data not extracted/reports not generated).
I’m seeking the appointment of an administrator and would really appreciate assistance formulating the argument that the strata manager does not own the records and is obligated to extract data from databases and put into a format that can be inspected.
07/08/2019 at 7:49 am #40192
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Jimmy-T.
Any correspondence between anyone and the owners corp is able to be viewed by owners . To give an extreme example, a couple of years ago the strata committee of my building got into a nasty dispute with a former employee which ended up in a court-ordered settlement with the judgement “sealed” by the court – i.e. it wasn’t to be made available to the public.
Even so, a couple of owners were able to go to the strata manager’s office and view the document, albeit under tight supervision. The thing is, as members of the owners corp, they were parties to the dispute and therefor permitted to read the judgement. Thers is privacy in owners corpp correspondence, as far as owners are concerned.07/08/2019 at 9:57 am #40207
What fee can Strata Manager charge for looking at the records?12/08/2019 at 1:56 pm #40505
As @Lady Penelope & @Jimmy-T have pointed out, it is your right to view this information. There are various extra hurdles that may be required to do this in particular states, and some of these hurdles may be insurmountable (eg. the requirement that you view records in person if you live interstate, implying that they can’t be made available electronically)
The difficulty is that some strata managers appear to treat this right as an optional inconvenience, pushing back at every opportunity. Examples have been initially charging a fee and referring the request to the strata committee amongst others.
Having done this dance a couple of times, I can only suggest to persist. It is frustrating, but you have every right. It’s your property.