Strata Management is the professional management of Strata Titled Properties. In South Australia, Strata Titled properties can consist of apartments, units, flats, homettes, townhouses and more. These are all part of a strata title collective which means these dwellings comprise of more than one Owner and have an element of common property. Strata Titled properties are governed by the Strata Titles Act of 1988 and each property may be Residential, Commercial, Industrial, or mixed-use in nature. Strata Titles can be seen as a community of Owners who are responsible for the maintenance and insurance of common property, who have rights and responsibilities as outlined in the fore mentioned Strata Title Act and the articles/decisions made by the Owners as a group.
Imagine you are on the board of a Company and responsible for that Company. As a Board member, you are also responsible for your other board members. The board employing a CEO could be compared to a Strata group employing a Strata Manager. The Owners will set the decisions and directions of the group, but your employed Manager is there to assist, guide, and make sure that you know your legal requirements and obligations so that you can ensure compliance and safety.
The role of the Strata Manager is to ensure that the unit Owners have the necessary resources available to enable them to make decisions regarding the strata-titled property, which are in accordance with the governing Act, the group Articles, and other legislation applicable to their group. Your Strata Manager is not a Lawyer or specialist in any area outside of Strata. Their job is to provide the group with information to assist in locating and utilising Specialists in the areas that the Owners need support. These resources from the Strata Manager will allow your group to make informed decisions.
Can a Strata Group Self Manage?
There is no legal requirement for a Strata Titled group to employ a Strata Manager in Adelaide/ South Australia. If your group of Owners consists of members who are comfortable to act on behalf of the group, support Members, ensure the group is compliant under the Act, conduct Annual General Meetings, mitigate safety risks, meet insurance requirements, keep records, banking, manage contribution levy raising, report and contain breaches of the Act by Residents/Owners, then the members should be grateful and pleased to have such support as opposed to hiring a professional strata manager.
Whilst there are a lot of benefits to engaging a Manager, some groups can certainly successfully self-manage. However, many groups choose to engage a Manager as an impartial knowledgeable party, available to mitigate and assist when conflicts arise between the Members or Residents. This can also be valuable when Ownerships change with-in the group as group dynamics alter and knowledge base may be lost as owners depart. The value of having ongoing management of the site to provide an external perspective and guidance cannot be understated.
Professional Strata Management
As a unit owner, it is imperative that the Manager you employ is capable, professional, and able to assist and guide the group. Your Manager needs to be someone who understands the needs of your group and who the Members are comfortable working with. Having a rapport with your Manager is important. We recommend that when speaking with a potential strata management company, you speak directly to the person who will be managing your property, not a salesperson, the Business Development person, or Office Assistant. We strongly recommend you speak with the actual Manager with whom your group will need to work with.
A professional strata management company in Adelaide should not be judged and defined by its size (being the largest or the smallest). When searching for a professional Management Company, you should look to the Managers and team that work there, and what their service will be like.
Another area that your group should check Is if the organisation is a Member of the SCA*? The Strata Community Association (https://www.strata.community/) is the peak body in Australia and New Zealand for Industry Manager and unit Owners. Engaging an SCA member ensures that your Manager is signed to the SCA code of conduct and has a commitment to professionalism and ethics.
Is the Manager who you are engaging, an SCA accredited Manager?
Becoming an accredited manager and maintaining that accreditation is important to ensure the Manager is constantly up to date with any important industry changes and information that may affect your property. We are pleased that Stratarama is an SCA SA Member and that Tony Johnson maintains his level 3 practicing Manager accreditation. Level three is the highest current level attained by any Manager in SA.
Members of the SCA are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism for the Strata sector. The Members are continually developing their skills and knowledge as the SCA provides the opportunities and programs to keep them abreast of Strata policy, legislative and regulatory changes. These qualifications are nationally and internationally recognised.
For Strata Clients/Owners and third parties/suppliers in SA, this SCA accreditation is an identifier of Managers who submit themselves not only to a code of conduct but also to ongoing development and ethical standards. This security and trust can only be found by engaging an SCA Member office and accredited Strata Manager.