That old saying of “better the devil you know” rarely applies more than in your choice of strata managers.
But if, like one Flat Chat reader, your strata manager’s contract is coming up for renewal and it has a roll-over clause, you might want to at least address the issue before you are stuck for several more years with someone you’re not sure about.
However, how do you know you don’t already have the best people for your building? And how do you know the next one will be any better?
With strata managers, if you choose well, you get what you pay for but you should only pay for what you need.
If yours is a high maintenance building with lots of issues that keep your strata manager tied to the end of the phone, you might be better off with a company that costs more up front but provides an all-inclusive service with few extra charges.
If your building is relatively trouble free, with most of its issues resolved efficiently by an active committee, you could choose a strata manager who costs less up front but charges you more for phone calls, letters and meetings.
If the same strata manager has been with you for years, why do you want to change them? That said, if the strata manager and committee have been in cahoots to keep each other in control, it’s probably time for a clean-out.
And if the strata company sends you a new manager every three months, that’s a sure sign that your building is not high on their priorities.
So if you are going to change strata managers, ask to meet the person who will be handling your scheme, not the company principal who you may never see again.
Talk to existing and prospective strata managers and tell them exactly what you expect from them, especially how involved you’d expect them to be in the day-to-day running of your scheme.
Good ones will tell you if your expectations are unrealistic on your budget. Others will agree to everything … so make sure you get it in writing.
And consider joining the Owners Corporation Network where you can tap into a wealth of experience from other strata schemes, including advice on the best and worst strata managers around.
There’s more on this here on the Forum.