This Q&A on how to find information about a major defect in your building has been supplied by Yuhao Gu, Omega Legal.
Question: Our building has a major defect. Most lot owners aren’t aware. The committee is not following recommendations to make the building safe. What should we do?
I own an apartment in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The building has a major defect that affects every owner.
Insurance has refused to cover the defect as the building wasn’t built to legal standards many years ago. It’s been several months and the committee has not followed the recommendations in the report to make the building safe.
The majority of owners don’t know about the report. It could be a big danger to others in and around the building. I think the committee is not functioning on the owner’s behalf. What are your thoughts?
Answer: Request the committee or the managing agent provides the report to all owners.
It would be surprising if the committee, which is comprised of owners in the same strata, do not take steps to ensure a major defect is repaired.
In this case, you and other owners may request the committee or the managing agent provides the report to all owners to ensure everyone has a good understanding of the status of the building.
In your request to the strata committee and the strata manager, you could mention the following aspects:
- Why it would be in the best interest of all owners to be informed of the major defect
- Ways to distribute information to all owners without incurring excessive administration, printing and
postage costs (particularly if the report is a couple of hundred pages). For example, upload the building defects report onto an online portal and/or post a notice on the community notice board to advise interested owners how to obtain more information.
Do owners have the right to inspect strata documents?
An owner has the right to inspect strata documents, including a building defect report, under section 182 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (by paying a prescribed fee). Alternatively, you and other owners could propose a motion in the next general meeting for the report to be shared to all owners and for the general meeting to resolve any steps towards any remedial work.
This post appears in Strata News #274
Have a question about major building defects or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- NSW: Q&A What Do We Do When A Developer Comes Knocking?
- NSW: Building Defects – The Duty to Mitigate. When Do You Have to Give the Builder Access to Rectify?
Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, try here.