Strata living is a great way of life when everybody is on the same page, and things work well. But what if daily issues or maintenance are being neglected? What happens if an Owners Corporation isn’t keeping proper financial records or owners have problems with the management of strata fees?
Plenty of things can go wrong in a strata scheme if you don’t have the right people taking care of things. That’s why many Owners Corporations appoint a strata manager or strata management company. For those Owners Corporations that don’t perform their duties, though, there is a practice called Compulsory Management that you should know about.
What is Compulsory Management?
When strata committees or Owners Corporations fail in their responsibilities, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal may appoint a strata manager in their place. Owners Corporations can find themselves before the tribunal for a number of reasons, such as neglecting maintenance, mismanaging funds or any other situation where a resident may have severe issues with their strata Owners Corporation or committee.
If the strata scheme is found to have neglected its duties, the tribunal may step in and issue an order for Compulsory Management. Let’s look at what the appointed strata manager can do.
What does an appointed strata manager do?
In most cases, this is at the tribunal’s discretion and can vary depending on the circumstances. Essentially, the tribunal can appoint a strata manager to handle all jobs of an Owners Corporation, all jobs of the strata committee (including the chairperson, secretary and treasurer), or only some of the jobs. Typically, it depends on who has neglected their duties and the extent to which the tribunal deems compulsory management necessary.
When can the tribunal appoint compulsory management?
There are several critical expectations of an Owners Corporation, and when they fail to meet these, a compulsory manager may be appointed. For example, if the Owners Corporation doesn’t keep proper financial records or won’t share financial details at a General Meeting. Repairs and maintenance are always a hot topic, too. So, the tribunal may step in if the committee or person responsible for repairs and maintenance doesn’t get the job done in a suitable, timely fashion.
Alternatively, the tribunals may already have ordered an Owners Corporation to take certain actions, such as installing smoke alarms. If they fail to do so, the tribunal can step in again.
How to apply for compulsory management
If you’re a lot owner and believe there is cause for compulsory management, you will need to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal directly. They will take the necessary steps to review the issue and appoint a dedicated strata manager if necessary. Check out the NSW Government website to find out more details.
Want to avoid the hassle of compulsory strata management?
If you notice things slipping through the cracks, or your strata committee simply doesn’t have the time or resources to keep up with demand, it’s time to consider professional strata management. No scheme wants to be ordered into compulsory management as it looks bad for potential buyers, frustrates existing owners and creates unnecessary tension between parties. Hire professional strata managers today, keep your building running smoothly, and avoid the hassle of compulsory management. Contact More Than Strata to find out how we can help.