Qld lot owners would like to know whether they can access body corporate records. Todd Garsden and Frank Higginson, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: As a lot owner, I’d like to have access to some of our body corporate records. Shouldn’t these be posted to the strata portal for the information of all?
As a lot owner, am I able to access our body corporate records such as:
- Strata Financial Audit reports;
- Workplace Health & Safety reports;
- Sinking Fund Forecasts
Should these be posted on the strata portal for the information of all owners.
Answer: If they are body corporate records, they should be available to owners.
If they are body corporate records – which they are – they should be available to owners. I am not sure there is an obligation to post them to portals, but if owners want them they are certainly entitled to them.
This post appears in Strata News #303.
Question: Our large complex on the Gold Coast does not have audits. I’d like to carry out an audit but the Body Corporate Manager is refusing me access to the body corporate financial records unless I pay a large fee.
We own a Unit in a large Residential Strata Title Complex on the Gold Coast Queensland with over 500 lots.
At the last AGM the committee requested that in order to save the building money, the lot owners vote for no audit. The motion was passed and now we have no audit.
With such a large build and expenditure in the high millions each year I am concerned.
I wish to have an audit carried out myself just to ascertain that all is well and above board.
The Body Corporate Manager is refusing me access to the body corporate financial records unless I pay them a very large sum of money. Their argument is that the financial reports have to be prepared by them and I must pay them for that time.
How can this be right? The Body Corporate owns the Licence for the software and all I require is to access that software and then download the requested files myself.
The Body Corporate manager says they have received legal advice and will not allow me to access the files.
Is the Body Corporate Manager in their rights by not allowing me free access to the files we have already paid for? If the legislation states that they have to grant me access, but they still refuse, what can I do?
Answer: The owner should make a formal records request including a down payment on the prescribed fee.
We would suggest that the owner makes a formal records request including a down payment on the prescribed fee (of what you think a reasonable estimate would be) – the body corporate or manager cannot charge you more than what the prescribed fee is on a per page basis if you want them to send you the records.
Otherwise the owner could arrange for their own inspection of the records (for a set fee).
This post appears in Strata News #298.
Question: I have Adjudicators Order to obtain certain financial records of the Body Corporate. The Committee and Strata Manager are refusing access and obstructing the Adjudicators order. What are the next legal steps?
I have an Adjudicators Order to obtain certain records of the Body Corporate, mainly financial records from over the last five years.
The Body Corporate Committee and the Strata Manager are refusing access and obstructing the Adjudicators order.
I am now proceeding to an enforcement order in the Magistrates Court and the appointment of an Administrator, being another Strata-Manager, to enforce the order. What are the next legal steps if the existing Strata Manager refuses to provide the requisite records to the Administrator so appointed?
Answer: The next step would be a Complaint and Summons pursuant to the Justices Act which might prompt compliance.
The next step would be a Complaint and Summons pursuant to the Justices Act which might prompt compliance.
It won’t necessarily get orders for compliance, but it is a quasi-criminal application and penalties (fines) can be imposed. The Complainant won’t get the benefit of the fine but may get costs back and it can be a good incentive for compliance if the offenders are having to front Court and explain why they aren’t complying with an order.
Time limits apply though. These are 12 months from date of offence.
This post appears in Strata News #267.
Have a question about accessing body corporate records or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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