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Self Managment vs Paid Strata Manager
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Faraway girl
Coastal NSW
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05/08/2018 - 10:34 am
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Our NSW Strata Scheme has had two different Strata Managers in 2 years. We have not been pleased with either. It seems that the advice they give us is not in compliance with the Act, and even the election of our last Strata Committee was not in compliance which we pointed out to the Strata Manager but was ignored. 

Has anyone moved from paying a Strata Manager to self Managment by the Strata Committee and if so what were the pros and cons?  We are a 14 lot Strata Scheme. 

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JimmyT
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06/08/2018 - 10:10 am
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Have a look at our sponsors Stratabox’s system.  It would be the perfect basis for self-management.

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Cosmo
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06/08/2018 - 2:41 pm
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FG, not moved from a Strata Manager to self management but I am a big advocate for self management.  Our OC does it (5 owners).  With things like the system in Jimmy’s email it is not hard.  Let’s face it most small stratas don’t comply to the letter of the law but with goodwill and common sense most manage to muddle through.

It has a lot of benefits.  But first you have to decide, do the OC have the skills and the willingness to do it themselves?  A lot depends upon the personalities in the OC.  As a minimum you need the following functions accounted for:

-a chair to oversee meetings and other formalities;

-a treasurer who can draw up accounts and keep account of fees paid;

-a secretary to draw up agenda and minutes; and 

-maybe an onsite manager who agrees to oversee maintenance etc (we try to spread the burden around for this).

The above tasks aren’t that onerous and one person can do multiple tasks.  With electronic communications and banking etc it really saves on money.  It is gratifying to see the money that would otherwise be spent on admin going to actual maintenance and improvements.  

The major downfall to me is that occasionally those who undertake tasks and functions get pissed at those who don’t!  It is particularly galling when those who don’t participate have something they want done and they act like it is the most important thing in world.  

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Stratabox.com.au
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07/08/2018 - 10:23 pm
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Thanks Jimmy! We are always happy to help.

At the end of the day, you need to look at the value you get from your manager. For lots of schemes on the smaller side, the costs per lot can be higher yet not as profitable as a large scheme for the manager. As mentioned above, there are many aspects to consider before deciding to self manage, I would add a few to the list:

– A few organised, competent and motivated owners with a little time on their hands

– A building that is not too complex

– A good proportion of owner occupiers

– Levies paid on time

– A general consensus around the objectives for the scheme

– Good vibes, as “personalities” are a huge factor

From what we have observed, the schemes that work well all have a very active and engaged committee which already scrutinise most of the work anyway. From there it is just more admin. You can always get ad-hoc advice if you need it, and return to a professional if things don’t go to plan.

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Faraway girl
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07/08/2018 - 11:31 pm
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Thank you all. These tips have really helped. We have a broad range of skills on our Committee so it seems we are well placed for self management. I’ll investigate Stratabox.com.au and then discuss with the committee. Thanks again 

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