Strata developers, caretakers and owners – managing the people and avoiding the pitfalls
A thought-provoking walk through Strata development issues and related Strata legislation with Jason Carlson, Director at Grace Lawyers
In the 7th episode of the Let’s Talk Strata Podcast, Jason Carlson talks about bodies corporates – from inception to the early years. Jason examines the long-lasting impact that developers have on the future of a scheme, particularly on lot owners that inherit the scheme after the “original owner control period” ends. The discussion turns to the strong need to assess the fairness and reasonableness of long-term agreements such as the Caretaking/Letting Agreement, Body Corporate Management Agreement, and acknowledgment that those appointment s reflect key decisions that impact on the future financial and property management of the scheme.
Jason delves into the responsibilities and obligations that the Body Corporate Legislation imposes on developers, delivering salient tips and practical advice to lot owners on the following matters:
• Buying off the plan and accessing important information relating to the scheme;
• Evaluating the financial position of a new development before purchasing (including assessing 1st year contributions, and assessing more global long term costs relating to the purchase of the lot);
• Dealing with developers and keeping abreast of important matters relating to the body corporate (such as defects) once a lot is purchased;
• Caretaking agreements and challenging the reasonableness of its terms, including those relating to remuneration;
• Managing building defects with a proactive approach, and within statutory limitation periods;
• Utilising experts to conduct assessments prior to, and following, the purchase of a lot to mitigate issues down the track;
• Managing strata disputes and relationships to achieve a harmonious community.
In concluding that Strata litigation is an emotional business, Jason outlines the benefits and importance of third-party experts such as a mediator or lawyer to assist in resolving disputes and “walking the path to compromise”.