How To Select The Right Strata Management Agency

strata-management-agency

How To Select The Right Strata Management Agency

strata-management-agency

Deciding which agency to hire to be your strata manager is often a difficult task. You want to find a strata management company that can professionally and promptly deal with any issues that come up. You also want to ensure they are competitively priced. To help you with this difficult decision, we have compiled a handy guide. Whether you are looking to change strata manager or looking for strata manager for a new building, keep these suggestions in mind to help you.

1. Pricing:

As with many other things in life, with strata management, you usually get what you pay for. If you get a quote from a strata management company and it sounds too good to be true, then it most probably is. Be that as it may, you must also ensure you receive value for the money. When deciding which strata manager to go with ensure you consider both these factors.

2. Financial Reporting:

It is important to see how transparent a strata manager is with disclosing the financial performance of the strata scheme. How often are they going to send the financial reports to all owners? How much detail are they willing to explain where the funds are being spent? When deciding which strata manager to go with ensure you understand the frequency and detail of information to be received.

3. Agency’s Location:

It is very important that you choose a strata management agency that is located close to where you have your property. A company that shares the same locale will have in-depth knowledge of the unique challenges and risks that owners face in your area and how best they can maintain your property. There will be times when your strata manger will need to attend the property to discuss complex issues.

4. Recommendations:

When you are looking for a strata management agency, it is good to consider what those close to you recommend. Fellow building owners in the same area may also be useful in providing links to a great strata management service. Recommendations from trusted sources can prove to be very helpful.

5. Your Expectations:

Before you start looking, you must clearly know what your expectations are. If you have any other requirements other than the common aspects of strata management, these must be clearly communicated with any potential managers. Whoever you choose must be aware of all that you will require and you be comfortable that they can meet these requirements.

6. Past Experience:

Finally, when you are choosing a strata manager, you must look at their qualifications and your fellow consumer’s experience. Going online and reading the reviews that may have been posted is a good source to understand how well regarded the strata management agency is.

Do you have any questions regarding residential and commercial strata management? Are you looking to switch strata managers? Not altogether satisfied with the information you’ve been getting from your current strata managers? Don’t hesitate to contact Montano Strata’s qualified team today.

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Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

What Sort of Things Can We As Owners Corporation Managers Charge For?

Owners Corporation Manager

Q&A: What Sort of Things Can We As Owners Corporation Managers Charge For?

Owners Corporation Manager

We looked for answers for some of the most frequently asked questions that Owners Corporations Managers ask.

Question: Can we charge for two Owners Corporation (OC) certificates per sale-one at the beginning and one prior to settlement?

Answer: Yes, you can. This is a common procedure that occurs when a person purchases into an owner’s corporation. Many strata companies are frustrated because they pay for the first OC certificate and have to pay again for an updated one. The two, however are not the same under the law and must be treated as such. The initial OC certificate is a requirement of the paperwork that must be included in the Sale of Contract, it also ensures that the purchaser has done some due diligence.

A conveyancer must factor this into the overall cost of purchasing the property. If there are any changes to the document during the settlement period, you may need to request for an updated OC certificate which is charged for separately. The charging process differs with each company but under Section 151 of the Owners Corporation Act, a person may request for an OC Certificate for a fee. This fee may be charged per certificate issued.

Question: What fees and charges can an Owners Corporation Manager lawfully charge for?

Answer: Before appointing a new Owners Corporation Manager, each Owners Corporation signs a Contract of Appointment with that managing agent. Inside that contract, a list of charges and fees must included. Specific charges for ballots and preparation of records for termination should also be listed down. To make sure that the contract is valid, it must be dated and signed by all parties. It must also be stamped with the common seal.

The Strata Community Australia VIC (SCAV) has a list of recommended charges that you may choose to include in the contract. This will help you determine whether or not you are being charged reasonably and fairly.

Question: Our developer signed a three-year Contract of Appointment with our current Strata Management Company, but we are not happy with their charges. What can we do?

Answer: The developer is the original owner under the law. He is able to sign a three-year term contract with a Owners Corporation management company. When you take over the ownership, this contract is still valid until the stipulated time. If you are not happy with the services you are being provided with, you can discuss this with the management company. If you cannot resolve the issues at hand, you can start the process of terminating the contract and looking for new management.

Do you have any questions regarding residential and commercial strata management? Are you looking to switch strata managers? Not altogether satisfied with the information you’ve been getting from your current strata managers? Don’t hesitate to contact Montano Strata’s qualified team today.

Looking to Change, Its Easy!
Request a Quote Today

Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

Professional Strata Management Services

Professional Strata Management Services

Montano Strata is one of Sydney’s leading Strata Management firms. Boasting over 20 years of experience we help you achieve your strata scheme goals and give you peace of mind. Our professional property management services comprise the following:

  • Advisory Services:
    Risk assessments & surveys
  • Building Compliance Audits:
    Statutory requirements for Fire, Health & Safety Legislation
  • Building Maintenance Co-ordination:
    Maintenance planning & scheduling
  • By-law Reviews:
    Reviewing state strata scheme requirements
  • Financial Control:
    Setting budgets & financial reporting
  • Strata Administration:
    Strata scheme day-to-day management

Whatever type of property you have, Montano Strata experts can help to manage it. Our vision is simple – to be the number 1 provider of Strata Management services in New South Wales. As a forward-thinking property management service company our expertise is vast and encompasses all areas of real estate. Expect nothing but the highest level of service.

Adding value to our clients’ assets: this is our key mission on top of providing Owners’ Corporations with timely insight and in-depth analysis that allows them to make the best decisions for their strata.

A customer-first approach: our clients come first no matter what. We are committed to putting their strata management needs first. This laser-eyed focus enables us to deliver an enhanced experience to our clients.

Delivering effective management solutions: we take great pride in finding cost effective strata management solutions for our clients. Drawing from our rich history and experience we know what works and works best. Your strata scheme is in good hands.

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Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

Why Strata Management Is Important In Real Estate

real estate strata management

Why Strata Management Is Important In Real Estate

real estate strata management

Do you want to know why people need strata managing agents? In places where real estate is thriving, strata managing agents are part of the reason why those markets perform well. If you have jointly owned property, a strata managing agent can make this less stressful for all the parties that are involved. Jointly owned properties include commercial buildings, apartment complexes or condominiums. In such cases, all the owners need someone that can act on their behalf and deal with their administrative issues. Read on to find out more

1. Liaises with the Owner’s Corporation:

This is one of the most vital duties of a strata managing agent. It is their job to make sure that all important matters are handled in an appropriate manner. They are a resource that the Owner’s Committee has at its disposal to share important information such as financial statements, community notices and any important invoices. Any important information that the Owner’s Corporation must know, a strata management agent must make sure this happens.

2. Ensuring compliance with legislation:

Strata have state regulations that they have to comply with. There are numerous tasks that are associated with these schemes that strata managing agents must complete. Financial accounts, for example, must be prepared in a way that is in accordance with state laws and regulations. There are some documents that strata are supposed to have and strata managing agents make sure that these are in order.

Each state has regulations concerning fire safety, work health and building safety that must be adhered to. Strata management agents are responsible for making sure that any tradesmen that are hired to deal with any issues on the property adhere to these regulations. If this is not done, the Owner’s Corporation may end up paying fines.

3. Centralises management of the common interests:

If a property has many individual units, it is effective to centralise building maintenance instead of leaving it to each owner to figure it out. Strata managing agents organise all the essential tasks so that owners don’t have to worry about these. They are in charge of hiring tradespeople on behalf of the Owner’s Corporation. Strata managing agents also deal with all insurance related issues and can submit claims or renew policies.

Each strata body must have a trust account and a common seal for their property. Strata managing agents make sure that all the owners contribute to this account so that these funds can be used for the overall management of the property. Simply put, strata managing agents are responsible for the behind-the-scenes work that keeps a strata body running smoothly.

Do you have any questions regarding residential and commercial strata management? Are you looking to switch strata managers? Not altogether satisfied with the information you’ve been getting from your current strata managers? Don’t hesitate to contact Montano Strata’s qualified team today.

Looking to Change, Its Easy!
Request a Quote Today

Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

Duties and Responsibilities of A Strata Manager

responsibilities of a strata manager

Duties and Responsibilities of A Strata Manager

responsibilities of a strata manager

Did you know that the idea of setting up Strata originated from Australia? The rest of the world then followed suit. The duties of a Strata Manager have been changing over the years. Now a Strata Manager’s responsibilities include legal issues, maintenance issues and insurance compliance. They are also responsible for assisting tenants with any disputes that may come up. For more in-depth information, read on!

1. Administrative Duties:

A Strata Manager’s administrative duties include but are not limited to:
⦁ Dealing with all correspondence – This may be correspondence from tenants, owners and property managers within the building and correspondence from outsiders like prospective buyers.
⦁ Maintenance of common areas – A strata manager is responsible for keeping all shared areas, such as the swimming pool or gym, clean and tidy. They will be responsible for all repairs and replacements when necessary.
⦁ Circulating of correspondence – This includes serving notices of meetings, repairs to be undertaken and when by-laws are breached.
⦁ Circulating minutes from all meetings held by the owner’s corporation – The owners that attend, resolutions that have been passed, and action items that are agreed.
⦁ Managing insurance claims – A strata manager is responsible for lodging all insurance claims and following up on their progress through to conclusion.
⦁ Making sure that all records are maintained and archived – All records such as owner’s names, contact details and any work that was done on the property must be kept in a secure place.

2. Financial Duties:

A Strata Manager’s financial duties include but are not limited to:

⦁ Preparing budgets that will be approved by the Owner’s Corporation. These budgets must include the administration fund and capital works fund.
⦁ Keeping track of all invoices due for payment and ensuring the work is done to a satisfactory level prior to authorising payment.
⦁ Ensuring that the Owner’s Corporation pays its expenses on time and that levies are paid on time as well. Ensuring there is an escalation process in place for owners that don’t pay their levies on time.
⦁ Making sure that that the strata plan has the appropriate insurance coverage and that it is renewed on an annual basis. If an opportunity to get better insurance comes up, the strata manager must make sure this is done.
⦁ Sending the financial reports to owners on a quarterly basis and answering any questions that arise.

3. Compliance Duties:

A Strata Manager’s compliance duties include but are not limited to:
⦁ Making sure that all tenants know the by-laws that pertain to all common property and their enforcement.
⦁ Mediation of any disputes between property owners. A strata manager must be unbiased when dealing with any such issues.
⦁ Amending by-laws when instructed by the Owner’s Corporation and making sure that any affected parties understand the changes.
⦁ Understanding the provisions of the Strata Schemes Management Act and Strata Agency Management Agreement.

Do you have any questions regarding residential and commercial strata management? Are you looking to switch strata managers? Not altogether satisfied with the information you’ve been getting from your current strata managers? Don’t hesitate to contact Montano Strata’s qualified team today.

Looking to Change, Its Easy!
Request a Quote Today

Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

The Role Of A Body Corporate Manager

Crucial in Strata Management

The Role Of A Body Corporate Manager

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.

Looking to Change, Its Easy!
Request a Quote Today

Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

Why Communication Is So Crucial In Strata Management

Body Corporate Manager

Why Communication Is So Crucial In Strata Management

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.

Are you looking for a Strata Manager in Australia? At Montano Strata Management we have a team of qualified Strata Managers that are experienced and professional. Contact us today!

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Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.

Changing Strata Management

changing strata management

Changing Strata Management

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.

At Montano Strata Management we have a team of qualified strata managers that are experienced and professional. Contact us today!

Looking to Change, Its Easy!
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Montano Strata Management is a family business that cares, we believe in promoting a strong and mutually respectful relationship.