New strata laws don’t fix the old and broken inspection process

By October 18, 2016 Uncategorized No Comments

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One of the great lost opportunities of the reform of NSW strata laws is the laws relating to the inspection of records by purchasers and other interested parties.

Presently in a city of 4.5 million people strata inspectors drive from office to office looking at bundles of papers that are often out of date and irrelevant to the key questions that purchasers need to know. This is not the fault of strata managers nor strata inspectors, it is simply that the process of inspecting minutes and carefully composed letters has been replaced by electronic communications and these are too voluminous to present and to be read in the time available for a strata inspector to do a search and for an acceptable fee.

The real information that purchasers need apart from the accounts and levy details of the lot concerned might usefully be confined to this list:

  • Rules about pets
  • Unremedied building defects
  • Outstanding common property repairs and maintenance
  • Status of any litigation
  • The latest insurance certificate of currency
  • The latest AFSS
  • A comparison of the sinking fund balance against the forecast balance in the last report
This information, if usefully provided in one page, would do more for understanding of strata rights and responsibilities than anything else sought to be achieved by the new laws.
Like all matters of law reform we are not limited to the ways our legislators prescribe things to be done. If we were brave we would produce strata inspection reports this way without requiring legislative approval to do so.
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