Strata committee members will feel the pinch from two new strata laws; the duty to exercise due care and diligence in everything they do and the right of lot owners to sue for damages if they suffer loss because of a failure to attend to repairs and maintenance of common property. These provisions, more than any others in the new strata laws, will impact on the ability to get good people to serve as office bearers.
The damage will be done in the making of the claims rather than their prosecution to finality. Indeed, history would suggest most threats will not go the distance. Plaintiffs lose interest in pursing their claims for justice when heat of battle subsides and the prosecution becomes taxing on their time and money.
The accusations will get old quickly and good people will want to protect themselves and their reputations from the claims. No matter how weak a threatened claim might appear as soon one is made the owners corporation insurer will have to be advised. This will take time and money, but there’s an even bigger cost that will be paid.
Anyone that has been the subject of a spurious claim will know that no matter how weak the accusation they hurt, particularly when you are a volunteer. Strata managers should get used to hearing good people say; ‘I don’t need this in my life.’