They oversee annual budgets of millions of dollars, make decisions that have profound influence on the lives of hundreds of people, pursue policies that could have devastating effects on the value of your investments and most do it with zero training in any of the significant skills required for a modicum of certainty or authority.
I'm talking about strata committees, as they're known in NSW and Victoria, executive committees in Queensland and the ACT, management committees in South Australia and Tasmania, strata councils in WA and just "the committee" in NT.
Surely they get professional help? In fact, about half of the strata schemes in NSW – mostly the smaller, older buildings – don't have a strata manager, and the proportion may be even higher elsewhere. Owners' organisations like the Owners Corporation Network as well as City of Sydney Council run seminars for strata residents. However, these tend to be highly focused on specific issues – like pets, parking, noise and defects – and rarely if ever address the basics of how to run an efficient committee.
So what do we do to bridge the knowledge gap?