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Alert — Have you given enough notice? The law has changed

Posted 04 December 2018

Category: Strata

Recent changes to the laws relating to how documents must be served and when they are taken to have been served, indicate that owners corporations and their strata committees and strata managing agents need to urgently review their records relating to current activity, to ensure that where notices are required, they have given sufficient notice.

These have become problematic because:

  • Australia Post has responded to changing customer usage patterns by introducing a two-tier postage system, with expected delivery within 1 – 4 business days for priority letters and 2 – 6 business days for regular letters. Our experience is that articles frequently arrive outside these estimated time frames.
  • Section 76 of the Interpretation Act 1987 (“IA”) sets out the time frame within which a document sent by post will be deemed served. However, as from 28 November 2018, this has been amended to deem service within Australia or an external territory “to have been effected on the seventh working day after the letter was posted”. In light of Section 30 of the IA, this seems to cover articles sent after 21 November 2018, as that would be the last day on which  an article could be sent under the previous “fourth business day” rule.

Owners corporations and their strata committees and strata managing agents need to consider the following:

  • For notices sent after 21 November 2018, did we give enough notice or do we need to reissue the notice and if it concerns a meeting, reschedule the meeting?
  • Moving forward, should we adopt other means of serving documents, e.g. greater use of email or notice boards?

***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.

Bannermans Lawyers

Published 04 December 2018