Generally speaking, some strata owners aim to save money by delegating management tasks to one or more unit owners on a voluntary basis (and the voluntary factor is important because under the Owners Corporations Act (2006) these persons must not receive payment for their services). Frequently one owner volunteers to take on all the tasks of managing the Owners Corporation.
This may often work well in the short-term, however over a period of time many self-managed Owners Corporations experience difficulty in collecting the fees to pay for insurance, gardening and regular maintenance. There’s also the paperwork and managing the bank account and other compliance issues that are required by law. Not only that, it is difficult enough when all the units are owner-occupied – the difficulties are magnified many times over when a large proportion of the units are investments and the owner lives somewhere else.
Then there is the problem of remaining legally compliant, as well as managing disputes about everything from noisy neighbours to parking issues to ‘who pays for what’ repairs and maintenance. Life is hard enough… sometimes the task just becomes too onerous.
If you do decide to speak to an external OC manager, here is a list of the important questions you should ask to satisfy yourself that you are speaking to a professional who won’t let you down, take your money and provide minimal service.
- Are they full time strata specialists… is this their core business and sole focus, and not a secondary service they are providing?
- Are they experienced in all aspects of management?
- Are they local to your body corporate?
- Are they members of Strata Community Australia (Vic) – the peak industry body?
- Will they build a relationship with you and the other owners?
- Will they take care of one of your greatest assets - your property?
- Will they provide the professional services that help to take away the hassle, stress, and risk of the day-to-day management of your strata community?
- Will they work with you to fully understand your specific property strata management needs