Hints / Health Check

Q.  How well is your owners corporation operating?  Is your manager achieving positive outcomes for your members?

 

These questions will help you to decide for yourself. This section covers the very basics of what you should expect from your manager or committee (if your OC is self-managed) as well as highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in your existing arrangement.

 

If you're operating a self-managed strata scheme then possibly some of your procedures need addressing eg. debt collection policy. If this is the case then be sure to ask these same questions of your chairperson or committee members for further clarification.

 

If you would like a comparison then call or email us via our Contact page.   

  

Contract of Appointment: 

 

Q.  Do you understand your Contract of Appointment?  This is the contract you hold with your strata manager setting out the terms of the agreement and the various fees and charges payable.

 

If you have never read through this contract then speak to your chairperson and request a copy.  As a member of your strata scheme you have every right to hold a copy of this contract.

 

These contracts can be lengthy and confusing so be sure to ask your manager to take the time to explain any terms or conditions you would like clarified. 

 

If you are locked into a contract for a lengthy term your manager may not be as motivated as they could be so it is up to you as owners to make them accountable!

 

Unfortunately some contracts can be in place for up to five long years which is a real plus for the management company but sadly not a good situation for the owners involved.

 

Q.  Do you know exactly when your contract expires?  Do you understand the process for removing your manager should you choose to in the future? The procedure for removing a manager should begin at least three months prior to the expiry of the contract with a process and timeline to be followed.

 

Management Matters: 

 

Q.  Does your manager struggle to achieve a quorum?  How experienced is your strata manager? Does he or she hold a qualification in strata management or at least a qualification in property services?  Does your manager rely heavily on emails when in some instances it just might be more appropriate to call the client/owner before sending the email?

 

Q.   How effective is your debt collection policy?   Do you find some owners are continually in arrears often causing disputes and making it impossible for committees to achieve any real outcomes.

Insurance:

 

Q.   When was your last property valuation carried out?

Are you covered for the total replacement value of the buildings? Is the public liability cover sufficient in the event of death or injury? Does your manager discuss your insurance needs and options at every general meeting? 

 

Maintenance:  

 

Q.  How well does your maintenance fund and plan operate?  When owners make suggestions for special maintenance projects are these suggestions deferred or rejected outright due to a lack of available funding? A well managed maintenance fund along with a 10 year plan would allow owners to continually upgrade the common property into the future.

 

Disputes:

 

Q.  Are the usual car parking, pets, rubbish disposal and noise issues a recurring theme for your community?  If disputes arise over these issues then the rules applying to these matters need to be reviewed and updated to accommodate the needs of residents.

 

Administration:

 

Q.  Does your administration budget have adequate funds available to allow for the unexpected?  Does the budget continue in surplus or does it move into deficit all too often due to increases in annual expenses or outstanding arrears?

 

Rules:   

 

Q.  Does your strata scheme have any special rules in place and if so are all residents aware of these rules?

 

If only the 'model rules' apply then all owners and tenants still need to be informed of what these rules involve. 

 

Health and Safety:

 

Q.   Is health and safety a priority for your community?  Are all the common areas in your strata community as safe as they could be and are all the essential safety measures being maintained regularly?

  

Further assistance: 

 

Strata Community Australia (Vic)

www.vic.stratacommunity.org.au/

 

Consumer Affairs Victoria

www.consumer.vic.gov.au/

 

If a comparison would be helpful then call or email us directly!