It happens far too often, an owner decides to lease their property, but fails to notify the owners corporation of their new tenant. While it may not seem like a vital step for the owner or their leasing agent, it violates the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) and can be extremely dangerous during an emergency.
It is imperative that strata managers are able to contact all of the residents in the strata block, especially when things go wrong. While the responsibility to ensure a tenant is on the strata roll doesn’t fall on the strata manager, it is the strata manager who is left exposed in a crisis.
Unfortunately, it’s a scenario played out far too often, and is one which Christine Nesbit, from Albury Wodonga Real Estate can relate to.
Late one Friday afternoon, she was contacted by the gas authority, who notified her of a leak in the yard of one of her units.
“Many of the tenants were still at work, meaning I was unable to go door to door to notify them,” said Christine.
When she went to print off the strata roll, Nesbit discovered many of the listed residents had moved on, leaving her unable to contact the current tenants and warn them of the danger.
“It was frustrating, it is a real example of why owners and leasing agents need to keep strata managers fully informed.”
Legally, the landlord is responsible for completing a tenancy notice within 14 days after the commencement of a new lease. A property manager may do this on behalf of the landlord. Failure to comply, is in breach of section 258 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) which could result in a fine of $110 (for an individual) or $220 (for a corporation). Worse still, it could prevent tenants from being properly notified of an emergency, within their own home.
Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) – Section 258:
(1) If a lot is leased, the lessor must give notice of the lease, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the commencement of the lease.
(2) If a lot is subleased, the sub-lessor must give notice of the sublease, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the commencement of the sublease.
(3) If a lease or sublease of a lot is assigned, the assignor must give notice of the assignment, in accordance with this section, to the owners corporation not later than 14 days after the execution of the assignment.
(4) The notice must be in writing and specify:
(a) the name of the tenant and an address for service of the tenant, and
(b) the date of commencement or assignment of the lease or sublease, as the case requires, and
(c) the name of any agent acting for the owner in respect of the lease or sublease.
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