This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Jimmy-T 5 days, 7 hours ago.

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    Hi flat chat,

    I’m in NSW and sometimes I get confused as the role of strata and where there interests and representation lie etc..

    To me on face value, they represent the requests and wants to the Owners corporation of the strata plan/building they have a contract with(the OC of that building or strata plan, that the strata agency manage and have a contract with)…

    And they liaise with the strata plan strata committee to manage the building effectively..

    In other words they are not a “voice or a lawyer” for residents in that specific strata plan number so to speak etc, merely just a messenger for residents if they have any complaints about say common property matters in the building that the residents live in etc..

    Just wanted to raise this, as sometimes I get confused about the role of strata agencies within a building and the type of professional relations they have with residents in the buildings they have a contract to manage…


    Cheers, Matt.

    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey

    The buck stops with the executive committee and the Owner’s Corporation. Managing agents sometime run things by default because the committee or OC doesn’t. However, the committee and OC have the authority to instruct the managing agent, even against the managing agent’s advice or preference (so long as it would not be illegal). The managing agent should give advice to the committee and owners because they are employed by the OC to be expert in OC management but ultimately it is the committee (or the OC at a general meeting) that is responsible for decisions.

    The managing agent’s function is simply to assist the committee undertaking its roles. So, for example, a managing agent might do all the mechanics of accounting, receiving levies and paying invoices for services and products to the OC, but the treasurer is responsible to satisfy the committee that those functions are being performed properly.

    If the managing agent is saying or doing something you don’t like, talk to a committee member. The committee represents you as a member of the OC. The managing agent is just an employee of the OC, albeit one who might be able to provide good advice to any OC member or the committee.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 19 hours ago by Sir Humphrey.

    The exception to what Sir Humphrey has outlined would be the statutorily appointed strata manager (try say that three times with a mouthful of muesli). The statutory manager is appointed by NCAT in situations where a block is dysfunctional to the point that it is not operating properly under the terms of the Act.

    That can cover a multitude of sins, from failure to hold meetings, through neglect of common property, to out and out corruption with committee members illegally granting themselves special privileges.  In the case of a statutory appointment, the Owners Corporation can cease to exist as a controlling body for the duration, although there are provisions under the law for the Tribunal to specify the role of the manager (levy setting and bill payment, for instance).

    However, in most cases, the owners have ceded control of their building to a manager until such times as they can show themselves to be capable of running things properly.

    Having a strata manager statutorily appointed to a seriously dysfunctional block can be one of those “be careful what you wish for” moments as they are, on the one hand, expected to do things by the book, and on the other accountable to no one, so they can hire their favoured tradies at inflated rates, if they so desire.

    The point is, the owners of the building have a mountain to climb if the realised belatedly that they have made a mistake.  The standard appointment of an SM is one year, usually extended for a second at their request.

    Otherwise, as Sir Humphrey said, the strata manager is employed by the owners corporation and usually instructed by the committee.  However, in a few buildings the power chain gets twisted out of shape and you find the manager is instructing the committee and the owners at a general meeting (where the real power lies) just go along with whatever they are told.


    Matt wrote:

    I’m in NSW and sometimes I get confused as the role of strata and where there interests and representation lie etc..

    It would probably help your thinking if you stopped using the generic term “strata”.  In NSW and Victoria the owners as a group are members of the Owners Corporation (Body Corporate in Queensland), by dint of ownership of their lot.  This is a club to which you belong whether you want to or not.

    At the risk of repeating Sir Humphrey’s explanation above, the Owners Corporation can make decisions about the strata scheme – apartment block or townhouses –  at a general meeting.  They are required to hold at least one general meeting every year  (the AGM) at which they elect the Strata Committee and decide on levies.

    The committee acts on behalf of the owners corp but can make many decisions on their own (except those that require special resolutions). The owners at a general meeting can rescind or over-ride decisions of the committee.

    The strata manager can also be delegated to make decisions on behalf of the committee and Owners Corp (like issuing breach notices) but they are ultimately acting under the instructions of the committee and the OC.

    To put this in parliamentary terms, the owners are parliament, the strata committee is the Cabinet, the chair is the Prime Minister and the strata manager is the Civil Service (not the monarch, although some may disagree).

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 7 hours ago by Jimmy-T.
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