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I am an owner in a large strata scheme (more than 100 owners) in NSW.
We recently held our AGM where I questioned the size of the proposed Capital Works ‘Budget’: almost $1.1M was nominated with approx 20 separate items of expenditure identified.
In the past, our Strata Committee has been unable to organise the simplest items of maintenance (the usual annual Capital Works spend is about $150,000, at best), so I questioned how the Committee intended to achieve such an ambitious maintenance program over the remaining months of the budget year.
There was a mute response from the Committee before the Strata Manager jumped in and said: “It’s only a Budget and does not have to be spent; it just identifies items of future expenditure.”
Well that was news to me. I always thought Budgets were there to establish a Cap Works spending program for the upcoming year (or what remains of it if the AGM is held late in the year). When I looked at the NSW SSM Act 2015, I found Section 79 refers to ‘Estimates’ (Budgets?) that apply to anticipated spending “in the period until the next general meeting”.
Division 2 79 Estimates to be prepared of contributions to administrative and works
(6) An owners corporation of a large strata scheme must include in the estimates prepared at an annual general meeting:
(a) specific amounts in relation to each item or matter on which the owners corporation intends to spend money, or on which the owners corporation is aware money will be likely to be spent, in the period until the next annual general meeting, and
(b) a note as to any difference between the estimates and the 10-year plan for the works fund prepared under this Division and the reasons for the difference.
Can anyone else confirm this interpretation – or provide some other confirmation that a Budget applies only to an Owners Corp’s current financial year?
I also note sub para (b) which requires owners to be notified of “any difference between the estimates and the 10-year plan for the capital works fund”.
That has never happened at our AGMs despite Cap Works spending being consistently out of whack with our 10-year Cap Works Plan.
Thanks in advance.
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