Strata property make up a significant portion of property ownership in Australia today. Their structure is unique in both make-up and operation. However, the nature of strata communities necessitates skilful management to secure success. The mark of a good strata scheme lies in how well it is run. Unfortunately, few owners have a clear understanding of the role strata management plays in facilitating such triumphs.
First, there needs to be some clarification about the difference between property, building and strata management. While the three titles define positions with similar responsibilities, clear legal distinctions govern what each person can and cannot do. This article’s focus lies in providing you with a handy guide to strata management in particular.
What Is Strata Management?
The best definition of strata management lies in its function within a strata scheme. One description that comes close to providing an accurate summary: it is a particular sub-section of property management involving the day-to-day operation and management of a property made up of multiple units with common areas and shared facilities.
What is a Strata Manager?
A strata manager is the individual who is tasked with overseeing the daily operation of a strata scheme. The position is filled by an appointee of the owners’ corporation after careful vetting. Once the appointment has been approved, a strata manager works with the executive committee and owners’ corporation to administer the strata. The management skill of a strata manager determines the success of a living community.
What responsibilities does a strata manager hold?
The scope of a strata manager’s duties is defined by the mandate given by the owners’ corporation. Before a manager settles in to run the strata, a contract is signed that clearly states the responsibilities of each party. This document eliminates any ambiguities with the strata manager’s duties, thus avoiding confusion and conflict.
Strata managers usually have a wealth of experience backing up the execution of their commission. Such extensive knowledge allows a manager to determine the appropriate systems and structures needed to certify that the strata runs efficiently.
A strata manager can offer general advice regarding property management in conjunction with other duties and responsibilities, including:
General maintenance- The manager is tasked with identifying the maintenance actions to be carried out. Then, armed with a comprehensive list, they proceed to collect quotes for the work before submitting it to the owners’ corporation for approval. As soon as it has been granted, the strata manager contracts the relevant technicians and oversees their operations. In case repairs are needed, a manager becomes the first point of contact in the chain. Some contracts allow the strata manager to approve minor maintenance and repair work without consulting the body corporate.
Keeping Records- The owner’s corporation holds the primary responsibility for maintaining the strata’s records. It is the norm to delegate this task to a strata manager. The records in question include:
- The contract between the owners’ corporation and the strata manager.
- All incoming and outgoing strata correspondence.
- Owners meetings notices.
- Minutes from these meetings, including agendas and motions, passed.
- All records submitted by the strata manager to the body corporate.
- Strata committee election records.
Financial Management- A strata manager must prepare a budget before submitting it to the owners’ corporation for approval. Furthermore, the manager certifies that all the strata scheme’s bills and debts are paid on time.
This is not an exhaustive list of the responsibilities of a strata manager. However, it does paint a picture of the crucial role that strata management plays in a strata scheme. It is a valuable service both for the owners and the residents who rely on it.