The Moray & Agnew Newcastle team had a landmark win yesterday for one of its clients in the NSW Court of Appeal. The decision is a seminal one for strata law in NSW, and as the Court observed, involves the determination of a question ‘potentially affecting the procedural rights of millions of lot owners.’

In a 2-to-1 decision, the Court of Appeal decided that the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal does have power to hear and determine a claim for damages suffered by a strata scheme lot owner as a result of an Owners Corporation’s breach of its statutory duty to maintain and repair common property.

This decision clarifies the longstanding uncertainty and contradictory authority dealing with the question of whether a lot owner can obtain damages for breach of this statutory duty provided by the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) in proceedings before the Tribunal, or whether that claim must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction.

A more comprehensive review of the decision in Vickery v The Owners – Strata Plan No. 80412 [2020] NSWCA 284 will follow as part of our upcoming Commercial Directions publication.