I’ve been approached recently by some strata unit owners who have become stressed with their current situation and their current management arrangements. They felt that the process to change management was difficult and stressful, and that rather than do something, perhaps it was too hard, and that now especially during corona, it was harder than ever to make a shift. They didn’t want to be locked into another year though with existing management.
Stratarama already have a page devoted to changing your manager.
We certainly understand that this can seem to be a daunting task sometimes, because as a unit owner, you want to simply get on with the quiet enjoyment of owning or living in your unit.
Obviously before anything else, reach out to an alternative management company and ask to speak directly to the person who would be your Manager if you make a shift. It is important to know this person and be comfortable with how they operate and will work for your group, before looking at any pricing or quotes. Don’t speak with the Business development manager, speak with the person who is going to deal with the business of your group every day. The good news is that even in this time of upheaval, this discussion is only a phone call away! Better yet maybe they can arrange a video call with you. Now you have determined who your preference is to trust with the management of your asset, it is time to put it to your other unit owners.
- A general meeting can be called by the secretary, or any two members of the management committee, or one-fifth of the unit owners. So reach out to these other members, or if you are able – call the meeting. Again, in this changing landscape – a phone meeting will be perfectly sufficient provided all the appropriate actions to call a meeting are taken.
- Don’t forget that you must make a reasonable effort to ensure that Owner who wishes to attend, can do so, by making the date, time and location as convenient as possible to a majority of Members. If you don’t know the other Owners in your group, you may need to reach out to the current Strata Manager by email or phone and obtain a contact list of the members. You are entitled to access a list of owners so that your strata group can speak directly to its members and make important decisions about your group.
- Ensure that the meeting has been called correctly, every Member has the opportunity to attend, is given the required notice of the meeting (I would give more than 14 days to allow for postage time, to be sure, particularly in this corona climate, remember that Australia Post are not delivering as regularly) and enclosing the agenda item as it is to be voted on, the quotes and proxy form. With all of this met, the Presiding Officer must accept the meeting as being duly convened.
- Minutes must be taken showing the date, time, location, Members present, Resolution and outcome. These minutes should then be distributed to all in attendance and to any Owners who were unable to attend. Depending on the outcome the minutes can then also be sent on to the current Managers to notify them that at the end of their contract period their services will not be renewed.
- Your group will likely have signed on to a 12-month contract at the last AGM, so the existing management service will end at approx. that time should the group not accept terms for renewal. Note that the Members can cancel service at that meeting should it not be possible to hold a general meeting prior to the AGM. The Strata Manager will be able to provide you with a copy of your contract when requested.
- A quorum of the Members in a Strata Corporation is 50% of the units eligible to vote (i.e 3 unit Members in a group of 6 that are financial). The larger the group, sometimes the more difficult it can be to get a quorum, however if your first meeting does not achieve a quorum, the requirements for an adjourned meeting are more relaxed and we will be able to assist you further if you have any queries about this.
Once you have had your meeting and Owners have by majority at that meeting agreed to make a shift – we (or your new Managers) can handle all the handover, liason with previous managers, data collection other items pertaining to your group. Sit back, let us take it from there.
If you aren’t sure, or have any queries, just contact me now for advice. Even if you decide to stay with your current managers or accept a quote from another company, I will be happy to assist you with the information you need to empower you.
As I like to say : It’s your Community.
Give me a call, send me an email, we can arrange a time to chat or Zoom, facetime or email.