A strata-titled property is a type of property that has assets preowned by a collection of lot owners, not just one individual. Commonly, these properties are apartments, units, and townhouses. However, as a group of owners, they are collectively responsible for the shared assets, including shared roofs, communal open spaces, street frontage, and gardens.
If you are an owner of a strata-titled property, you have to perform various responsibilities and are required to abide by specific duties. This includes not damaging common properties and areas, observing noise regulations, and ensuring you park in your allocated parking space. However, that is not all.
Since you now know what a strata-titled property is, let’s discuss what strata management is, how it works, and the duties and responsibilities of a strata manager.
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What is Strata Management?
Strata management, also known as Owners Corporation, is the process of managing the collective property and assets of a strata-titled property. These properties are within a particular geographical area, such as townhouses, apartments, or condominium complexes. Strata management encompasses enforcing bylaws, resolving disputes, collecting fees, and administering strata council meetings.
A strata management company, such as Hawks Nest strata management, is a professional organization that specializes in managing residential and commercial condominiums. They serve as an intermediary between the condo unit owners and the corporation.
These strata management companies are responsible for handling all administrative and legal matters about property ownership, including dealing with disputes and responding to inquiries from owners on behalf of the board of directors. They also ensure compliance with bylaws and complex rules governing condo living.
What is a Strata Manager?
A strata manager is responsible for managing a strata-titled property’s communal areas and assets. This role often falls to the current president of the owners’ corporation, who oversees all other strata managers in the building.
According to the Strata Management Act 2015 in NSW, a strata manager is defined as an individual who performs numerous functions of an owners’ corporation for a particular reward. Moreover, the manager acts upon the instructions from the owners’ corporation. This is to ensure that the building is ensured, complies with all the state laws, updated administrative protocols, and is well maintained.
The Roles of a Strata Manager
As mentioned previously, a strata manager is a professional in charge of the day-to-day tasks to maintain the property. This includes ensuring that all necessary repairs are carried out and organizing community events, as well as the potential engagement of a strata management company to keep operations within legislation.
The strata manager also oversees building maintenance, which includes making sure repairs are made on time; enforcing bylaws; and preventing situations that might lead to litigation between owners or tenants.
Moreover, a strata manager manages day-to-day affairs for several property owners and/or renters in an area, such as collecting ordinary expenses and passing them on to tenants according to their rental agreements. Furthermore, they are also responsible for arranging insurance as required for a strata scheme by law, advising on asset management, and keeping accounts of all financials of the building.
The duties and responsibilities of a strata manager can differ depending on their level of expertise. For example, some managers need to be more hands-on and involved in day-to-day operations, such as dealing with repairs. Other managers may have more of an advisory role, working less time-intensive with owners’ corporations to ensure they comply with legislation and meet their obligations as outlined in their bylaws.
The duties and responsibilities of a strata manager will vary depending on the type of property they are managing but will usually include the following:
- Ensuring compliance with strata bylaws
- Following up on building maintenance issues
- Collecting strata fees
- Supervising other staff members
- Arranging for strata council meetings
- Ensuring that voting on significant issues is carried out
- Filing reports for annual general meetings
- Recording minutes from meetings
- Developing a budget and financial plan
- Ensuring the financial health of the strata corporation
- Preparing for emergencies
Strata managers perform numerous pivotal roles, but some things are outside the scope of their job description. For example, they cannot offer anything legal but only offer mere suggestions based on their past experiences.
Strata management is a profession that is becoming increasingly important in the residential real estate market. For example, strata management in Vancouver is a multi-million dollar industry, and the number of strata councils employing their strata managers is growing annually.
Knowing how to manage a strata property properly is as essential as acquiring the property itself. Strata schemes that show tremendous success have a history of skillful management. Unfortunately, many strata-titled property owners do not fully understand the management role in their strata scheme. As an owner, do your research and do not hesitate to contact a strata management company when necessary.