Strata management is the engine behind all good strata schemes in Australia today. Its establishment has roots in meeting a need for better administrative structures because of the increased complexity of strata today.
Strata management is often just as intricate as the strata it serves. To understand it, you must have some in-depth knowledge of the history of strata and the complexities that lead to the need for strata management. However, if you only have time for the highlights, here is a five-minute guide to strata management.
First, the term strata or strata scheme refers to a model of property ownership where an individual purchases a single unit within a larger development and shares ownership of the common property with other owners. Each of these units is known as a strata lot.
You may find strata schemes in a range of property types, including residential developments, commercial buildings, industrial complexes, and retails.
Purchasing a strata lot within a strata scheme means that an owner claims the individual lot while also taking on responsibility for the shared property within the system. However, the lot owner’s possession only extends to a unit’s interior boundaries; all external walls and exterior areas such as the roof are considered to be shared. Therefore, every unit and the corresponding common spaces within a strata scheme is a strata-titled property.
When you have bought into a strata-titled property, a strata title is issued, and you become a lot owner. As an owner, you and all the other lot owners now make up an entity known as a body corporate. It has legal responsibility for the management and maintenance of the common areas within the strata. Such administration encompasses a range of duties that are ever-evolving and becoming more intricate. Therefore, it isn’t always possible for the body corporate to effectively see to these requirements. This shortfall necessitates the engagement of services offered by a strata manager or strata management company.
A strata manager’s position within a given strata and owners’ corporation primarily lies in being responsible for the daily operation of the scheme. These obligations require the manager to fill different roles, including:
- Administration- they set dates for all meetings, communicate the timings, distribute the agendas and take down minutes. Additionally, the strata manager attends to all correspondence, organises and coordinates maintenance and necessary repairs of common property and keeps all strata records, including the owners’ corporation register and insurance paperwork.
- Finance- the strata manager becomes the primary financial authority for the strata. Their responsibilities extend to: updating and arranging invoice payments, preparing then distributing budgets and financial statements, ensuring and following up on the contribution of body corporate dues, certifying that the strata is adequately insured before paying the related premiums and keeping accurate financial records.
- Social- there is also a social aspect to the position of strata manager, which sees them: attend to appeals, enforce the strata’s by-laws, handle disputes between members of the body corporate, tenants, or any combination of the two, organise community events and act as a liaison.
The above list covers the most general duties of a strata manager. However, it is not an exhaustive representation of what is required. For that, you must look to individual body corporates and how they set up the mandates governing the extent of a strata manager’s obligations based on the strata’s needs.
That completes your five-minute guide on strata management. In conclusion, the role is as dynamic as the institutions it services, yet its presence ensures a professional standard for running a strata scheme. As a result, the strata manager plays a key role in the success of the strata scheme.