Emil Ford Lawyers

The Tale of the Missing Monk and the Owners Corporation


An Owners Corporation had to wait almost 20 years to take decisive action against a man who became a monk and fled the country years ago. The Owners Corporation was able to sell the monk’s unit without him knowing, after getting consent from the NSW Supreme Court.

The owner purchased a Darlinghurst unit in 1989 for $75,000. Soon after, he left Australia and gave up all of his earthly possessions to become a monk in Malaysia. From 1989 until now, he amassed strata levies of over $280,000 and the Owners Corporations spent $60,000 trying to find him.

The only contact details that Owners Corporation had was an email address. They sent a number of emails to him, but all of these went unanswered. The Owners Corporation also engaged the services of an agent to find him in Malaysia, but the agent disappeared with their money before he finished the job.

The Owners Corporation then made an application to the NSW Supreme Court asking them to sell the unit on the owner’s behalf. The court agreed after considering the efforts that the Owners Corporation had gone to to contact the owner. The unit recently sold for $550,000, and once the strata levies and legal fees are paid, the proceeds will be held by the NSW Supreme Court until the monk decides to turn up and claim the balance.

If your Owners Corporation is in a similar position, contact or to learn the steps you would need to take to locate the owner before commencing expensive court proceedings. 

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580 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: +61 2 9267 9800
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