We recently read in the Gold Coast Bulletin about a Gold Coast scheme (unrelated to SSKB) that has had an administrator appointed to administer the scheme at the committee level due to financial malpractice, and a strata issue that escalated.
We know that when living in a strata scheme disputes can occasionally occur. How the issue is approached and resolved is crucial to the functioning of your scheme.
If any disputes arise in your strata scheme, we strongly recommended that you attempt to resolve them before engaging expensive lawyers. SSKB promotes harmonious strata communities and works in your community’s favour to avoid issues escalating.
The Commissioner found evidence that the Body Corporate of the Gold Coast scheme had been approving payments that were the responsibility of individual owners.
In total, 8 invoices were mis-approved payments totalling $3,905. Although paying for an invoice that is the responsibility of another individual is unfair, the legal fees involved with the case probably would have exceeded the $3,905 in mis-approved payments.
The invoices include plumbing and gas for roof flashing repairs on multiple lots, roof inspection and gutter cleaning, removal of a garden bed from outside a lot and arborist and engineer reports.
Unfortunately, this was not the first instance that the Commissioner for the Body Corporate and Community Management’s office had to resolve a disagreement at the scheme. In the past 12 months, 11 dispute resolution applications have been submitted in relation to the scheme.
The Body Corporate was deemed dysfunctional and found to be acting contrary to law. The administrator was appointed because the situation became untenable for owners. The administrator will be in place for at least 12 months and can be extended if necessary.
When you are a client of SSKB you get access to the SSKB Invoice Hub. The Invoice Hub is an online approval system that allows committees access to pending invoices 24 hours a day. It puts in place a system where multiple committee members need to approve a payment before it is made. The invoice hub has been developed to facilitate good governance and transparency. It allows you to view scanned invoices, view details on where the invoice has been coded in your general ledger and lets you view the complete history as well as any comments made on any invoices previously approved or rejected.
If the Gold Coast scheme had access to this approval system, and had delegated 2 committee members to approve payments, the 8 mis-approved payments could have been avoided as well as the costly legal fees involved to rectify the situation.
If you are an owner in a strata scheme and are experiencing any concerns within your community, contact your community manager. They can assist the committee to enforce by-laws and minimise the risk of any disputes escalating. The SSKB Community Managers are constantly receiving training and up-skilling. This ensures they are proficient across all areas of strata management .
At SSKB we have process and systems in place to allow your scheme to function with ease and minimise the risk of and malpractice occurring. We want every scheme to be StrataSure and use industry leading software to strive to be the best in our field. We implement efficiencies without compromising service, quality, accuracy and compliance. At SSKB we seek to achieve this by constantly reviewing, updating and improving strategies, systems and quality process to ensure your scheme functions with ease and to the benefit of all owners.
We engage in and own a position of ‘every detail matters’. Through our systems and processes we minimise the risk of any disputes and malpractice occurring in your strata scheme. We promote positive communities and can assist with any disputes that may occur.
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