We received this question about a presiding officer from a new SA Lot Owner. Tyson D’Sylva, Ace Body Corporate Management has provided the following response.
Question: What recourse does a strata group have when the presiding officer refuses to do the job they volunteered for?
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I am a committee member of a strata group in South Australia. Recently we had a couple of issues where the presiding officer was involved and has refused a request.
One situation was were she had been involved in organising a plumber to do an inspection of all the apartments looking for water leaks. The plumber has since provided a report.
The other was a legal matter where she appeared in court as our representative. When asked for reports on these two matters, she has refused point blank and has said that if any members want the information then they should go to the strata managers offices and ask for it.
This clearly is not a good situation. What recourse does a strata group have when the presiding officer refuses to do the job they volunteered for.
Answer: This is a very interesting question as many incoming owners have had similar experiences when not professionally managed.
What a great question and an important one!
The Office Bearers or committee members should always be elected appropriately as they need to take on this volunteer role and act for the best interest of the corporation.
In your case it appears that communication may be the issue and more owners may need to elect as an office bearer or form a committee so information can be passed around freely.
If you’re not happy with the elected person, at your next meeting whether it be an extraordinary general meeting or the next AGM, you can elected a different person and it may be wise that you stand for that position yourself so you can make the difference you require.
If your corporation is managed by a professional strata manager, you can always request the information from them. There is nothing to stop you from doing this and it may be a better option to get what you need.
I hope this information helps, otherwise talk to your strata manager as they may shed some more light on what can be done. Remember, having the right people in the right position can make or break the running of a strata corporation.
This post appears in Strata News #138.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
If you still have questions about the presiding officer or after information particular to strata legislation in SA, visit our FactSheet: Strata Committee Concerns OR FactSheet: Strata Information South Australia pages.