You ask, we answer:
Each month we answer a question about living in a community title. This month, can I get my money back, please?
We've had countless problems with our Strata Manager, including five AGM'S, which they cancelled and, over 12 months, a repeated failure to lodge documents so that we can convert to Community Title. What can we do about our incompetent Strata Manager? Can we get our management fees back? Should the strata company compensate us for doing a lousy job?
Desperately Seeking Answers.
Dear Desperately Seeking Answers,
The short answer to your questions is, it depends. Every contract is different, so what you can do depends on what your contract says. Section 27B of the South Australian Strata Titles Act says your written contract must set out the functions or powers to be delegated to the strata company.
Horner Management uses the Management Agreement written by the Strata Community Association (SCA) which includes a section related to termination if your strata company fails to carry out their duties. If your contract has a provision for refunding fees based on performance, you can, but it would be an unusual addition to most contracts.
There are specific rules about AGM's and so cancelled meetings aren't great. Section 33(4) of The Strata Titles Act states that a Strata Corporation must hold at least one meeting every calendar year and no more than 15 months after the last such meeting. COVID-19 restrictions have presented challenges, but it hasn't made them impossible. At Horner Management, we use options such as online meetings, Zoom and
teleconference meetings to ensure AGM's are
held in a timely manner.
As a Corporation you can call your own meeting and your Strata Manager does not have to be in attendance. The Secretary, any two members of the Management Committee or a fifth of all unit owners can organise a lawful meeting.