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There are some responsibilities that owners have when leasing their property which agents may have the authority to do on behalf of the owners as their managing agent.
- When commencing a tenancy lease you must notify the Strata Managing Agent or Secretary of the Owners Corporation within 14 days, the name of the tenant, the date the tenancy agreement commenced and details of the property manager acting on behalf of the owner.
- The tenant must be provided with a copy of the by-laws or management statement within 7 days of the tenant renting the lot so they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Smoke Alarms must be installed and maintained in lots. Installation of smoke alarms within lots may be installed without having to obtain approval of the owner’s corporation. Further information of owners responsibilities in relation to smoke alarms as landlords may be found under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. Access to lots must be made available to the owners corporation for carrying out Fire Safety Inspections.
- Owners of lots are responsible for the cost of repairs within their lot and any added by-laws that state the owners are responsible. The owners corporation must repair and pay the cost to common property. However, it is not always clear what is common property or what is the individual lot. The basic rule is that everything inside the airspace of the unit, including all internal walls, fixtures, carpet and paint on the walls is usually the lot and therefore the responsibility of the lot owner. Everything outside that airspace including walls, windows, doors, and tiles fixed to the floor and boundary walls is usually common property and therefore the responsibility of the owners corporation. For clarification you may contact the Land and Property Information NSW or visit the Office of Fair Trading Website to see Who is Responsible for What booklet. Any common property repairs to be reported to the Strata Managing Agent as soon as possible or to the Secretary.
- It is highly recommended that owners have contents insurance cover or landlords insurance. The Owners Corporation insurance covers the structure of the building and any fixtures inside the lots such as sinks, baths, shower trays. Contents insurance cover will need to cover such items as curtains, carpets, paint on walls and ceilings, additions to common property by the owners. Owners can suffer major loss if they do not have contents insurance in the event of a fire or water damage.
- Work Health and Safety concerns are the responsibility of everyone and any hazards to be reported to appropriate persons concerned for the elimination and or control of hazards.
- Tenants living in schemes more than one storey high should be made aware of the dangers of children falling over balconies and out of windows. For further information and to download a poster visit www.kidsafensw.org.
- Breaches of by-laws are common in tenanted strata schemes such as parking, keeping of animals, garbage disposal, noise. Tenants should be selected carefully for appropriateness to a scheme and to by-laws which may apply.
Once a property has been listed for sale Strata Small Scheme Solutions often receive calls from Real Estate Sales Team requesting information regarding levies and other information about the owners corporation.
It is important to know that a prospective buyer buying into a strata, community or neighbourhood scheme should get professional advice about the complexities involved. It is essential that buyers look at the records of the owners corporation or association and know as much as they can about the scheme. This is generally arranged by their solicitors or specialists in inspection of records.
They should consider how much it may cost and whether there are signs that money may need to be spent soon. Strata Managing Agents are not able to pass on this information however on behalf of the owners corporation must make these records available:
- the strata roll (shows: who owns each unit, mortgagees and others who have an interest in lots, general information about the strata scheme, the name of the managing agent, insurance details, the by-laws and the unit entitlements for the scheme and each lot)
- general records, such as notices served about disputes or required by legislation, orders, minutes of meetings, accounting records, financial statements, correspondence received and sent, notices of meetings, details of proxies, voting papers
- plans, specifications, certificates, diagrams and other documents if supplied by the original builder at the first annual general meeting
- the certificate of title for the common property
- the last financial statements
- current insurance policies and the receipt for the last premium paid
- other records held by the owners corporation, and
- records or books of account kept by a strata managing agent.
Strata Small Scheme Solutions are willing to assist with requests for inspections. Requests must be in writing with the prescribed fee as per the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. Some schemes have restrictions on where advertising signs may be erected and for how long. You should check with the owner of the lot and request permission from the strata committee if you require to display a sign on common property. Requests to our office may be made through this website.