Strata managers are individuals or companies who work with owners’ corporations, including the executive committees, to administer the day-to-day operation of strata. They work as an extension or representative of the body corporate and are vital in extending their professional expertise towards the effective running of a strata community.
Strata managers are not the same as property managers. The scope of their roles extends to different points. While property managers deal with individual properties, representing the owner in dealing with any concerns that might arise while collecting rent, strata managers are responsible for clusters of properties like a block of apartments or a business park. They have a more extended and more in-depth list of obligations.
The duties of a strata manager can be divided into three main categories: administration, social and financial. Let us take a closer look at each category or visit www.ebcm.com.au for more details.
Strata managers take on the administrative responsibility of strata. Some of their managerial duties include:
- Handling maintenance requirements- Managers see that all common areas are well maintained. They initiate any repair work to be done by contracting the appropriate parties. They also certify that things remain in working order, for example, the lifts and security lights on the property.
- They are responsible for correspondence- They must deal with any correspondence about the building from external inquirers and internal owners or residents.
- Maintaining record archives- They must collect and keep all body corporate and maintenance records and finances. These records must be well archived as the data is essential for audits or need for reference.
- Dealing with insurance- they lodge insurance claims on behalf of the strata and keep track of any progress.
- Primary communicator- They communicate all critical information to owners and residents alike. They also serve notice of meetings and distribute circulars.
Strata managers are the primary financial manager for the strata. Their responsibilities in this category include:
- Certifying that all fees are promptly paid to the owners’ corporation.
- Managing payment invoices, including those that are paid to external contractors.
- Maintaining current insurance policies, ensuring that the strata is getting the best value for the premiums paid.
- Creating budgets that cater to the needs of the strata. The owners’ corporation must then approve the budgets before they are implemented.
Strata managers have to interact with the owners and residents of strata. These interactions vary from formal to informal and include:
- Acting as a mediator in disputes.
- Communicating and enforcing rules which govern the strata and common property.
- Executing by-law amendments where they deem necessary.
- Enforcing federal and local laws that govern the owners’ corporation.
- Organising social occasions.
- Collect suggestions and feedback from the residents, which are then communicated to the owners’ corporation.
Although it is the responsibility of the owner’s corporation to keep records of the strata, in majority of the cases this duty is performed by a strata manager. The state laws also require these managers to keep track of these documents for a minimum of seven years. They also need to perform the following duties:
- Maintain copies of the correspondence received and sent by the corporation
- Send notices of committee meetings
- Maintaining minutes of meeting documents and noting down all the agendas discussed
- Keep records of voting papers related to the motions for the passing of resolutions or the election of any strata committee member
- Maintain copies of the proxies delivered to the strata council.
- Keep records of the signed agreement between the strata manager and the owner’s corporation.
The strata manager needs to look after the property maintenance issues, prepare notice for meetings, keep track of the employees’ leave and any other information related to strata property.
The manager needs to handle all the correspondence’s issues related to the property such as the issues raised by the tenants. They also need to handle any queries from the potential buyers. Apart from these, they perform the following functions:
- The manager is responsible for keeping track of all the insurance claims and the receipt of funds. They need to archive these records for future requirements.
- If requested, the manager also needs to take over the corporation’s general meeting.
- In certain circumstances, these managers might also need to provide the minutes of the meeting document to the owner’s corporation council.
The manager also needs to maintain a strata roll in which the majority of cases are handled by the owner’s corporation. A strata roll is used for the main purpose of serving important notices and must contain the following:
- The owner or the property manager’s full name along with his phone number, email address and postal address
- The name of the tenant, his home address, email address and phone number.
These managers also need to keep track of the strata’s plan number, the strata’s laws, the property’s address and the names of the original property owners along with the total units entitled to them.
Although the strata manager is responsible for carrying out the above duties, the strata council or the owner’s corporation committee is accountable to a majority of owners. It is the responsibility of the committee to make sure that the strata manager performs his duties accurately and if the current management team fails to carry out their work, the council appoints a new manager.
As far as the electronic votes are considered, the papers must be kept safely for a minimum of thirteen months before the managers can dispose of them. This is an essential requirement if the votes are concerned with secret ballots. Strata management needs to submit these records to the owner of the property who wishes to inspect them on the condition that they must pay the fees. Back in the day, the managers were required to maintain these above-mentioned records for a minimum of five years.
The role of a strata manager is just as broad as it is specific. However, their list of duties is not static. Requirements are set based on the particular needs of the strata. However, more recent data has shown that these duties are expanding as strata communities are established in higher density areas. The sizes and numbers of properties featured as common to the strata are increasing, based on modern building designs and the amenities made available to residents. These differences create the need for more duties to be added to the strata manager’s role.