This Q&A from a NSW Strata Manager is about whether the strata manager usually holds the certificate of title for the buildings they manage. Emma Smythies, Bugden Allen Lawyers address this issue.
Question: What does the legislation say about the Strata Manager having to hold the original certificate of Title for the schemes they manage?
What does the legislation say about the Strata Manager having to hold the original certificate of Title?
We do not hold all the Original Certificates of Title for the complexes we manage and have therefore added the following motion on our AGM agendas to apply for a certificate of title:
THAT by Special Resolution the Owners Corporation authorise the managing agent to apply for a replacement Certificate of Title.
The problem I am facing is that owners want to know why we have to have it and a lot are refusing to allow us to apply for a new certificate.
Answer: It is customary for any appointed strata manager to hold the original common property certificate of title on behalf of the owners corporation for safe keeping.
The original owner of the strata scheme is required to provide the owners corporation with the common property certificate of title within 48 hours of the first annual general meeting (s16 Strata Schemes Management Act 2015). By implication, it is, therefore, a document the owners corporation should retain in safe custody.
It is customary for any appointed strata manager to hold the original common property certificate of title on behalf of the owners corporation for safe keeping.
The certificate of title is an important document which is required in order to register dealings on title, including for example, orders of the Tribunal, new by-laws and strata plans of subdivision.
To assist in locating a missing certificate of title, we recommend undertaking a free certificate of title inquiry on the LRS website which will identify the party that the LRS last delivered the certificate of title to.
If the common property certificate of title cannot be located, an application can be made to LRS pursuant to s111 of the Real Property Act 1900 for the issue of a new certificate of title. The application is required to be accompanied by a statutory declaration which, amongst other things, must identify the last known person in possession of the certificate of title and the steps taken to try and locate it.
We suggest advising owners that it is prudent to apply for a replacement certificate of title when it has been lost to ensure that it is readily available when required to register a dealing on title (eg a new by-law) as the application for replacement can take some time to prepare and be processed by LRS.
The strata committee is empowered to authorise the managing agent to make the application for a replacement certificate of title. It could also be authorised by an ordinary resolution at a general meeting.
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This post appears in Strata News #330.
This article does not constitute legal or other advice and should not be relied upon this way. Readers should take legal or other advice before applying the information containing in this publication.
- NSW ByLaw Review. How / Where do we register our new bylaws?
- NSW: Q&A Where Can I Get a Copy of My Strata Plan
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