Strata Management – A Growing Industry

As the home unit sector of the real property market continues to expand to meet the demand for small lot living, more and more residents are living under a strata management arrangement. This is defined as a situation where there are multiple units or apartments on a single block of land, each independently owned, but subject to legislative requirements to manage common areas on behalf of all owners. The obligations imposed by state legislation are there to protect the rights of every person in the complex and this includes tenants as well as owners.

To comply with all the requirements of legislation requires a thorough knowledge of a complex process. Strata management should be performed only by someone with this knowledge as well as having considerable experience. Without this attention to detail, the owners could be exposed to severe financial penalties and loss of property.

What is Involved in Strata Management?

A strata company is registered at the start of the building process. When people buy a lot, that is, a unit in a building, they automatically become members of the strata company which then elects a Council or body corporate to act on their collective behalf. The lot owners have unlimited liability for losses or debts of the strata company, but most of them as individuals are not part of the operational management of the complex.

With so much at stake, proper management is vital to the financial well-being of all owners. Professional strata management companies have been set up to perform the operational management of these legal entities, in exchange for a negotiated fee. The Council chooses the strata management company that will look after the interests of the owners, a responsibility not taken lightly due to the level of compliance with state legislation that is required.

These strata management companies employ professional managers who have made a career out of maintaining good order and financial control over the affairs of strata properties. They keep the financial aspects under control, arrange and supervise building maintenance and typically have skills in business administration and management. They also understand the reporting required by legislation and how it should be presented to the Council and owners.

What About Customer Service?

Strata management is also a customer service industry. With many buildings now housing hundreds of people in one complex, the strata manager should also be experienced in juggling competing priorities, preferably with a smile. The last thing Councils need is complaints from occupants about the behaviour or attitude of their building manager.

The Council should ensure that the strata management company they choose has a solid track record in understanding their clients and being able to deliver the services they require. The property owners have placed their trust in the Council to manage their collective risks and responsibilities. The selection of a strata management company is one of the most important decisions the Council will make.