These questions about who the Strata Manager takes instructions from has been answered by Tyson D’Sylva, Ace Body Corporate Management and Tony Johnson, Stratarama.
Question: Our strata manager has decided it would be a good idea to insulate the ceiling space of the top story units. He is pushing the committee to agree and sign off on this.
I am on the strata committee and our strata manager has decided it would be a good idea to insulate the ceiling space of the top story units. He is pushing the committee to agree and sign off on this. I have three issues and questions.
- Is this not actually a capital expense and should be put to all owners for a majority vote?
- I don’t believe there would be any benefit to the lower level apartments by insulating the roof space – who could give a definitive opinion on this?
Answer: If your manager is making decisions for the owners then you should be looking at having a discussion as this should not be occurring.
This is a good question as some owners at times feel the Strata Manager is making the decisions.
Firstly it is the owners who make the decisions and it is the strata manager who carries out the instructions.
If your manager is making decisions for you then you should be looking at having a discussion with the manager and owners as this should not be occurring.
Any works / maintenance that the corporation is paying for would ultimately be decided at an AGM or General Meeting of the corporation so owners can formally vote.
I feel once you sort out who is making decisions in your corporations you can look at the other areas as this is a major one to get correct. A discussion on who benefits and how you would handle this process would need an experienced manager to assist you with this process. We would advise to always use a strata manager who is a member of the SCA – Strata Community Association.
This post appears in Strata News #257.
Question: Is it appropriate for the Strata Manager to refuse to take instruction from the required number of owners? Can the Management Committee refuse to hold the EGM?
A number of residents are concerned about an issue relating to the solar system and the associated finances in our building.
We have a registered Corporation and Management Committee that manages the corporation business with the assistance of a Strata Manager.
We have written to the Strata Manager requesting that an EGM is called for the Presiding Officer to answer questions relating to the owner’s concerns.
We attached to the letter signatures that exceed 20% of owners as required under the Community Titles Act. The Strata Manager has advised that she cannot take instruction from owners and that the matter has been referred to the Management Committee and the Presiding Officer for their consideration.
My questions are:
- Is it appropriate for the Strata Manager to refuse to take instruction from the required number of owners?
- Can the Management Committee refuse to hold the EGM?
- If they refuse, what would you recommend our next course of action should be?
Answer: The Strata Manager cannot refuse the meeting if it has been called by the appropriate number.
They cannot refuse the meeting if it has been called by the appropriate number. As the question refers to a Community Titled group, I have taken an extract which I feel will assist from the Community Titles Law Handbook (a publication from Legal Services in S.A).
A meeting can be called for by 20% or more of the Members. In the event that the Presiding Officer/ Committee refuses to call a meeting, then the next step would be to seek action via the Magistrates Court should the Members still wish to call the meeting. Using only the information you have provide, it would seem that the required numbers have been obtained to call the meeting and the Committee should now call a meeting in line with the Act.
A general meeting may be called by [s 81(1)]:
- the presiding officer, treasurer or secretary of the corporation
- any two members of the management committee
- a member or members of the corporation the value of whose lot entitlement or combined lot entitlements is 20 per cent or more of the aggregate value of all the lot entitlements
- a member or members of the corporation who holds, or who together hold, 20 per cent or more of the total number of community lots in the scheme, or
- on the order of the Magistrates Court following an application under s 141 (see Disputes).
At least fourteen days written notice of a general meeting must be given [s 81(2)]. The notice must set out the day, time and place of the meeting, and the meeting agenda [ss 81(2), (4)].
The day, time and place of the meeting must be reasonably convenient to a majority of the members of the corporation [s 81(3)].
This post appears in Strata News #226.
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Have a question about strata manager instructions or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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