When it comes to strata living, the common seal isn’t one of those adorable animals that you might see at a zoo. Instead, it’s a type of rubber stamp that is used by the owners corporation of a strata scheme to officially agree to something.
It’s easiest to think of this stamp as a sort of legal signature for a strata scheme. Each strata’s common seal is unique, and comes in the following format:
“The Owners – Strata Plan XXXXXX”
In effect, the common seal thus acts as evidence that the owners corporation of a strata has legally agreed to something. As might be expected, this means that there are strict regulations guiding its proper use in NSW.
How the common seal should be used
The relevant legislation for the common seal’s correct usage can be found in Section 273 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. This section states that:
- The seal of an owners corporation with one or two owners must not be affixed to any instrument or document except in the presence of the owner/owners or the strata manager of the owners corporation; and
- The seal of an owners corporation with more than two owners must not be affixed to any document except in the presence of either the strata manager of the owners corporation, or otherwise two people who are owners of lots or members of the strata committee that the owners corporation determines for the purpose or, in the absence of a determination, the secretary of the owners corporation and any other member of the strata committee.
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The role of a strata manager
As the previous section shows, a strata manager can play a vital role in ensuring the correct application of the common seal. According to Section 273, the strata manager must attest to the fact and date of the seal’s affixing with his or her signature or, in case the strata manager is part of a company, by the signature of the president, chairperson or other principal officer of the corporation or by any member of staff of the corporation authorised to do so by the president, chairperson or other principal officer.
Having a strata management company that you can trust and rely on in these circumstances is clearly important. At Jamesons, we offer a range of high-quality strata management services, and have the experience necessary to make sure you use the common seal correctly.