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Self managed or self destructive?


20 Dec 2022

“Acting quickly and understanding the Owners Corporation (OC) requirements has enabled these owners to rest easy, they are now comfortable that their interests are being looked after” 

Tim McNally, MBCM Strata Specialists - Western Districts, Victoria.
 
We are often asked (particularly by OC’s looking to leave their incumbent management company) why they should engage with us rather than taking the management in-house and managing it themselves. Many figure they could save money doing this or have more control of their building. The reality is, that it's only when your OC manager is really working hard for you that it all appears so simple and seamless.
 
A recent example of some of the pitfalls of a self-managed owners corporation were highlighted by a property in Koroit Street Warrnambool. The group of units had been self-managed until one of the owners believed they were “in over their heads” and contacted Tim McNally from MBCM Strata Specialists Western Districts for help. The owner was worried and rightfully so. He advised they currently had no owners corporation insurance including building or common area insurance. This is a legal requirement, so it was very concerning. Tim immediately provided him with a brochure from Consumer Affairs Victoria with more details of the required management of an owners corporation so that he could understand where they stood from a compliance perspective.
 
Unfortunately, that was not the only problem the self-managed OC had encountered. They also had no luck contacting two separate lot owners, as they did not live at their properties, to discuss the requirements and responsibilities of being part of an OC. Basically, this owner at the property was at his wits end and urgently required help. Tim was happy to step in and demonstrate the value of engaging an owners corporation manager.
 
Tim got to work consulting with other OC members and encouraging them to attend an inaugural meeting where they could vote on appointing MBCM Strata Specialists as their OC Manager, which they did. Immediately after the meeting, Tim organised the required OC insurance ensuring the members were receiving the correct cover and providing instant peace of mind.
 
Tim then spent several months pursuing the two lot owners that were previously uncontactable. He tried letters, phone calls, door knocking and property visits. Whatever avenues he could think of in order to advise them of their responsibilities.  He finally had success, but the work was not over. When Tim got hold of them they were initially reluctant to accept their involvement in an OC. After lengthy discussion, Tim realised they just didn’t know what was involved. A bit of patient explaining of the legal requirements of an OC and how OC managers can help, went a long way. Tim feels proud to now be able to count both owners as active financial members of this OC.
 
The owners of this property all acknowledge that without Tim’s constant investigative pursuit, this OC would still be non-functioning.
 
“It came down to a matter of trust. I needed to prove the value of bringing us on as OC managers so that they could feel comfortable that their interests are being looked after and that management was a worthwhile investment.” 

Tim McNally, MBCM Strata Specialists - Western Districts, Victoria.