Strata managers or committees can make
alternate arrangements to vote and discuss strata issues if they do not want to
attend strata meetings in person.
The options available include voting in
writing, email, teleconference or via other technologies, as well as voting by
proxy – however, there are limits on the number of proxies that any lot owner
can hold on behalf of other lot owners.
If an owners corporation has not previously
passed a resolution to accept voting by means other than in person, they only
have the option of an in-person meeting.
For small schemes, it may be possible to
continue in-person meetings while observing the current social distancing and
gathering orders from NSW Health.
Fair Trading understands this presents a
problem for larger schemes in the current environment and is reviewing the
for challenging resolutions
Decisions can only be made by parties who
have the authority to do so.
Such authorities are often granted in
managing agency agreements which delegate some or all of the functions of the strata committee to a licensed managing agent.
Those agreements can also place limitations
on the agent’s authority to act, for example by placing a cap on the amount of
the owner's corporation’s money they can spend on repairs and maintenance.
Likewise, decisions of the owners
corporation, found in minutes of owners corporation meetings, may restrict how
much a strata committee can spend without urgent approval.
Owners can challenge a decision made by a
strata manager or strata committees where they do not have the approval to make
that decision under the scheme rules.
Services in Strata Buildings
The legislation does not provide a
definition of what is an essential service for a strata scheme.
In the current situation, any services that
contribute to the safety, health of residents and maintenance of minimum living
standards should be considered by the owner's corporation.
For example, lighting for an underground
garage may be considered more essential than lighting in a common property pool
or meeting room.
For now, repairs and maintenance work (such
as fire safety inspections, fitting of window safety devices, fixing defects
and/or other inspections and certifications) should still be funded using
administration and capital works accounts which already have funds due to
levies paid over previous years.
Once these funds are exhausted, the owners
corporation may consider moving funds between these accounts.
However, the law requires that money to be
reimbursed and requires the owner's corporation, within three months of money
being transferred or used for the other account’s purposes, to determine the
amount that will be levied on lot owners so that the relevant account can be
The owner's corporation may request the strata manager to source a strata loan
if any urgent repairs are required to maintain the safety, health and minimum
standards for the building and common property, and the owner's corporation’s
administrative or capital works funds are inadequate for the job.
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation,
urgent repairs and maintenance should only be carried out if they are necessary
for the safety, health and minimum standards of residents. When repairs are
carried out, social distancing measures must be maintained.
if a person with COVID-19 uses common property
The strata manager has an obligation to
"act in the client's best interests” which includes communicating with
residents on health guidelines as they affect closure of common areas such as
pools, spas, community halls and gymnasiums.
Owners corporations must hold an annual
general meeting (AGM) every financial year. However, there is no penalty
attached to non-compliance with this requirement.
Owners corporations can hold additional
general meetings throughout the financial year if they are needed – these are
known as Extraordinary General Meetings.
Don’t forget to upload all relevant documents and
minutes for meetings onto the RealRenta platform to form part of the tenancy
If you are not a RealRenta Landlord, join now and save 50% off the normal subscription fee. https://mailchi.mp/realrenta/50-deal-2020
Email Jason @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 17 April 2020