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Posted 24 October 2017
Category: Meetings and Records
There seems to be a common misconception that an owners corporation requires permission from its strata managing agent to access the strata roll and other records maintained for it by its agent. That access is often denied, frequently citing privacy law concerns. This is a misconception, because these are the owners corporation’s own records and it is entitled to them under various legal principles.
An inspection under Section 182 of the SSMA is not required. That is a procedure available to third parties, e.g. lot owners and is not required by an owners corporation, which is after all seeking access to its own documents, for which it requires no authority.
The privacy laws do not prevent an agent from disclosing, to its principal, information collected or held on behalf of its principal. In fact, the privacy legislation permits personal information to be collected, held, used or disclosed if required or authorised by law. The collection/access in issue is required by various provisions of the (“SSMA”). In other words, there is no sound basis for an agent to claim privacy concerns as a basis for withholding access.
Another common claim by agents, which is also incorrect, is that the relevant records are the agent’s own business records. Records prepared solely for the agent’s own use may be excluded, but the strata roll and other documents normally sought by an owners corporation do not fall into that category.
Accordingly, owners corporations should not feel frustrated by such situations, as there is a great deal which they can do if denied access to their records.
***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.