Strata Frequently Asked Questions FAQs | Jamesons Strata Managers
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Frequently Asked Questions on Strata

How can I pay my levies?

The various methods of paying your levies, listed on your levy notice are;

  1. Via BPAY: Biller Code and DEFT/Customer Reference No. can be used to make a Bpay payment from your cheque or savings account.
  2. DEFT – Pay over the internet by “DEFT Online” from your pre-registered bank account at www.deft.com.au
  3. DEFT Phonepay – Pay by telephone from your pre-registered bank account. Call 1300 301 090 or international +612 8232 7395
  4. Credit Cards – Credit card payments can be made over the internet. Log onto www.deft.com.au or call 1300 301 090 and follow the instructions. Please note Merchant Fees will be applicable if you use this option.
  5. Post – Pay by mailing a cheque with your payment slip to;
    DEFT Payment Systems
    GPO Box 4690
    SYDNEY NSW 2001
  6. In Person – Pay at any Australia Post branch using Cash, Cheque or EFTPOS. Please note an Australia Post DEFT fee of $2.75 will be incurred.

** A QR code is also provided on your levy notice for any mobile banking app transactions.

How do I get a new key for my building??

Most building have a different policy for the collection of keys.

If you are an OWNER: You should contact your Strata Manager to request a key. There will be a fee applicable for the key.They will advise if the fee is refundable or not and what the conditions are for same.

If you are a TENANT: You should contact your agent and ask them to request a key on your behalf. After payment has been received, keys can be posted or collected from our offices.

To request a key head over to the contact us section now.

My levies are too high. Who is setting these amounts?

The amount of you pay for your levies is determined by the owners (including you) at your Annual General Meeting. The due date of each levy is shown on the front of the notice.

For this reason it is important that you attend meetings to ensure that you can have your say when it comes to the amount of money you will be paying through your levies.

Remember it is not the Strata Manager that decides how much your levies are – that’s a decision made by you and all the other owners who attend the Annual General Meeting.

Also note that special levies can be created if agreed by all the owners at the Annual General Meeting or at a special General Meeting called an Extraordinary General Meeting. These levies are usually created to pay for one off special works like painting the building or major repairs.

How do I join the strata committee (formely called the Executive Committee)

A nomination form will be attached to your Annual General Meeting papers that you can complete and send to your strata manager before the Annual General Meeting to announce your intention to nominate for the committee. Alternatively you can nominate at the meeting, assuming you comply with all of the requirements below.

  • An unfinancial lot owner is ineligible for election to the Committee. (meaning your levies need to be up to date before the meeting).
  • An owner may only nominate one person for the Committee (either a self-nomination or of another person).
  • Only 1 co-owner of the same lot may be elected to the Committee. A co-owner may nominate their other co-owner or be nominated by a sole lot owner who is not a candidate for the Committee.
  • Building managers, persons acting as Letting Agents, and a person with an undisclosed connection to the original owner (unless disclosed), are ineligible for election to the Strata Committee.

An Owners Corporation must elect a Strata Committee. Members of a Strata Committee are elected at each Annual General Meeting. A large strata scheme must consist of at least 3 members Maximum number of a Committee is 9.

Do owners need to be present to declare a quorum at meetings?

Annual General Meeting & Extraordinary General Meeting – A quorum must be present for each motion to be discussed and resolved. This is 25% or more of persons entitled to vote represented either personally (including by proxy), or by unit entitlement.
In the event that the number results in a number that is less than 2 persons, then the number for a quorum is determined as 2.
If there is no quorum after half an hour of the time set down for the meeting to commence, the Chairperson may either adjourn the meeting for at least 7 days or declare those persons present constitute a quorum and proceed to consider the motions for discussion on the agenda.

Strata Committee Meeting – if there are 2 or more members on the Strata Committee, a quorum is at least one-half of the members.

Quorums for meetings of the Strata committee are to be calculated on the basis of the number of members last determined by the owners corporation to be elected to the Strata committee.

What items are excluded for repairs by the owners corporation?

Under the legislation, there are a number of items that are excluded by the Owners Corporation that include:

  • Paints, varnishes, stains & similar treatments
  • Carpets & underlay
  • Wallpaper, fabric or similar soft wall and ceiling finishes.
  • Coverings of vinyl, cork or similar material which are not fixed with an adhesive to the floor
  • Curtains & blinds within the lot
  • Light fittings or other electrical appliances which are not built into the lot and which can be removed without interference to the electrical wiring.

Water has been leaking through my ceiling from the unit above?

The ceiling is generally considered common property and the Owners Corporation’s responsibility to repair. The lot owner is responsible however for the paintwork and carpet damage, irrespective of cause, except when it is damaged by the Owners Corporation while carrying out work to the common property.

The Owners Corporation must insure the building and keep the building insured under a damage policy with an approved insurer under the Strata Schemes Management Act.

The ‘building’ includes:

Owner’s improvements and owner’s fixtures forming part of the building other than paint, wallpaper & temporary wall, floor & ceiling coverings.

The following items are excluded from the definition of “building” and so are not required to be insured by the Owners Corporation:

  1. Paints, varnishes, stains & similar treatments
  2. Carpets & underlay
  3. Wallpaper, fabric or similar soft wall and ceiling finishes.
  4. Coverings of vinyl, cork or similar material which are not fixed with an adhesive to the floor.
  5. Curtains & blinds within the lot
  6. Light fittings or other electrical appliances which are not built into the lot and which can be removed without interference to the electrical wiring.
  7. It is generally recommended that Owners & Occupiers should each obtain their own contents insurance to cover personal property owned by each of them, ie carpet, paint etc. In this case, repairs to the paint damage and carpet within your lot are your responsibility and you should make a claim under your own home contents insurance policy, if you have one.

How to report a burst water pipe to strata

If water suddenly starts running out of a wall, ceiling or floor it obviously should not be ignored and you should contact your strata manager immediately as well as take the following steps:

If water is coming through the ceiling please check with the upstairs neighbour to ensure that their dishwasher, washing machine or internal hot water tank is not leaking. Please also note that if the problem does originate in the upstairs unit, with one of those appliances, then it is the individual resident’s responsibility to rectify at their own cost.

If the problem appears to be a burst pipe within a wall or floor, attempt to find the main stop-valve for your unit and turn it off. The shut off is normally in a kitchen cabinet, in the laundry or under the laundry tub. This may prevent further water flow damaging your carpet and personal effects.

I want to renovate my unit?

  • The Strata Schemes Management Act, 2015 has set new guidelines for Owners who would like to renovate their lot. The new Act has attempted to remove some of the past ambiguities around renovations and in doing so has created three renovation categories, each with varying requirements and approval processes. These categories are defined as follows:
    1. Cosmetic works by owners (Section 109)
    2. Minor Renovations by owners (Section 110)
    3. Major Renovations (Work by owners of lots affecting common property) (Section 111)
    4. It is important to seek and obtain the approval of the Owners Corporation or Strata Committee (if it is required) before commencing any work. If you don’t, you could be liable to pay penalties as well as having to rectify the work or any damage to common property, so the first thing you need to do is contact your strata manager and provide them with your scope of works. From there the strata manger can give you guidance on the correct procedure for your strata scheme.

    What is a special levy & how is one created?

    A Special Levy is often raised when there aren’t sufficient funds in either the Administrative Fund or the Capital Works Fund to pay for an expense/project that has not been budgeted for.

    Special levies may also need to be raised when there is a deficit of funds in the Administrative fund.

    If the owners corporation is subsequently faced with expenses it cannot at once meet from either fund, it must levy on each owner a contribution (ie Special Levy), which is to be determined at a general meeting of the owners corporation, in order to meet the expenses.

    Examples of capital expenditure that a building may need to raise a special levy for could be painting of the common property, fire safety compliance, upgrading the balustrades of the building etc.

    A special levy can only be raised at a general meeting of the Owners Corporation by an ordinary resolution (ie simple majority of owners which are entitled to vote in favour of the motion, eg over 50%) and as per the new legislation these amounts can be raised to either the Administrative fund or the Capital Works Fund (formerly called the Sinking Fund).