The number of Australian’s choosing to live in apartments, townhouses, gated communities or other housing types with shared facilities is on the rise. This trend has led to a need for more ‘shared living experts’ in the form of strata or body corporate managers, to assist with the complexities of managing a shared property.

Having an effective manager that can keep up with the needs of your owners corporation is key to making sure your property is well-maintained and grows in value. If your strata/body corporate manager is regularly dropping the ball on these key tasks, it might be time to start looking elsewhere.

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1. Late or poorly organised meetings.

Under legislation, all strata/body corporate properties must hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM). At an AGM the financial position of the scheme/body corporate, committee voting, administration and relative maintenance should be discussed. If AGM’s are poorly organised, important items may be missed leading to possible issues. Serval late AGM’s can highlight a pattern of poor organisation and could be a sign that your building is not a priority for your manager. Meetings should also be held regularly to ensure ongoing needs and tasks are addressed and actively managed.

2. Fees/levies in arrears.

A high volume of fees in arrears could indicate that the strata/body corporate manager doesn’t have an efficient system in place to ensure follow up is occurring. While a lack of systems and processes can be concerning, having levies in arrears can lead to bigger problems with the budget. As the budget is calculated based on the amount of money predicted to be received through paid levies if levies aren’t collected this can lead to expenses not being adequately covered and it may open a myriad of other concerns.

3. Maintenance issues.

Arranging property maintenance on behalf of the owners corporation is a key function of your strata/body corporate manager. An effective owners corporation and strata/body corporate manager will take a proactive approach to maintenance with inspections scheduled in advance to prevent issues from occurring. The best way to check that repairs for your property are being well managed is to go over previous meeting minutes to see how long it takes repairs to be actioned and what the outcome was by having a look around the common property in your building to see if there are any other outstanding issues or concerns.

4. Lack of knowledge about legislation.

Your manager should know how to practically implement your state’s strata/body corporate legislation. Laws are often amended and it’s paramount that your strata/body corporate manager is up-to-date with all these changes so if your property is going to be affected, that the relevant action can be taken promptly. A lack of knowledge can lead to expensive legal consultation fees and your building failing to be compliant with certain requirements.

5. Poor financial management.

Your strata/body corporate manager should manage the finances transparently and ethically. By maintaining up-to-date books and records owners should be able to easily understand where their money is going. If the numbers don’t seem to add up or you find it difficult to get a clear financial report from your manager, you may need to investigate further.

If your committee has decided that it is time to look for a new strata/body corporate manager, it is important to agree on what services the new strata/body corporate manager will provide prior to ‘going shopping’. Setting these expectations early sets the framework for a positive relationship and can avoid frustration down the track.

For more advice on living in a strata building take a look at this guide on how to go about dismissing your strata manager and the pros and cons of a strata manager vs self-managed strata.

The information provided is a general guide only, and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. The company disclaims all responsibly and liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs which might be incurred as a result of the information provided by the company.

Author

PICA Group is one of Australia’s leading property services and strata companies. As a market leader, we aim to continuously redefine the experience of owning a property for the better through a range of businesses offering strata management, facilities management, receivables management, and property development services. Follow 'PICA Group' on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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