6 Signs It’s Time To Change Strata Management

In a building with multiple stakeholders, a strata manager plays an essential role. It makes sense to hire a strata manager since they have experience in the real estate industry and are familiar with the complex laws surrounding property management.

However, while a reputable strata manager will ensure the property management runs smooth, a poor one can work in the other direction.

Terminating a strata manager is a big decision, so don’t take it lightly and know the ramifications when looking for ideas on how to change strata managers. These are the signs to look for that might indicate it is time for change:

Late Annual General Meetings

Each year, this annual general meeting must be called to review and administer the strata scheme. The meeting must be held within one month of the first AGM anniversary date. In the event that your scheme schedules AGMs late – or even worse, not at all – you may find yourself in a bind.

A failure to arrange timely AGMs is not only a legal issue, it can result in a range of issues within the complex throughout the year.

Poorly organised AGMs can lead to important items being missed, causing potential issues. Late AGMs can be indicative of poor management and an indication that your building is not a priority. While AGMs are important, they should not be the only time you hear from the strata manager either. It is also important to hold regular meetings to discuss and manage ongoing needs and tasks.

Strata committee meetings are necessary and can be held as often as the members wish, to discuss and vote on the daily administration of the owners’ corporation. If the strata manager is not scheduling any of these meetings on a consistent and timely basis or they are resistant to do so, it might be time to part ways.

Levy Arrears Are Substantial

Strata managers must chase levies as part of their job. While there will always be a few late payers, especially in large complexes, they need to be kept to a minimum.

Fees in arrears can indicate an inefficient system in place for ensuring follow up by the strata/body corporate manager. The lack of systems and processes can be troubling, but levies that are in arrears can lead to even bigger budget problems.

If your strata scheme has a big hole in the budget, it can cause issues when things come due – and it suggests that the strata manager hasn’t been doing their job.

Poorly Maintained Common Areas

Your strata manager may be failing to perform if your complex looks run down and has overgrown gardens, constantly malfunctioning elevators, or peeling paint. Maintaining the property in great shape requires a proactive maintenance schedule and quick response to maintenance requests.

Under state legislation like the Owners Corporation Act 2006, the owners’ corporation is responsible for maintaining and repairing all common areas, including the garden or nature strip, fixtures, fittings, equipment, and all services that are related to or benefit common areas.

It is particularly important to maintain the common areas on the property since this is what people will see first when visiting. The state of these areas can affect the perceived value of the property. Common area maintenance is also essential from a health and safety perspective.

An annual inspection of the common areas and a review of the maintenance plan are required by the owners’ corporation. Results of the survey should be used to determine a maintenance work program and budget that must be approved at the annual general meeting.

Issues Relating to Security

Hopefully, your building is equipped with security features. The problem arises if they’re not implemented properly or ignored entirely. It makes no sense to have security doors and gates if they’re propped open so that people can get in and out easily and quickly. Criminals can easily slip in unnoticed as a result.

Additionally, if your building or its surroundings have experienced some security issues, you may want to upgrade the security systems. When break-in attempts and successful break-ins have occurred, it may be worthwhile to upgrade your security buzzer to a camera or install CCTV cameras. A strata management company failing to address this issue despite the area’s criminal problems is a clear indication that something needs to change.

A Lack of Familiarity With State Legislation

State strata management legislation must be well-known to your strata manager. Additionally, your strata manager needs to keep track of any legal changes affecting the management of your property. You might consider changing your strata manager if you feel your strata manager doesn’t understand state legislation regarding strata management.

Ineffective Financial Management

Management of strata/body corporate finances should be transparent and ethical. All parties can easily understand where its money is going if its books and records are kept up-to-date. If you can’t get a clear financial report from your manager, or the numbers don’t seem to add up, you may need to investigate further.