By Chris Irons

You seek them there, you seek them over there – but the Ghost is nowhere to be found! Yes, their name is on the strata roll and they get levy notices, yet the Ghost remains elusive, unseen by the naked eye as they float through the world of strata issues and obligations.

Catch cry: ah, there is none – silence is the calling card of the Ghost.

Red Flags: you will have a Ghost on your hand if you see, hear or experience the following red flags:

  • A recurring email bounce-back; or
  • A stream of ‘return to sender’ materials; or
  • Mutterings of ‘Who’s that?’ when the Ghost’s name is mentioned at a strata meeting.  

The Good: no news is good news! The Ghost’s ethereal presence means that the committee and strata manager will not have to worry to much, if at all, about the Ghost being a problem.

The Bad: being a Ghost does not automatically mean the Ghost does not fulfil its strata obligations, although we think the two are linked. Non-payment of levies, non-return of voting papers, non-attendance at meeting and no reply to correspondence are sometimes part and parcel of the Ghost’s modus operandi and all of these things can make life at the scheme very difficult to manage.

Making the Ghost Work For the Scheme: over time, the Ghost can actually become oddly reassuring and consistent for the scheme: you can start to count on their non-participation, which is highly useful if you are counting numbers for a particular motion to pass or not pass.

What Can We Do When It Becomes a Problem? Time to start getting forensic and investigative. The Ghost may have a presence in places other than the strata scheme, for example, the electoral roll, or a social media presence. These might be locations in which you can engage with the Ghost, if you need to, about a pressing strata matter.

Fun Fact: be careful what you wish for! Tempting as it is to want to have full engagement and participation, the Ghost can, we think, quickly morph into another strata personality – and not a good one at that – if they start to materialise into human form.

Think You May Be a Ghost? No one is forcing you to run for committee or spend countless voluntary hours on strata business. That said, you do have minimum obligations by law and don’t forget, you probably have a significant financial investment attached to the scheme – and sometimes, that means having to engage, in order to protect it.

Can Strata Solve Assist? Sure can! Drop us a line to see how we can assist with this and related strata issues.

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