Changing Strata Management
Are you a member of a strata committee that dissatisfied with your current strata manager? You can propose that you change your strata management. A good strata manager is supposed to communicate with the committee, owners and tenants, deal with maintenance issues and enforce the rules set by the strata committee. If they are falling short of your expectations, below are simple steps you can follow when you are changing strata management companies.
1. Make the proposal and check the existing agreement:
The first step to change strata management in Sydney is to make a proposal to that effect. In this document you can put down the reasons why you feel that the strata manager should be changed. Do your research on what their roles are supposed to be and how you feel they aren’t meeting expectations.
Check the existing agreement for strata titles, owner’s corporation legislation and any rules that are relevant to changing strata management. Also check for the notice requirement period and if there are any procedures that need to be followed prior to changing strata management.
2. Get strata committee agreement and find new management:
Call a meeting and discuss the possible replacement of the current strata manager. The voting regulations and quorum must be met, and any regulations must be followed for the resolution to be passed. The resolution must be recorded in the minutes. You can then start your due diligence for the new strata manager.
A subcommittee can be set up that is responsible for this task. They must be given enough time to conduct their research, get quotes and conduct meetings with all the candidates. They can present their findings and give recommendations at another meeting. This gives other committee members a chance to also provide input.
3. Call a General Meeting and confirm the change:
In accordance with the Strata Act, you will need to hold a general meeting so that the new management can be approved by majority. When preparing to hold the general meeting provide the owners with as much information as possible. Give the owners enough time to understand the reasons for changing strata management.
As with the committee meeting, due process must be followed for the resolution to be binding. If proper procedure is not followed, then you may face challenges at a later stage. Documenting the meeting and any resolutions must be included in the minutes of the meeting. Once a majority approval is received, the strata committee can prepare for the transition period.
4. Hand over to the new strata management team:
Engage the new strata manager and ensure that they have all the relevant records and have been received from the previous strata manager. You will need to hold a general meeting with the new strata manager to discuss rules, tasks, reporting requirements and other details.
The Role Of A Body Corporate Manager
What is a Strata Manager and what roles do they play? This is a question that owners corporation and strata committee members ask themselves. Strata managers are specialised professionals that are contracted to take on the functions of the strata committee. They have many tasks assigned to them and are required to report to the strata committee on regular basis. Below is a list of the roles of a strata manager.
1. Make sure all legal requirements are met:
A strata manager ensures all statutory and legislative requirements are met. A good strata manager keeps up to date with any amendments or changes in legislation and communicates any changes that affect the strata plan to the owners corporation and strata commiitte.
2. Oversee day to day tasks of the strata plan:
This is one of the main roles of strata management. The tasks of a strata manager include preparation of and taking minutes in meetings, ensuring payment of invoices and dealing with day to day queries from owners, agents and tenants. They are responsible for issuing and collecting levies, issuing work orders for approved works and responding to strata committee correspondence.
3. Keeping meticulous records for the strata plan:
A Strata Manager in Australia is expected to make sure that all the strata plan records are kept in a format that is in line with legislative requirements. They must also make sure that these records are available to the owners or anyone that may require them.
4. Insurance and financial statements:
Strata management insurance is handled by the strata manager. A strata manager lodges insurance claims and ensures three quotations for renewal are sought for the strata committee to approve. A strata manager provide the owners corporation with the strata plan’s financials on a quarterly basis and is able to answer any queries received.
A Strata Manager also manages term deposits and deals with levy recovery on behalf of the owners corporation. The strata manager is expected to have a transparent pricing structure so that the owners corporation is aware of its annual expenditure.
5. Be a neutral party that can provide advice:
Finally, a strata manager is expected to consult objectively when disputes, levy recoveries and other issues come up. They are also expected to help with getting quotations for any work that is being considered and arrange for scheduled maintenance of the buildings managed.
Why Communication Is So Crucial In Strata Management
An article published by Peter Mansour, CEO of Strata Alert states that 66% of strata owners are dissatisfied with their current strata manager and would like to change. The most common reason being the lack of effective communication between strata managers and strata owners. There is no denying the fact that communication is of vital importance and an aspect that should never be underestimated. Let’s delve a little deeper and explore why communication is so crucial in strata management.
1. Communication affords clarity to both owners and strata managers:
The number one reason strata owners wanted to change their current strata management service provider is lack of transparency. When you’re dealing with strata owners, it is imperative that communication be clear and transparent. Strata owners need to be clear of the role of a strata manager which is primarily as a facilitator of strata owner decisions and have absolute transparency of the strata fees charged for providing that service.
2. Communication allows for implementation of good decisions:
Good decisions that maintains and improves the value of strata properties need to occur in a collaborative way with both strata management and strata owners effectively communicating with each other. It’s extremely important that both parties work together on their communication skills to ensure strata managers and strata owners don’t feel frustrated with decisions made. For this reason, it is imperative that there is effective and constant communication from both sides enabling a good flow of information.
3. Communication ensures smooth conflict resolutions:
There will be times when disagreements or misunderstandings occur between strata owners and strata management teams. However, if both parties have a good rapport then this will go a long way in ensuring a smooth resolution to issues that can potentially lead to unnecessary conflict. Strata managers need to take time to develop this good rapport with the strata owners which is done through regular conversations and prompt updates on relevant matters.
4. Communication helps strata owners feel secure:
It is a common misconception by strata managers that strata owners are well-aware of the strata laws. In fact, many strata owners have inadequate understanding of strata property matters. Strata owners expect their strata managers to be experts in their field. Regular and informative communication in relation to maintenance issues or changes in strata legislation allows strata owners to feel secure that the management of their strata asset is in capable hands.
Good communication is a non-negotiable
The success of any strata owner/strata manager relationship is based on good communication. Strata managers need to take the time to establish a good working relationship with their strata owners. Find out which communication channels are most effective in getting messages across and make use of them.
Are you looking to change you strata manager? Get in touch with us today.