The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) and Strata Schemes Management Regulations 2016 (NSW) (the Regs) brought in some changes with regards to record keeping by the Owners Corporation. Specifically, this blog discusses what documents are required to be kept and for how long.
Section 180 of the Act requires the owners corporation must keep the following information for at least 7 years:
- copies of all correspondence received and sent by the owners corporation; and
- notices of owners corporation and strata committee meetings; and
- minutes of any strata committee or general meetings (recording details of all motions passed);
- any signed management agreement or building management agreement entered into by the owners corporation;
- records given to the owners corporation by the strata manager of the strata manager’s exercise of any function given to them;
- all details of notices given under the Act (or any other Act);
- orders under the Act (or other Acts), or by a public authority, local council or a court (see s179 of the Act)
- proxies delivered to the owners corporation (note the 7 years starts when the proxy expires);
- voting papers relation to motions for resolutions by the owners corporation, the election of the strata committee or the establishment of a strata renewal committees; and
- financial statements and other accounting records (being consecutively numbered receipts, a statement of withdrawals and deposits for any accounts, a cash record and a levy register) (see s96(4) of the Act & cl 22 of the Regs).
Electronic voting papers must be kept for 13 months if they relate to a secret ballot, the appointment of a strata renewal committee or other decisions connected with part 10 of the Act (see s180 of the Act and cl 41 of the Regs).
While most of the above records are only required to be kept for 7 years I personally would keep at the very least the meeting minutes and meeting notices in perpetuity. Why? If there is ever a question about whether an approval was given, the meeting minutes can be consulted. In the age of digital technology this should be relatively simple and the old excuse of storage costs for boxes of records goes out the window.
Previously, certain records were only required to be kept for 5 years and some strata managers and owners corporations destroyed these records after the 5 years. If your owners corporation did so then technically they would be in breach of the current Act’s requirements.