02 Jan Selecting a Strata Manager
You or your executive committee has decided that there should be a change of strata manager, or the current manager is selling out, so what should the Owners Corporation look for when selecting a new manager?
This is such an important aspect of business that it should always be the first criteria to be considered. A manager should treat all owners equally without playing up to favourites. The manager should have the best interests of the Owners Corporation in the forefront of any decision regarding work to the building. The SCA has a Code of Ethical Conduct which can be viewed on their website (https://www.stratacommunity.org.au) Payment of commission, unless it has been declared at the time of appointment is illegal, whilst charges for non-incurred disbursements should not be tolerated.
A manager should have wide commercial experience in order to deal with the wide range of issues encountered in strata management. There is a large turnover of people coming through the industry after following other career paths. Their previous career experience is relevant to the way they will manage your Owners Corporation.
A good knowledge of strata law, accountancy and the conduct of meetings is imperative. As managers often have to deal with building and construction issues it is important to have some understanding of these matters.
There are a lot of strong personalities sprinkled throughout owners corporations and it will require a manager with a confident personality and an ability to manage people to deal with all the competing personalities of the owners.
All managers have to be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading. The Institute of Strata Title Managers conduct a Strata Certificate of Registration which is recognised by the Office of Fair Trading, however, those qualifications are the minimum requirements. TAFE conducts the Certificate IV in Property (Strata Management) which is relevant to the industry.
Nothing aggravates owners more than repairs left incomplete for months on end, or the workmanship is of poor quality. Make sure that your prospective manager has a track record for dealing with repairs promptly and that they only use well qualified and reputable tradespeople.