Strata Management: Everything You Need to Know
Choosing a strata management company for your strata-titled property can seem complex. With so much to consider, it can be challenging to differentiate between providers and service offerings.
First, let’s start with getting a better understanding of what a strata management company does.
What does strata management do?
Strata managers are responsible for managing the common property of a strata property on behalf of the owners’ strata corporation.
The responsibilities of a strata management company typically include but are not limited to:
Strata managers take care of the financial affairs of the owners’ corporation, such as reporting, budgeting, financial reporting, bill management, tax returns, salaries, payment, collecting strata levies, and managing the sinking fund.
Maintenance and repairs
Strata management maintains the property and handles any required repairs.
These include record keeping, organising meetings, and managing correspondence.
Ensuring compliance with regulations
Strata managers ensure that the owners’ company is compliant with regional and federal strata laws and regulations, like fire safety, strata title property legislations and laws, and building codes.
Strata management is responsible for resolving disputes that may arise between owners or between owners and residents, through negotiation, mediation, or legal actions if required.
The social aspect
A strata manager plans and organises social events in the strata community, as well as collects feedback from the residents.
Update and maintain scheme records
Legally, the owners corporation is responsible for the scheme’s records, but many owners corporations offload these tasks to strata management. These include general records, proxies, meeting minutes, polls, and more.
Strata managers are often responsible for taking care of insurance-related tasks like sourcing coverage, filing claims, and paying premiums in a timely manner.
What should I look for in a strata manager?
Deciding on the best strata company for your strata title property can be challenging. To help navigate how to select the ideal strata manager, here are eight important factors to consider:
1) Experience and qualifications
When deciding on a strata manager, check if they’ve successfully managed properties similar to yours. It’s also important to verify that they hold a current Strata Manager’s license.
2) Communication skills
A qualified strata manager should be able to communicate effectively with you and the other owners by proactively providing updates related to the strata title’s finances and legal and social matters.
3) Familiarity with strata legislation
The strata manager must have a good understanding of the current legislation and laws related to strata-titled properties, including the Strata Titles Act. They must also abide by the requirements of the Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). Additionally, make sure they have an Annual Audited Trust Account to ensure the strata levies are properly handled.
4) Tech utilisation
An experienced strata manager typically incorporates efficient technological systems to manage the property, allowing owners to easily access important information on demand, manage maintenance requests, and make payments efficiently and effectively.
5) Attention to detail
Strata management involves handling a lot of paperwork, from managing financial records to organising maintenance schedules. A good strata manager should be highly organised and able to keep track of multiple duties effectively.
6) Financial knowledge
Look for a strata manager that possesses strong financial management skills. You can verify this by checking if they have a proven track record of transparently managing the financial matters of similar strata-titled properties and whether they were able to provide accurate budget forecasts and financial statements.
7) Dispute resolution skills
Strata managers should have the ability to resolve disputes in a way that preserves the common interests of the owners and the residents.
A good strata manager should proactively handle issues and tackle repairs, maintenance work, and disputes professionally.
What’s the difference between a strata manager and a property manager?
A strata manager is responsible for managing the common areas and facilities of a strata-titled property, including maintenance and repairs, and managing the financial affairs of the owners’ corporation.
The strata manager also assumes a social role, including feedback collection, events, and conflict resolution.
On the other hand, a property manager is responsible for managing individual properties on behalf of the property owner or landlord. This includes finding and screening tenants, rent collection, maintaining and repairing the property’s amenities and furnishing, and handling the day-to-day problems that may face tenants.
Sometimes, a property manager may also offer strata management services.
This is the case with HERE Property, as we offer both property management and strata management services.
What is a strata company in Western Australia?
In Western Australia, a strata company is a legal entity that’s created for the purpose of managing a strata-titled property. A strata-titled property is divided into individual units or lots owned by different people. The property is often a multi-story apartment or commercial building. It could also be a townhouse.
Once the property is registered under the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA), the owners can legally create the strata company and officially become members of it. Then, the owners nominate a strata committee to manage everything related to maintaining the property, managing its finances, resolving conflicts, and enforcing the company’s by-laws and rules
Strata owners finance the strata manager company using strata levies, which are payments made by each owner of a unit in the strata property to cover the costs of managing the common property.
How does strata insurance work in Western Australia?
In Western Australia, strata insurance is mandatory for all strata titled properties, which includes residential and commercial buildings.
The strata corporation, which is responsible for managing the common areas of the building, is required to purchase insurance that covers the building and its common property.
The minimum requirements for strata insurance in Western Australia include coverage for damage to the building caused by fire, flood, storm, and other natural disasters, as well as public liability insurance to cover any injuries that occur on the common property.
In addition to the minimum requirements, strata corporations may optionally purchase additional coverage that may include:
- Vandalism theft coverage
- Catastrophe cover
- Government audit costs
The owners pay for the insurance based on the size and value of each member’s lot.
As a strata owner in WA, you need to make sure that the insurance policy meets your needs and includes enough coverage for the property.
What is the difference between strata and condo in Western Australia?
The strata title in WA is the legal structure used for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings in WA, where each unit owner holds title to their unit and shares ownership of the common property with the other unit owners in the building. In such an arrangement, the strata corporation, which is made up of all the unit owners, is responsible for the management and maintenance of the common property.
Condominium ownership, on the other hand, isn’t recognised under WA law. Instead, the term “company title” is used to refer to a similar type of ownership structure where the building and its common property are owned by a company, and individual unit owners hold shares in the company.
So, in essence, owners don’t hold title to any real estate. They just own shares in the company, which gives them the right to occupy a specified unit or area in the property.
However, unit owners don’t own the common property and they don’t get the same level of control over the building’s management like strata owners do. The company is responsible for the management and maintenance of the building and its common property.
Company title precedes strata title in WA law, and it’s become much less common than strata title.
Who regulates strata managers in Western Australia?
The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) is responsible for regulating strata managers and handling conflicts between strata owners and corporations.
The SAT holds the authority to settle disputes under the Strata Titles Act (or the by-laws of a strata scheme).
How does strata title work in Western Australia?
If you own a unit within a strata, you must abide by the relevant by-laws related to your strata scheme. These also include restrictions related to unit presenting and improvement, as well as unwanted behaviour like noise, owning pets that disturb other residents, and storing exotic or large items such as boats.
Other than the by-laws, each state in Australia has different legislation requirements related to:
- Fire safety
- Pest control
- Safety glass
- Smoke detectors
What is the difference between strata title and green title in Western Australia?
In WA, there are two types of land titles: strata title and green title.
Strata title is used to describe properties divided into individual lots or units owned by different people. They may include apartment buildings, townhouses, and commercial buildings with multiple units.
In a strata scheme, each lot or unit owner has full ownership rights for their respective lot. They also share ownership of the common land with the other strata owners.
Managing a strata title is significantly different from managing a green title as it’s often accompanied by additional administrative and legal work, like by laws, executive committee meetings, and strata levies.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of strata titles?
Some of the advantages of strata titles include affordability, shared responsibility, community living, a good level of control, and flexibility. However, they also have some downsides, such as potential disputes, lack of control (relative to homeowners), ongoing costs, limited renovations, legal liability, and lack of privacy.
Ready to work with Perth’s best strata management?
If you want tailored and knowledgeable support from a strata manager that knows how to accelerate your return on investment, we’re here to help.
HERE Property offers nearly 40 years of experience in the Perth market. Our expert team is 100% focused on simple, smart, and proactive property solutions.
To discuss how we can help you take a holistic approach to your property investments, contact us today.