What Does Strata Management Do?

Strata management is incredibly important and becomes very significant to those who own strata-titled properties. While many different types of properties are strata titled, the arrangement seems to particularly apply to those who own investment properties in Sydney and other cities in Australia. A good understanding of the role of strata management is useful and with this comes an understanding of the types of issues that are addressed by the strata manager.

What is strata management?

A specialised area of property management, strata management is sometimes referred to as ‘body corporate management’. Essentially, strata management relates to the everyday operation and management of a property that has multiple owners and is made up of a number of units, shared areas and common facilities. In order for such developments to be successfully managed, a strata title system that offers a framework for ownership and policies for management of properties with multiple owners and users is essential.

What is the role of the strata manager?

A strata manager is appointed for every strata-titled property and property owners automatically become members of an Owners’ or Community Association; this applies to owners who occupy their own property and owners of investment properties. Sydney and other capital cities with high rates of property rental involve numerous people in these associations that have ultimate responsibility for the way that common areas are maintained and managed, including foyers, hallways and shared leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Owners’ and Community Associations also have responsibility for the administration and finances of the property.

The strata manager works closely with the Owners’ Association and Board to manage, control and maintain the property and, in doing so, ensure that a comfortable and appropriate community environment is provided. Specific tasks of the strata manager include:

  • Accounting, budgeting, raising invoices for levies and charges, arrears collections and the preparation of thorough financial reports
  • Dealing with contract management, preparing comprehensive papers for meetings and communicating effectively, professionally and in a timely manner with the stakeholders of a property
  • Ensuring that maintenance tasks are organised and carried out
  • When necessary, enforcing rules and by-laws, issuing certificates, orders and notices
  • A range of secretarial tasks and responding to a wide range of arising issues.

Strata management – a growing professional area:

With obvious increases in the number of properties that are strata titled and the increasing appeal of townhouse and apartment living, the demand for professional strata managers (now more commonly known as owners’ corporation managers) is huge. Owners’ corporation managers oversee complexes ranging from small blocks of units in the suburbs to huge inner-city high rises and are growing in number as owners’ corporations move away from DIY management to a more professional service.

In all of these contexts, owners’ corporation managers take care of a broad range of tasks; everything from ensuring that the upkeep and cleaning of communal areas is done to mediation between residents over issues such as parking, pets and noise levels.

Because of the huge and ongoing demand for owners’ corporation managers, there is a definite shortage of people in this profession. The role suits people who have excellent problem solving and communication capabilities, but it is also worth noting that the work is growing in complexity. Certainly, some larger complexes are comprised of multiple owners’ corporations and the fees that are charged can total millions of dollars.

Strata management companies vary in size, from small organisations to large firms, and also significantly vary in structure. Larger organisations have staff that specialise in particular areas, such as management, accounting and portfolio assistance, including the preparation of minutes, agendas, quotes and responding to owners and contractors and other vital administrative tasks.

Essential qualities

Many owners’ corporation managers come to the role with experience in a previous area; real estate, teaching and accounting are common background areas. Owners’ corporation managers need to be confident and effective in communicating clearly and in an articulate manner. They are required to run meetings and need to have an excellent knowledge and understanding of the Owners Corporations Act.

People who are confident communicators and are personable and professional are frequently drawn to the profession.

Owners of various types of strata-titled properties realise the value of effective strata management. Opportunities for skilled owners’ corporation managers are growing in line with the popularity of apartment, unit and townhouse-style living.

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