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  • #8519


    There was a programme aired recently on Today Tonight concerning the existence and growing practice of dangerous “rental” overcrowding within some inner city apartments. This is not new; many Resident Managers who run successful Management Rights businesses with in some of Sydney’s largest and prestigious inner city residential buildings know all about this…….AND it doesn’t happen in their buildings!

    Why? Because under a Management Rights arrangement the Owners grant the Resident Manager the “rights” to not only Care-take the building and its common areas and facilities, but also the “exclusive” right to be the only on-site real estate property manager.  This means that the building’s owners, often through an empowering by-law, encourage all “investor” owners in the building to use the property management services of their in-house Resident Manager and NOT to use outside real estate agencies!

    Is this legal?

    Yes, as long as individual owners still have the “right” to choose any agent they like, the Owners (via the Executive Committee) can strongly encourage all investor owners to use the designated on-site manager who, after all, has to also live next door to the tenants he /she puts into the building! This is Management rights in action.

    No Building Facility Management company can do the same thing. First they are NOT licensed, second they don’t live 24/7 in the building and thirdly they are not qualified as property managers. A property manager of course needs to conduct the in-house property management rentals through an audited trust account…they also need to take continual training courses to maintain their property license.

    So what is really happening out there in Strata Land?

    Well, as Today Tonight reported, slum landlords often own or control a number of inner city / high rental demand apartments. Their motivation is money, and overcrowding to them is a method to extract as much rent from a given property by “renting by the room”, or by renting by the week, day or month. This practice of offering extreme short term tenancy (often called “serviced apartments letting’) is yet another issue plaguing Sydney’s residential apartment buildings.

    Management Rights solves all these issues.

    It positions an on-site Residential Manager, who actually has to buy into the building as part of his Management Rights contractual agreements, as the enemy of outside agents and the scourge of rogue investor owners who try to profit by many of the above-mentioned  illegal letting practices!

    In the real world of inner city property management, these rogue investor owners (often of a certain ethnic group) will try to by-pass the Resident Manager and use their own designated Real Estate agent (often another member of their same ethnic group).

    An alert on-site Residential Manager will know this; he will be on the lookout for trouble. He will spot advertisements on websites and newspapers offering low cost “student” or “backpacker” accommodation especially ones that sound suspiciously like they might be targeting his building! So, when potential tenants show up at “his” building he corals them and their agent and reads them the ACT telling them, in no uncertain terms,  how long the minimum lease needs to be, how many people are permitted in a certain size apartment and all the other rules and compliances that relate to his building.  He will also clearly highlight the measures he will go to on a daily basis to ensure that these rules are adhered to,  and that he will constantly monitor who is entering the apartment and who is living there!

    One Resident Manager (Tony) who owns a successful Management Rights in Pyrmont, made life so bad for tenants that he knew were trying to overcrowd a unit within his building, that in less than a week they all moved out! Every time a friend came to visit he asked for I.D. Every time the tenants came home he asked for I.D. At night his security team were primed to ask all persons entering “that” apartment to provide I.D. In the end the tenants and the rogue outside agent “just gave up” ………..it was just too hard….. so naturally  they just went off and found an easier building. There are plenty of them……….and NOT enough Tony’s!

    So Management Rights truly does control Australia’s slum landlords!

    Another win for Management Rights…….but sadly, very rarely acknowledged in the world of Strata.

    Thank you

    Pip West


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  • #23124

    No, I’m an owner occupier recently joined the EC.


    tharra, are you the Caretaker?


    @JimmyT said:

    So, this is someone who lives on the premises and has a long-term contract with the owners corp to be the “caretaker”? 



    @tharra said:


    I have yet to have even ONE resident owner tell me they are glad they bought into a building with an on-site manager. 

    You have just found me ;) Our on site manager does a great job.

    So, this is someone who lives on the premises and has a long-term contract with the owners corp to be the “caretaker”?  I’m sure there must be a couple out there somewhere but I’m checking to see we are talking about the same thing and not just a facilities manager who doesn’t live in the block.



    I have been banging this drum for nearly 10 years now and I have yet to have even ONE resident owner tell me they are glad they bought into a building with an on-site manager. 

    You have just found me ;) Our on site manager does a great job.


    To get into a building you need an access card/fob or to use the intercom.

    If you have extra tenants then you need them to be able to get into the unit thus you give them an access card/fob, but it’s limited, 2 bedroom = 4 access card/fob etc..

    So what the slumlord will do if he has 6 extra tenants?

    He will buy or make himself duplicated access card/fob  for his extra tenants or he will install a machine called Black Box into the unit intercom receiver so the receiver can open the lobby door and lift level without having to physically press the button Open.

    If the proper security access control is installed then you have all extra tenants in big difficulties to get into the units.

    They won’t stay.


    Pip is a great proponent of strata rights management – partly, at least, because its his job to do so.

    However, on-site managers are not a the magic bullet solution to overcrowded apartments – far from it.

    In the past I have encountered managers who were running exclusive real estate businesses and short-term rentals for the benefit of non- resident owners, in defiance of the buildings’ own by-laws and local council planning approvals, and to the great detriment of residents, both owners and long-term tenants.

    And that’s before you even mention  the in-built corruption of developers selling strata rights management agreements to managers and then pushing approval of these contracts through the first AGM before owners have a chance to get themselves organised. 

    The manager than has to charge additional money to the Owners Corps to repay what they have paid the developers – and that’s before they even charge for the services they actually provide.

    If the Strata Rights Management people could embrace a system where there was genuine transparency – where potential owners were informed that a building had an on-site manager who had paid X amount for the contract, had exclusive rights to let apartments and, by the way, this building is probably better suited to investor owners, then I would be more convinced.

    But we don’t get that.  Instead we get managers harvesting proxies from investors, then running the buildings to suit themselves and their ‘mates’, controlling the flow of information, and the owner residents can like it or lump it.

    I have been banging this drum for nearly 10 years now and I have yet to have even ONE resident owner tell me they are glad they bought into a building with an on-site manager.

    That said, I’m sure there are very good and diligent on-site managers looking after their buildings to the benefit of all owners.  But to the average Joe or Jo looking to buy an apartment, there’s no way of telling the good from the bad until it’s too late. 

    It’s an entirely unregulated area of strata living where, yet again, the problem starts with putting more money in the developers’ pockets and nobody gives a damn about what happens after that.

    What are the qualifications and training for an on-site manager? The law demands you undertake more training to be a cocktail barman.


    If someone accosted every person visiting me demanding ID, I would have to think about my legal options.

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