Jamaican News

Commission of Strata Corporations to Host Public Forum

The Commission of Strata Corporations (CSC) will host a public forum to address a range of issues.

The forum will be held on Thursday, April 13, at the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica Headquarters, 2 Waterloo Road, starting at 5:30 p.m.

It is open to all persons, in particular executive committees of strata corporations, property owners or persons interested in owning property.

Inspectorate Manager of the Commission of Strata Corporations, Ainsworth Norton, told JIS News that despite the Commission’s best efforts, compliance in the submission of the annual returns and the payment of annual fees remains low.

“We have recognised that a lot of them are not aware of what the requirements are. We are not getting the kind of returns we expect. I believe compliance is less than 30 per cent in terms of strata corporations that are filing returns from 2011 through to now,” he noted.

Annual returns are essentially documentation relating to the management of a corporation, including minutes of meetings and audited or properly kept accounting records.

The law mandates corporations to pay 0.4 per cent of the unimproved value of the land over to the Commission as an annual fee to offset the cost of services offered by the Commission.

Chief Executive Officer of the Commission of Strata Corporations, Sandra Watson, told JIS News that the objective of the forum is to address the lack of knowledge or information that might exist about what is expected from strata managers, and how the Commission is able to assist corporations to be better managed.

“We came to realise that owners in strata corporations are unaware of their rights and responsibilities. Executive committees also are unaware of their rights and responsibilities to owners. Once we realised the deficiency in information, we decided to put on these fora to point out what is required from the Commission to see that corporations are operating efficiently,” she said.

Additionally, she said the Commission has repeatedly cited common issues, such as the failure to hold annual general meetings, failure to pay or enforce payment of maintenance fees to the corporation, failure to insure, and a range of breaches of the by-laws.

“We need to let the corporations understand that under the new law, they have a lot of power to get people to pay, so part of the reason for the fora is to get them to understand that they do have these powers… .Units can be rented if they are locked up, or sold if proprietors don’t pay,” she said.

A strata corporation is a building or collection of buildings so registered, where there is individual ownership of a ‘unit’ as well as shared ownership of common areas, such as external walls, walkways and recreational areas.

An agreed monthly fee is usually collected to maintain these common areas.

Article by: O Rodger Hutchinson
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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