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  • #40701

    Hi All,

    What is the is an average admin telephone charge that Strata Managers charge?  I was just going over some financials of our Strata Plan and noticed what I believe to be excessive charging from the strata managers for telephone fees. Does $1,300.00? a year sound right? The managers are soon to be ex managers as we are negotiating with new strata managers.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by .
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  • #48767

    We recently invited bids from 3 Strata Managing Agents for 3 years with following conditions :

    All invoices must be paid within 5 business days AFTER receipt of due approval subject to availability of funds in trust accounts.

    Fixed SMA commission with a fixed annual hike, say 3%, given in $ per lot per annum.

    All other charges including Schedule A or any other including postage,phone calls,printing fixed given in $ per lot per annum.

    SM Visit charges for attending AGM and other Strata Committee meetings fixed in $ per hour or part thereof.

    We expect savings of over 30% compared to last year.

    One Strata Management Agency we deal with is levying charges in units of time like lawyers. Hence we put these new conditions. And it worked.

    Also I request all treasurers to check payments once a day.It takes only 5 minutes.It tells you how lazy or active is your SM in paying approved invoices ; faster invoice payment improves service providers’ loyalty to the Strata ; helps detect over or short payment , double payments. Most SMA Accounts staff are handling more work than they can and are thus prone to make unintended mistakes.

    Be gentle when you find mistakes. Above useful for large strata with over 75 lots.

    (from NSW)

    Another way to reduce phone contact/costs, as our own strata manager points out, is that the strata committee should use one of its position holders as the single point of contact to the strata manager on committee decisions/matters. Then they don’t get extra calls and potential variations on what the committee has decided from multiple members that they then need to call and cross-check between.

    That’s not to say they’re not gouging fees from you … but it might be less easy to hide the gouging if you reduce the costs as much as possible.

    In the first instance, as David said, you can at least ask what the cost covers which will also let them know you’re watching them.


    I think David NG misunderstands.  This sounds like charges for calls made and/or received .  If so, whether or not it is excessive depends on a) the type of contract you have and b) the number of calls made to and by the strata manager.

    There are basically two types of strata management agreement.  The first, and on the face of it more expensive, is all inclusive and covers all admin costs.  The secon is cheaper on the face of it but ramps up its cost through Schedule B costs, like phone calls, writing letters etc etc.

    If you are a settled building with not much traffic between the owners and the strata manager a Schedule B weighted contract will save you money.  If you have a lot of contact with your strata manager, an all-inclusive contract may be the way to go (provided it doesn’t limit contact).

    As for excessive costs, someone should ask how many phone calls that figure represents, who they were to and what they were about.

    David Ng

    Is that just cost of the phone line, including outgoing calls? Or does it include the cost of answering the phone?

    If it is just the cost of the phone line including calls, ask to see a very detailed account because you’ve been charged a lot. A basic mobile phone plan with unlimited  phone calls can be had for $10-$15 per month.

    The benefit of this is that if set out properly in the agreement is that the number can belong to the OC and be used by subsequent strata managers.  This means that residents get the benefit of not having to change the contact number when the strata manger changes.

    Nor do suppliers. And the bill can be sent directly to the OC so they can see who the strata manager is calling on their behalf.



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