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  • #55013

    What can we expect our Strata Manager to do for us these days in our Sydney block of 40 apartments built in the 70s? I understand this topic has been visited in Flat Chat before but I wonder if it’s time for a fresh look at it by Flat Chat’s experts.

    I remember reading the phrase ‘You’re only as good as your Strata Committee’ here somewhere too, even when, like us, the jobs of the Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman are signed over the Strata Manager.

    What happens here is stuff like gardening and cleaning is not overseen, not even Owners Corporation plumbing repairs and such. Nobody takes responsibility. I mean, the Strata Manager isn’t going to bother to come on-site and checkup are they? Even if they’re paid thousands to fulfil committee positions. I reckon the Strata Committee should keep good tabs on all this. Am I right?

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  • #55022

    Being on the committee of three strata, and having owned strata property for almost 4 decades, here is my take to your question.

    Even the best strata manager does not live in your building. They depend on the residents to report any maintenance issues. Make sure you have a strata manager who responds promptly to repair requests. Make it so that he doesn’t need to consult the committee to get a repair done (that requires that the OC is in a good financial position). Once residents are confident they can report a repair and see it repaired, they’ll be inclined to do it for even the small things.

    Make sure you have an active committee that can work with the strata manager. Only a minority of owners attend general meetings and even fewer nominate for the committee. If you see that things need to be done, nominate yourself for the committee. I got a lot done in one block with me and one other (inexperienced) person. It’s the attitude, not the knowledge that makes changes.

    Make sure the admin fund can handle the unexpected expenses. Make sure the capital works fund is well funded and don’t be afraid to spend CWF money in order to replace old items. I have never had a problem with putting up levies if I show owners a plan (of how their money will be spent.

    Look for the shiniest apartment block in your street. That’s where they have an engaged committee.

    Look for the daggiest building in your street. That’s the one where no one cares.



    I agree with all that Kaindub has said.  If all powers have been delegated to the strata manager then you have to take them back if the SM isn’t even doing the basics.

    I would compile a document prior to your next AGM that explains to owners how the value of their investments is being eroded by neglect of the building.  Compare like-for-like rents with nearby blocks that are well-maintained.  The one thing that motivates investor owners above anything else is money.

    And then there’s the argument that if the committee isn’t even going to trouble themselves by having a chair, and secretary, then why are they even standing for election?

    Get the email addresses of all the owners and start your campaign.  The strata manager may refuse to give you the email addresses on the entirely spurious basis of privacy.  This is nonsense.  You are entitled to see all records of the Owners Corp and that includes email addresses.

    And as far as taking back the offices of the committee, all the committee has to do is meet, pass a resolution and inform the strata manager.  So, as Kaindub says, take over the committee with at least one committed and organised person by your side, and off you go.

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