I had the opportunity the other day to ask a group of buyer’s agents whether or not they would prefer anyone to purchase a property in the Opal Tower or Mascot Tower. Their response was “definitely not”.  

I then went on to remind them there are many properties in Sydney with similar defects.  I asked whether they undertake due diligence in relation to these issues in other apartment blocks.  The group said “no”.  Why the difference? Somebody within each of the buildings has approached the media.  

Once upon a time, you would have to go to a library to review old news articles.  Now, once an item is in the news, it can be looked up on the internet forever.  These buildings carry the mark of Cain and will forever be difficult to sell and be devalued.  

What duty did the media star owe to his fellow lot owners? As a lot owner, they owe no duty.  A lot owner can be completely selfish to their own needs in this regard to their fellow owners.

It is different however, for a member of the strata committee.  Section 37 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 places a duty on the Strata Committee members, which requires them to act with duty care and diligence.  Hence, if a committee member wants to become a media star, they can be held liable for any loss to their lot owners.   If you are a committee member who causes a devaluation, you may be personable liable.

The best policy is to shut your mouth.  It affects salability and the prices of properties and if you are a committee member, can even cause you to be personally responsible for any devaluation.