1 What is a strata manager?

The owners corporation comprises all owners in a strata titled building. The strata committee is an elected group of owners whose task is to oversee the functioning of the building. The owners corporation may contract a strata manager to perform day-to-day management and administrative tasks.

A strata manager is another name for strata managing agent. The NSW Property, Stock and Business Agents Act (2002) defines a strata managing agent as a person (whether or not such person carries on any other business) who, for reward (whether monetary or otherwise), exercises or performs any function of an owners corporation under this Act.

The strata manager may look after everything from ensuring the owners corporation processes comply with legislation through to regular garden maintenance and even more unusual things like assisting with the extermination of a red back spider infestation from the common property roof space.

They cannot be an owner of a lot, the secretary or treasurer or a person who maintains or repairs any property for which the owners corporation is responsible.

A strata manager is engaged by the owners corporation by a majority vote at a general meeting. Only a person who holds a strata manager licence under the Act can be appointed. A strata manager may carry out some or all of the functions, duties or powers of the owners corporation. At a very simple level, it’s generally the strata manager’s role, delegated by the committee, to collect levies, pay bills and issue compliance notices for breaches of by-laws.

Relevant NSW Legislation: The Property, Stock and Business Agents Act (2002)

Section 3: Definitions

Section 8: Agents required to be licensed

 

Relevant NSW Legislation: Strata Schemes Management Act (2015)

Sections 11 & 12: Who else may be involved in managing a strata scheme?

Section 49: What is a strata managing agent?

Section 49: How is a strata managing agent appointed?

Section 52 & 53: What functions of an owners corporation can a strata managing agent exercise?

Section 54: Can a strata managing agent exercise the functions of the chairperson, secretary and treasurer or the committee?

 

 

Relevant NSW Legislation: The Strata Schemes Management Regulation (2016)

Part 2 Section 4: Restriction on delegation of certain functions

Set out below are guides to some common issues that owners and strata committee members may have about working with and engaging strata managers.

What is a Strata Manager?

Section 1

What can you expect from your strata manager

Section 2

Appointing a strata manager

Section 3

Guide to the proposal schedules

Section 4

Guide to the Standard Terms and Conditions

Section 5

Some relevant resources

Section 6

 

1.1 What is a Strata Manager?

Depending on the size and complexity of your building, you may have any number of people employed to help look after it. Even the smallest of buildings, however, will usually have a strata manager. Why? A strata manager has systems and processes that mean they can do the administrative requirements much more efficiently than even a keen and skilled owner/manager.

 If you don’t have too many lots and you want to save money, you might decide to take on some of the services yourself to save cash. However, temper this with a recognition that the knowledge and experience of the executive committee will need to be adequate. Perhaps a partial service arrangement is a good compromise. For instance, do you really need your strata manager to attend every executive committee meeting, which can be a substantial extra expense if your meetings are held in the evening and drag on for hours. Could you get by instead with just phoning him or her if you need advice on certain issues? Could one of your executive committee members take minutes instead of asking the strata manager to do so? Could you save on postage for things like photocopying meeting papers yourself and placing them in the mailboxes of resident owners? By doing these things yourself you may save money but increase risk and sacrifice quality and correct process! A strata manager may be able to wrap it up in far less time and with far more accuracy as they have the facilities and know how to run it efficiently.

1.2 When you have no choice but to have a strata manager



Generally it is up to the owners whether they employ a strata manager, but if things go wrong and a Strata Adjudicator is satisfied the owners corporation is not doing its work satisfactorily, or has failed to comply with an order, or failed to perform one or more of its duties or owes a judgement debt, the Adjudicator may appoint a strata manager.

Relevant NSW Legislation: Strata Schemes Management Act (2015)

Section 56: Exercise of functions of strata managing agent appointed by an Adjudicator

Sections 237: Agency Agreements

NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal can appoint a strata manager to exercise all or specified functions of the owners corporation, where orders are usually made only if:

(a) the management structure of the scheme is not functioning or is not functioning satisfactorily; or

(b) the owners corporation failed to perform one or more of its duties or to comply with an order made under the Act.