In what ways does a Strata Manager differ from a Property Manager? In each State of Australia, the services provided or required by management differ in accordance with the individual legislation. We will concentrate on South Australia.
To begin with, a Strata Manager is appointed not by one Owner but rather is engaged by a Strata Corporation (a group of unit/ lot owners in a Strata complex). These combined Owners are responsible for common property and the collective of the complex. The common property needs will vary from property to property (Strata complexes may consist of units, apartments, townhouses, homettes and other forms of multi-property dwellings).
The collective of Owners is responsible for matters such as common lighting, common plumbing, common water, common maintenance to driveway, roofs, fences and other maintenance which is common to all Owners and not for the exclusive use of any one unit. The Owners may well consist of some investment Owners who could potentially employ a Property Manager directly, however, that Property Manager would be responsible only to that Owner and not the collective of Strata Owners. Their role as a Property manager may include tasks such as rent control, property leasing, internal maintenance on items that belong and are used solely by the property individually, and much more.
Strata Manager in South Australia is engaged by the Strata Corporation (all Owners).
Property Manager in SA is engaged by an Individual Property Owner (i.e one unit or home)
The Strata Manager for the group not only makes sure that the group is running in accordance with the Corporation’s legal responsibilities such as Annual General meetings, collective insurance policies, maintenance and more but also are utilised as a mediator between residents, Owners and even Property Managers. You will find in our other articles many further details about a Strata Managers role.
A Property Manager is often called upon to ensure that the Tenant complies with their Tenancy agreement, and complies with the Residential Tenancy Act.
A Strata Manager is called upon by the group to ensure all Owners and members comply with the Strata Titles Act, Articles of the Corporation and any policies or house rules created (and/ or amended) by the Members.
Whilst it is easy for someone to say “Isn’t it your job?” or “what do I pay you for”, the reality is, it very well may not be their job. If you own a Strata unit (or even a Community Title unit), it is in your best interest to familiarise yourself with what Property Managers and Strata Managers responsibilities are and who they are working for. The differences are quite clear from our notes above and if you are an investment owner, you may well have a need/ or be part of engaging both types of Managers.
As an Owner, there is no requirement to have either a Strata or Property Manager. The group may or may not collectively engage a Strata Manager and if they don’t, the group will be responsible for all the requirements under the Strata Titles Act that we mentioned earlier.
There may be some overlap in the roles, and good Property Managers and Strata Managers who understand clearly their own roles and responsibilities will go a long way to ensuring all your needs are met.
It is easy to see why there can be some confusion by Owners with respect to the differences, but we hope we have gone some way to explaining some of the main points. If you are not sure, reach out to us for further information or guidance. At the end of the day, each Manager is a specialist in their own field and despite the similarities, the differences are also stark.
You wouldn’t hire a Lawn Contractor to cut your hair, even though they both use blades to trim growth.