Muellers Wins First Cladding Case in NSW!

In a major development for the strata industry, NCAT has recently held that Biowood cladding installed externally on a Sydney building is combustible and must be removed as it is a major building defect.

There are a number of multi-storey buildings in NSW with Biowood panels that are combustible and pose a risk of fire spreading from one part of these buildings to another.

Faiyaaz Shafiq, Senior Lawyer, said, “it is now up to owners corporations and strata managers to ensure these panels are removed and lives are not put in danger.”

Owners corporations of buildings which have Biowood cladding require urgent assessment of the risks involved and their rights in light of this new decision.

For more information… Biowood Cladding NCAT Rules Combustible and also refer to media coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and

For NSW strata legal or levy collection advice please contact us here or call 02 9562 1266, we’re happy to assist.

Be Warned – Don’t Delay Experts’ Reports

The Supreme Court has recently delivered a very firm warning to all owners corporations and litigants that the Court will not easily grant a litigant permission to use an expert’s report that is prepared very late in the case.

The Court will not assist an owners corporation if it has failed to take steps quickly and efficiently in preparing its experts’ report for use as evidence in a building defect case brought against a builder or developer under the Home Building Act.

In a recent case involving AV Jennings the Supreme Court refused to grant permission for an owners corporation to rely on an expert’s report that was prepared very late in the day Building Defects Experts Reports Case.

For NSW levy collection or strata legal advice please contact us here or call 02 9562 1266, we’re happy to assist.


Did You Know the Sheriff Can Play an Important Role?

Did you know that the Sheriff can play an important role in the recovery of overdue strata levies?

How, you ask?

1. The Sheriff can be a very important ally when an owner fails to pay their strata levies, ignores repeated requests for payment and all else fails. So let’s bring in the Sheriff! Here’s how:

A Sheriff may act on a writ that we have arranged for the court to issue. Firstly, the Sheriff will attempt contact with the debtor via phone or written correspondence. If there’s no response the Sheriff will attend the debtor’s property and seize assets to be sold at auction to cover the value of the levy collection debt.

Sheriffs have been known to seize cars, bikes and household goods etc. This is called a ‘Sheriffs sale’ – it’s important to note that sometimes these can take time.

On a positive note, often just the Sheriff turning up on the debtor’s doorstep will action them into paying their strata levies.

2. Also, upon obtaining a Supreme Court Order for possession of a property, the Sheriff can then take possession of the property so it can be sold to pay the strata levy debt.

3. Sheriffs can also assist when the debtor has ignored an examination order to attend the court to explain his or her financial circumstances, an arrest warrant can be issued and the Sheriff can then arrest the debtor and take them to the court to be examined.

This can assist you in ascertaining the debtor’s financial circumstances and obtaining employment information so you can take further action and garnishee wages for payment of the outstanding strata levies.

So, how can you help?
Phone Numbers

Did you know that all Sheriff matters initially now go to the COU? From here, the Sheriff will attempt to make contact with the debtor via written correspondence and phone calls.

So, if you’re able to provide the debtor’s phone numbers at this point the Sheriff will more than often get a much better result.

Licence Plate Numbers

If the Sheriff has had no luck when phoning the person they will visit their premises during business hours and if the person isn’t available (as most people aren’t during these hours) they will leave a business card requesting them to call the Sheriff’s office.  Clearly, this is often ignored by the owner who is choosing not to pay their outstanding strata levies.

Again, if you can provide us with the licence plate number of the car the owner drives there is a strong chance that this will help us (and the Sheriff) locate the debtor quicker and recover the outstanding strata levies.

So, the Sheriff can be very effective in being that extra length of the stick to ‘poke the bear’ – and yes, some strata levy debtors will respond to the Sheriff even though they’ve already ignored repeated requests for payment of overdue levies.

Oh, and did you know…

Some interesting historical information on what was once part of a Sheriff’s role in NSW. They were once responsible for:

  • Carrying out death sentences in criminal cases
  • Discharging the duties of the Coroner
  • Running the gaols
  • Executing all the judgments, decrees and orders of the Supreme Court

For NSW strata legal or levy collection advice please contact us here or call 02 9562 1266, we’re happy to assist.

We LOVE those Garnishee Orders!

Why do we love them so much?

Because Garnishee Orders are the most effective way to recover outstanding levies.

So, what is a Garnishee Order?

  • A Garnishee Order is an order from the Court ordering someone else to pay us money on behalf of the debtor
  • They are issued against someone who we know is holding money for the debtor or owes money to the debtor. We can garnishee:
  • A bank account if we know the details of their bank account
  • Their wages if we know where they work
  • Rent from their investment unit (not necessarily the unit in levy arrears)

When can we issue a Garnishee Order?

  • Garnishee Orders can ONLY be issued after we have obtained Judgment – they are one of the ways we can enforce a Judgment and are the BEST option available

How can you help?

To help us recover your outstanding levies faster, when you give us instructions to collect overdue levies, if known, always provide the following details about the debtor:

  • Their bank account details
  • Their employment details
  • Details of any of their investment properties

So next time you brief JS Mueller & Co on a levy recovery matter don’t forget to provide us with those extra little details.

Click here for the full details of the new Levy Collection New Laws

For strata legal or levy collection advice please contact us here or call 02 9562 1266, we’re happy to assist.