A Body Corporate Manager in Australia

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Body corporate manager, often called strata managers, are highly-skilled professionals who play a significant role in the day-to-day operations of a body corporate (also known as an owner’s corporation) in Australia. They are entrusted with overseeing and managing the everyday operations of a strata scheme or a condominium association.

A body corporate is a legal entity automatically created when a subdivision plan containing common property is registered. These properties comprise individually owned units, common areas, and facilities.

To ensure efficiency and flawless execution, a body corporate manager is expected to have a strong knowledge of Australian Body Corp legislation, current industry practices, and a thorough understanding of the property management dynamics in the region.

What is the Role of a Body Corporate Manager?

The duties of a body corporate manager cannot be etched in stone. It’s a dynamic role that requires a proactive approach and the ability to handle crises during critical situations.
Body Corporate managers have a deep understanding of strata laws and regulations and can help navigate through the complex legal landscape. They ensure the body corporate complies with legal obligations, preventing potential legal issues.

Following are some of the primary duties of a body corporate manager:

Administrative Duties: Body corporate managers are entrusted to handle the administrative tasks of running a body corporate. This may include maintaining records, taking correspondence, preparing Minutes of the Meeting (MoM), and arranging and managing meetings of the body corporate, such as Annual General Meetings (AGMs) or Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs).

Financial Management: They manage the finances of the body corporate, which includes setting budgets, managing bank accounts, ensuring the collection of levies from the owners, and arranging payment of bills and other expenses. They often oversee the sinking and administrative funds, ensuring they are appropriately used and adequately funded. Body corporate managers assist with taking out appropriate insurance, lodging insurance claims, and managing repairs related to those claims.

Compliance: Local laws, guidelines, and regulations are likely subject to modifications and amendments. Body corporate managers ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations, which may include health and safety regulations, strata laws, or local bylaws. Internally, they are authorised to handle disputes within the body corporate.

Maintenance & Repairs: They oversee the maintenance and repairs of common property areas and may coordinate with various stakeholders involved in the property and its maintenance. They liaise with contractors, obtain quotes, and ensure all tasks are completed to meet the prescribed standards.

Communication: They serve as a point of contact for owners, residents, and other stakeholders and manage communication within the body corporate. Body corporate managers act as mediators between the committee and owners, keeping everyone informed of issues, decisions, and updates regarding the property.

Dispute Redressal: When conflicts arise among owners, body corporate managers can provide objective and professional intervention. They can mediate disputes and help reach resolutions in accordance with strata laws.

Timesaving: Having a dedicated resource to handle your properties helps you allocate more time for essential tasks. Hiring a body corporate manager saves time for the committee members, who often are volunteers with their own jobs and commitments.

Training & Advice: Being well-versed in the nitty-gritty of body corporate management, body corporate managers can provide training and advice to the committee members about their roles and responsibilities. This enables the committee members to be aware of essential prerequisites and helps avert a crisis.

Importance of a Body Corporate Manager

The exact responsibilities of a body corporate manager can vary depending on their specific agreement with the body corporate and the laws and regulations in their jurisdiction. In some cases, they may also be involved in tasks such as insurance management, or they may provide advice on Australian strata laws and best practices

However, it’s important to note that the quality of these services largely depends on the individual manager or company’s capabilities, experience, and commitment. It’s always important to research and select a reputable body corporate manager who fits the needs of your particular strata scheme.

To become a body corporate manager, one usually needs a strong background in business management, real estate, or a related field. Some jurisdictions also require specific qualifications or licenses. Having impeccable interpersonal skills, organisational skills, and a thorough understanding of the relevant laws and regulations are additional traits of a successful body corporate manager.

How is a Body Corporate Manager Appointed?

The process to appoint a body corporate manager can vary slightly between states due to different legislations. The decision to appoint the manager must be made at a general meeting (either at an AGM or EGM). In many states, this requires an ordinary resolution, which means it must be approved by a majority of votes.

However, some Australian states require a special resolution requiring a higher percentage of votes. The proposed contract with the manager should be provided to all members before the meeting so they can make an informed decision.

After the resolution is passed and the contract is signed, the body corporate should notify the relevant government body as required by local laws, the body corporate members, and any other relevant parties. It is essential to consult the strata legislation of your specific state or territory for precise and accurate instructions.

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