Proprietors of strata corporations are being urged to file their annual returns with the Commission of Strata Corporations (CSC) in order to avoid delinquency.
Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, the CSC’s Inspectorate Manager, Ainsworth Norton, said that there has been a worrying trend of non-compliance in the filing of the documents.
He said that only 23 per cent of strata corporations have filed annual returns over the last four financial years from 2013/14 to 2016/17.
He said the low compliance rate “is a big problem, because it does not afford us the ability to deal with the issues that are prevalent within strata corporations”.
The Registration (Strata Titles) (Amendment) Act, Section 4 (7) obligates strata corporations to file annual returns with the CSC.
Mr. Norton said that while the Act has been in place since 1969, the public remains generally unware of its provisions, more so the amendments of 2009.
He said the CSC is taking steps to educate individuals on how best they can fulfil their obligations under the Act.
“We have produced several booklets and brochures for the public. They are at the office of the CSC, financial institutions and the National Housing Trust (NHT),” he indicated, noting that training and seminars are also offered on how to file annual returns.
The filing of annual returns is necessary to ensure that strata corporations meet their statutory obligations in accordance with the Act; that the strata keep proper books of accounts; and that certain policies and procedures are in place and adhered to.
It also guarantees the CSC’s assistance to the corporations, in terms of strata operations, and to provide third-party updates to investors on the status of strata corporations.
Annual returns are to be filed within 120 days of the end of the financial year, along with a fee of $1,000.
They must include audited financial statements or those prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; proof of insurance or of a unanimous resolution not to insure the property; along with completed forms that are available on the CSC website at csc.gov.jm.
The documents must be signed by the chairman and another executive committee member of the respective strata corporation.
In 2010, 993 strata corporations were registered with the Commission and 1,761 at the end of 2016. This represents an increase of 77 per cent.
By Shari-Ann Palmer