In the case of Abraham v The Owners Strata Plan No. 61419  NSWCATCD 7, Ms Abraham filed an application alleging that some documents were not made available to her following a request to inspect the records of the scheme and sought an order that these documents be produced. The Owners Corporation alleged that they had provided the information requested, however at the hearing they accepted that some records may not have been produced.
Section 182 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the Act) provides that an owner may make a request to inspect the records of the strata scheme, and section 188 of the Act provides that the Tribunal has the power to order that an Owners Corporation provide information to the person if satisfied that the person is entitled to the information, and that it has been wrongfully withheld.
Ms Abraham requested various records “having regard to the service provider’s obligations under annexure B of the amended service agreement/heads of agreement and in particular in accordance with clause 3.4 of annexure B” including various registers and the location of all first aid kits.
The Tribunal held that the Owners Corporation had an obligation to make available for inspection any records “under the care and control of” the Owners Corporation”, and this would include any registers which the strata manager is required to maintain, as these are records which, under the service agreement, the Owners Corporation can require the manager to produce. Addressing each one:
- Preventative maintenance and repairs and maintenance records – the Tribunal held that the records which are required by the service agreement to be kept by the building manager and made available to the Owners Corporation must be made available upon request for inspection by an owner.
- Asbestos record – the Tribunal was satisfied this report had been produced to Ms Abraham.
- Monthly maintenance report – the Tribunal ordered that this report be produced.
- Hazardous goods register – the Tribunal ordered that this register be produced.
- Register of residual current devices (or earth prevention devices) – the Tribunal ordered that this register be produced.
- Grease trap waste register – as this register did not exist, the Tribunal could not order that it be produced.
- Evacuation plans and the location of all first aid kits – if these documents exist, they must be produced.
In addition, records were being transferred to the Mybos system to record and manage maintenance and repair issues. The Mybos records are under the care and control of the Owners Corporation and access should be provided.
This case demonstrates that owners making a request for inspection of records under section 182 of the Act are entitled to inspect a fairly large variety of documents. As such, an Owners Corporation should consider each request carefully.
This is general information and should not be considered to be legal advice. You should obtain legal advice specific to your individual situation.
Authors: Jasmin H.Singh and Allison Benson