The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA) and Regulations outlines the role of the Strata Committee and their authority to act on behalf of the Owners Corporation. The Strata Collective sees the development of the relationship with the Strata Committee and the Strata Manager as one of the key areas of their management.
Decisions of the Strata Committee
The Strata Committee may make any decision of the Strata Scheme except for decisions that the SSMA says it cannot make. The decisions that the Strata Committee cannot make are called “restricted matters”. This means that the Strata Committee can do anything that is otherwise within the power of the strata scheme, except for the following matters that can only be decided at a general meeting:
- Striking levies or special levies. In most instances, the Strata Committee should understand and agree (as a majority) to the proposed budget
- Changing the by-laws
- Major renovations including all bathroom renovations that impact the waterproofing
- Appointing a Building Manager
- Appointing a Strata Manager
- Borrowing money on behalf of the Strata Scheme
- Altering common property
- Agreeing to a License or Lease over common property
- Restricted Matters that the Strata Scheme at general meeting has determined may only be considered at a general meeting
- Any matters set out in the Act as requiring an ordinary resolution, a special resolution or a unanimous resolution
- Legal action costing over $13,000
- Payments to a member of the Strata Committee (honorarium)
The type of decisions that a Strata Committee would normally make include:
- Appointing contractors such as cleaners & gardeners
- Approval of minor renovations (those that don’t require a General Meeting approval)
- Accepting quotes for work to the building
- Accepting quotes for insurance
- Reviewing the budget and making recommendations to the owners for future Strata levies
- Review of the Financial Statements prepared by the Strata Manager
- Compliance matters such as by-law breaches and Office of Fair Trading mediation
- Reviewing requests from Owners and the suitability of each request
- Investment of surplus funds into Term Deposits
The easiest way to think about the main role of the Strata Committee is to work with the Strata Manager and Building Manager (if you have one) in order to make day to day decisions for the strata scheme. The main decisions for Strata Committee members are around contractors, compliance (by-laws and behaviour) and approvals (pets and minor renovations). The major decisions for your strata are made by all the owners at a General Meeting.
Strata Committee Meetings
There are different requirements for notice of Strata Committee Meetings depending on whether you are an owner in a large strata (over 100 lots excluding utility lots or parking) or a non-large strata (any other strata).
The notice periods for meetings are:
Large Strata Schemes (more than 100 lots excluding parking or utility lots) Written notice is required to be given to each lot owner and strata committee member; and the notice must be displayed on the noticeboard (if any) maintained by the owners corporation, at least 3 days before the meeting (excluding notice for postage which is 4 days).
Non-large Strata Schemes Display the notice on the noticeboard maintained by the owners corporation; or Give written notice to each lot owner and strata committee member, at least 3 days before the meeting.
Strata Committee Meeting Minutes
Within 7 days after the meeting, provide a copy of the minutes to:
- Each member of the strata committee.
- Each owner, in the case of a small scheme.
- Each owner who requests copy within 7 days of the meeting for a large scheme.
Being a Strata Committee member can be extremely rewarding and can lead to great benefit to both your strata community and the value of your investment.