Choosing a Strata Management Company

As the trend towards strata living continues across all Australian states, and the legislation controlling these ownership and living arrangements becomes more complex, the emergence of professional strata management companies is relieving more and more Councils and bodies corporate of the stress of operational management of these legal entities. Regulatory changes require corresponding changes to management processes, so being able to leave these fine details up to a professional organisation brings peace of mind to the owners. Under the legislative structure owners have unlimited liability for losses or debts of the strata company, so proper management is vital to the financial well-being of all owners.

With so much riding on the ability of the strata management company to act responsibly on behalf of the owners, choosing the right company becomes more than just picking a name and making a phone call. First and foremost, this is a customer service industry, so in choosing a strata management company, the Council should ensure that the candidates under consideration have a solid track record in understanding their client and being able to deliver the services they require.

They should also check that the company is a member of a professional industry association. This provides an additional layer of protection for the client as members are required to have accreditation which includes being up-to-date with training and industry knowledge. Membership of industry associations also provide the opportunity for the members to seek professional guidance and tap into the experience of others in the industry, should they be dealing with a situation or issue that is unfamiliar or sensitive.

Another important consideration is the experience of the person the strata management company designates to look after a particular client. Choosing a company whose staff members receive regular training to update their knowledge and understanding of current legislation, and who already have a track record successfully managing other complexes minimises the risk of errors. The management tasks involved require people with a wide range of skills including communication, computer, financial and administration, and it is the responsibility of the strata management company to ensure their staff have those skills and can therefore service the needs of the client.

The strata management company chosen by the Council should also have sound and tested managementsystems that allow accurate reporting to the Council that complies with all the requirements of the relevant legislation. The owners of strata properties have placed their trust in the Council to ensure that their collective risks and responsibilities are being managed. This makes the selection of a strata management company one of the most important decisions the Council will make.