Strata title arrangements are unique in the ownership of property and have been developed over time as a result of the demand for small lot housing. Duplexes, unit developments and apartment buildings have changed the way households live in Australia. Increasing numbers of people want to live in dwellings where they share common property and hand the responsibility for the daily operation and maintenance of their property to a strata manager.
Strata Title – a Very Brief Description
When people buy into a strata property, they each effectively become a type of shareholder in the management of the whole building or complex. Their ownership automatically gives them rights and responsibilities under the law governing strata properties. These laws differ slightly from state to state, and some of the terminology is slightly different, but the concept is the same. They own their unit or apartment, and a proportion of the common property, which includes the outside walls, balconies, driveways, fences, recreational facilities and any other parts of the property that were designated as such when the original building plan was registered.
The owners collectively form a strata company and elect a Council made up of fellow owners. The Council’s responsibilities are similar to those of company directors, with similar authority and accountability to the rest of the owners. Council members don’t necessarily have the time, skills or even the desire to perform the operational duties required and therefore, they engage the services of a strata management company to look after everything on their behalf.
Where Do Strata Management Companies Fit In?
Strata management companies have grown rapidly to assist strata companies manage their facilities and ensure all legislative requirements are being covered by the Council. Some companies do this better than others, and productive strata management provides the strata company with access to professionals who, on their behalf, will perform the procedural and administration duties required by law. WA Strata Management is an experienced, professional company operating since 1991 and providing strata management services for residential and commercial properties.
WA Strata Management employs experienced managers with up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation and the administrative, financial and organisation skills to effectively manage large complexes. Their roles are challenging as they juggle sometimes with competing interests between owner/occupiers, absentee owners, tenants, council members and visitors to the property. A competent manager makes sure regular maintenance is carried out, by-laws are observed, facilities are clean and generally contributes to the overall enjoyment of the property by everyone involved.
In addition, the manager ensures that the day-to-day financial and administrative tasks required to effectively manage a large facility are competently performed, compiles reports for Council meetings and is a centralised point of communication. They are also able to outsource services such as repairs and maintenance and arrange for any other goods and services required for the sound management of the common areas.
Strata management is a complex process covered by legislation and if not conducted properly, exposes the individual lot owners to considerable liability, and personal financial loss. The fine details of these arrangements are explained on WA Strata Management’s website, where there is a number of publications available for download at www.wastrata.com.