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Many lot owners are unaware that not being financial i.e. not having their levies paid up to date does not only prevent their vote counting at an owners corporation’s general meeting or being permitted to requisition an extraordinary general meeting, but it can also be a legal impediment to the success of a lot owner’s application for Adjudicator’s orders. 

Tucked away within section 163(4)(d) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (“SSMA”) is a provision which gives an Adjudicator a “discretion” to dismiss an application by a lot owner for an Adjudicator’s order if the applicant has not paid all contributions levied and payable in relation to the lot under the SSMA. In other words, if you are an unfinancial lot owner bringing an application for Adjudicator’s orders, an Adjudicator may dismiss your application. 

Section 163(4)(d) of the SSMA states:

“Without limiting the generality of subsection (3), an Adjudicator may, by order, dismiss an application for an order under this Part if:

(a) the Adjudicator believes that the application is frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance, or

(b) the Adjudicator believes that a decision in favour of the applicant is not within the jurisdiction of the Adjudicator, or

(c) the Adjudicator believes that the applicant has unreasonably delayed the provision of information required by the Adjudicator, or

(d) in the case of an application made by an owner of a lot in the strata scheme concerned, the applicant has not paid all contributions levied and payable in relation to the lot under this Act.

In view of the above, it is highly recommended that lot owners who intend to bring an Adjudication Application ensure that their levies are paid up to date so as to avoid the operation of the above section of the Act. 

This article has been prepared by Michael Pobi who is a Strata Lawyer in Sydney.

The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.