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TEYS Training Note

Wednesday, 22nd June 2011

Owners corporation committee members come from all walks of life and fields of endeavour and whilst it is appreciated that they do their very best, it is nonetheless important to know what the risks might be to you and your community if negligence on their part were factored in.

Committee members are personally liable for their negligent acts on behalf of strata communities.  Their negligence can also be visited upon the strata entity they represent.  This comes as a shock to most committee members who are unpaid and more often than not, unloved.

What can go wrong?
  • The committee fails to take legal action to fix defects within six years and the strata entity is then outside of the legal time frame for taking such action.
  • The committee fails to take advice on workplace health and safety and a fine is imposed after a contractor is injured on site.
  • A committee fails to recommend a budget in accordance with a sinking fund forecast and former owners escape liability to contribute to capital expenditure reserves during their period of ownership.
What can be done to prevent his happening?

A well-run committee will:
  1. Seek out and appoint competent caretakers, strata managers and lawyers;
  2. Take advice, particularly from strata managers on compliance with legislative obligations under strata management laws and other laws applicable to strata entities; and
  3. Retain lawyers with experience in this specialist field, particularly when considering out of the ordinary issues such as building defects, allegations of discrimination and the assignment of management, caretaking and letting rights.
For more infomation visit www.teyslawyers.com.au


By

Michael Teys

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