Good strata management involves working closely with the Council of Owners and having quality accounting systems to assist with the multitude of tasks involved. It’s an important job that involves ensuring legal and insurance compliance, maintenance and that all administration is kept accurate and up to date.
Many strata complexes suffer from poor management however, leading to unsatisfied residents and owners. If you’re experiencing problems with your strata manager and their contract is coming up for renewal, it’s a good time to explore whether you have the best people in place for your building.
What’s a Strata Manager’s Responsibilities?
A strata manager’s responsibilities can include, but isn’t limited to:
- Administrative – This includes dealing with all correspondence regarding the building, conducting general maintenance and repairs, lodging insurance claims and archiving records.
- Financial – This includes preparing budgets, monitoring invoices, ensuring amounts owing and owed are paid on time and ensuring appropriate insurance is in place.
- Social – This includes enforcing rules around the common property for residents, mediating disputes, enforcing relevant laws that apply and organising information events and meetings, and listen to feedback from residents relating to the building.
The role of a strata manager can be quite simple or complex depending on the size, location and needs of a building. In most cases, the job is becoming more complex as the scope of high density residential buildings in our capital cities further expand.
Common Issues Associated With Strata Managers
There are a number of common problems associated with poor strata management, such as:
- Levies in arrears – Several overdue levies that the strata manager has not pursued.
- Run down building – Strata manager has failed to keep the building complex in good repair.
- Poor financial management – Unrealistic budgets, unbalanced books and unexplained deficits.
- Poor communication – Unresponsive after hours, over weekends or during holiday periods.
- Late or no meetings – Consistently late or no meetings despite requirements to hold them.
Knowing what is common property and what is actually owned by the premises (lot) owner. There can be a lot of difference between various strata plans.
While changes in technology, government regulations, property markets and client expectations have all placed a strain on strata management firms over the years, they must still be able to deliver quality services.
What to Look for in a New Strata Manager
If you’ve decided to choose a new strata management company, you should consider factors like cost, communication and organisation skills, qualifications, references, knowledge of the law and size.
Today you can reasonably expect the following from your strata manager:
- Levy notices sent electronically and on time
- Transparency with fees
- Sound advice to the Council of Owners
- Running of required meetings
- Realistic and well organised budgets and accounts
- Appropriate advice on and use of insurance
- Regular maintenance and upkeep
- Suitably sized reserve fund
- Follow up on lot owners in arrears
- Holiday and after hours contact
- Do they close down over holidays
- Are funds held in an audited trust account – many aren’t.
Our team of strata managers at Gow Property can meet all these expectations and do better. We have a smoothly run office full of experienced and dedicated staff, use the latest technology to provide fast and accurate services and have a zero tolerance approach to rent arrears.