If you are considering purchasing a property that is connected to an ‘owner’s corporation’ (formerly known as a body corporate) then chances are you are going to become familiar with the term ‘Strata Manager’.
Entrusted with handling the legal and insurance compliance, maintenance needs and administration for a block of properties, your Strata Manager’s responsibilities are an important part of the management of your home. Strata Managers possess the professional expertise to effectively oversee a broad range of tasks associated with the owner’s corporation, and perhaps even more importantly, are well equipped to deal with issues if and when they arise.
All areas considered “common” or shared by a group of properties are taken care of by the Strata Manager, like gardens, carparks, lifts and pools, as well as building features like gutters, plumbing and electrical. Scheduling routine maintenance as well as responding to matters arising, the Strata Manager often plays a role in hiring tradespeople to carry out works, and submits any relevant insurance claims.
Most people want to know what happens with the money they pay to their owner’s corporation, especially around the time when the bill comes in! The Strata Manager is responsible for the budget to allocate the funds collected through owner’s corporation fees and ensure that all routine accounts and levies are paid on time, and that expenses are accounted for. It is extremely important the Strata Manager keeps a clear record of all financial activity and expenditure to ensure it can be tracked and accounted for in the budget. Records should also be transparent and provided on request should owners wish to see them.
It is important to note the Strata Manager serves the owners corporation, not individual owners, and as such should remain a neutral party at all times. Maintaining an impartial stance on all matters is extremely important. Your Strata Manager is able to handle any complaints and disputes arising between owners and is empowered to reinforce and communicate rules around the use of the common property and enforce any laws in place that apply to the owners (such as pet ownership).
Keeping a good flow of communication with your Strata Manager will ensure you are kept up to date with important meetings and any matters requiring attention. It will also allow you to submit any requests to maintain your important stake in the care and management of your property.