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  • #49864
    Just Asking
    Flatchatter

    Our strata manager each month charges various amounts to our strata scheme, in addition to a very basic levy, but which can be linked back to their contract. There are often included amounts described as “additional services”, totalling thousands of dollars, for which no notice or explanation is given. The contract states that “non standard” work, or that which exceeds their monetary delegation, is undertaken “upon instruction”.

    in the absence of any “instruction” by the owners corporation (or strata committee), or an invoice provided, is the strata manager entitled to simply deduct amounts from our bank account?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by .
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  • #49878
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    JUST ASKING said: do you suggest that the strata manager’s invoices for their various fees could be available to the strata committee via the portal?”

    Yes, absolutely. I would think at the very least you could ask for the extra charges to be itemised into basic categories such as:

    • Dealing with correspondence
    • Answering phone calls from owners
    • Researching projects on behalf of the strata scheme
    • Attending meetings
    • Anything else you can think of

    At least then you could tell if the charges are genuine or if the strata manager is just making them up as they go.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by .
    #49874
    Just Asking
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    We do have access to information through a portal provided by a well known strata software operator. Only invoices from contractors such as gardeners are available. Jimmy do you suggest that the strata manager’s invoices for their various fees could be available to the strata committee via the portal?

    #49868
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Schedule B charges are a very common way for strata managers to pump up their charges or cover their costs (depending on which way you look at them).

    The weasel words here are “upon instruction” because if at any time your committee has asked the strata manager to take care of correspondence, for instance, that would be considered an instruction that would cover every instance.

    What you need to do is ask for an itemised invoice of their charges and then conduct an audit of what they are doing and what they have been specifically asked to do.

    If they are handling a lot of issues that they haven’t been contracted to do, then you should ask for those to be itemised in your bill (although that might in itself attract an extra charge).

    And your committee might want to instruct them not to do any more than the very specific jobs that they have been hired to do.  But then the question arises of who will make the extra calls and answer the additional emails.

    What you really need is a bit more transparency and there are a lot of software packages the strata managers can use that would allow that without any additional burden on them or cost to you.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by .
    #49867
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    Most SM contracts have a table called schedule B. It is a list of charges for various work they may do for the OC.

    My experience is that some SM are more vigorous than others in applying these charges.

    It’s all legal what they charge because it’s in the contract the OC signed.

    It’s often a point that OC don’t understand when they appoint a SM.

    On the other hand , it’s not a bad idea to ask the SM to justify ever charge., in case they are being a bit liberal in their  charging

    I’m going through a situation where a former SM for our property seems to have overcharged the OC, and now can’t justify their charges.

    Watch this space

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