I hear some terrible strata stories but this week I heard a corker.
I have been working with a Sydney-based strata community. The owners of this block of 22 townhouses have been pulling their hair out for several years with an unscrupulous strata manager who authorised supposed ‘maintenance’ on the property at inflated prices. Many of the maintenance jobs were not completed or poorly executed. Money was paid to family members of the strata manager for the maintenance works.
The community’s accounts were in a terrible state.
The community decided to self-manage their strata scheme one year ago with Our Body Corp and haven’t looked back.
When the strata manager was given notice to terminate the contract (all managed legally), the manager wouldn’t accept it and wouldn’t return the community’s money. Even worse, we learned this week that they siphoned off yet more money over the past year.
Trying to get the money back from this unethical strata manager has been difficult. It’s hard for the community to know whether to seek legal advice to retrieve the money. Is it worth the expense? Is it worth the fight?
They are a great bunch of owners in this property and I reckon they’ll pursue the fight or at the very least report this strata manager to the Office of Fair Trading in NSW.
This isn’t the first such story I’ve heard. Another similar story came from the North Queensland area. The strata manager stole the funds of all their properties then disappeared.
There are good strata managers out there – no question, but stories like this fill me with horror.