We recently received the following question from a lot owner about who can carry out a strata roll inspection. Dee Pannell, Sun City Legal Services has provided the following response.
Question: Can a lot owner, strata committee member, strata secretary or owner carry out a strata roll inspection? What qualifies access and what are they entitled to inspect?
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Who has access to the file keep by our strata manager containing a history of minutes, paid accounts etc. apart from the strata manager & their staff?
Can a lot owner, strata committee member, strata secretary or owner carry out a strata roll inspection? What qualifies access and what are they entitled to inspect? If access is given, what responsibility does the strata manager have to advise the other owners, or in fact seek their approval, beforehand?
Answer: Lot owners and Committee members are allowed access to the records and the Strata Manager must make all of the records available to you.
Lot owners and Committee members are allowed access to the records and the Strata Manager must make all of the records available to you (other than any record that may contain defamatory material). There is no requirement for the Manager to seek approval from either the Committee or other owners. You as a Committee member or an owner are affectively requesting access to your own records. Each State has different requirements for payment of fees etc.
There is a misconception that the Strata Manager can restrict access to records they hold on behalf of the Strata Corporation (Body Corporate). Some Strata Managers have been reluctant to allow access to the Roll and issues frequently arise when an owner is refused access. There are various recent articles by Legal Professionals in relation to this issue however, under current Legislation, a Strata Manager must allow access to the records and the Roll if requested as there are no privacy laws overriding an obligation to provide them.
Other “interested parties”, for example a buyer of a Lot or Mortgagee, can also access the records upon giving the required notice and payment of a fee.
This post appears in Strata News # 173 .