An owner is requesting contact information for all owners. Must the strata corporation provide this information? What about privacy legislation?
The Strata Property Act requires the strata corporation to make available a list of names and addresses of owners, if requested by an owner or a person authorized in writing by an owner. The Personal Information Protection Act requires an organization, including a strata corporation, to comply with all legislation that requires disclosure of personal information. The Strata Property Act does not require the disclosure of owners’ phone numbers. However, a strata corporation is required to maintain a record of either the council members’ phone numbers or some other method by which the council members may be contacted on short notice.
As a property manager, we frequently receive phone calls from strata owners requesting information about themselves, for example, what is their outstanding balance for their strata fees. Is this "Personal Information" and, if so, to what length do property management companies need to go in order to ensure that we are speaking to that individual?
This is a request for personal information. If one applies the Personal Information Protection Act strictly you would require them to make the request in writing. However, in this instance that is not practical, nor always reasonable. Therefore, where a request for personal information is simple and straightforward, it should be answered in a simple and straightforward manner. While, the identity of the caller poses a problem from a security perspective, you must be guided by what is reasonable in the circumstances. The more sensitive and the more extensive the request, the more care that should be taken to protect the information. If there is a concern about the identity of the caller, property management staff can explain that the request is best put in writing or explain they will look into the issue and ask for a phone number to call them back. At least, in this way, they may check the call back number against information that may already be on file.