The Role Of A Strata Manager Vs Property Manager

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Strata management companies often get asked the question, how does your role as a strata property manager differ to that of a property manager?’. Whether you are a tenant, or a landlord it is very important that you know the difference to ensure smooth and successful dealings for all parties as well as setting the right level of expectations from the get-go.

The overarching difference between a Strata Manager vs Property Manager is that the former is responsible for managing common areas within collective residential and/or commercial environment, whereas a property manager is responsible for the management of the physical ‘lot’ residence and/or commercial premises itself.

The best way to detail the variation in duties associated with body corporate strata managers (now formerly known as Owners Corporation Managers) vs Property Managers is by the task categories themselves.

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Financial Responsibilities (in general)

Strata Manager RolesProperty Manager Roles
Maintaining and reconciling OC operating fund and sinking fund bank accountsCollecting rent from tenant and chasing arrears
Billing and collection of OC fees from landlordsPaying bills for the property; i.e., council rates, OC fees and levies, water and utility bills
Managing contractor and service provider remittancesManaging tradespeople or service repair remittances
Maintaining OC financial accounts and reportingMaintaining property financials accounts and reporting
Tax accounting; BAS, PAYG and GSTPreparing annual statements
Compiling annual operating budgetSetting appropriate rent price in line with market trends

Administrative Responsibilities (in general)

Strata Manager RolesProperty Manager Roles
Administer caretaking and maintenance of all property buildings, plant & equipment, garden and other common area site facilitiesWhere repairs or property maintenance is required, provide multiple quotes to landlord to facilitate the work. Approving urgent repairs for ‘make safe’ problems
Arranging strata title insurance and managing claimsReminding landlord to relevant insurances
Managing and monitoring all property-related service contractsKeeping up to date key register to ensure all keys are accounted for, with spare set safely locked in office in case of emergency
Maintaining repairs register, sales register (of individual unit sales)Liaising with tenants during sale process about their contract, rights and obligations
Supporting the OC Committee in building-wide matters or where dispute resolution is requiredActioning any steps to resolve dispute between tenant and landlord according to guidelines
Liaising with property managers when a move-in or move-out is intended to ensure OC rules compliance, and sharing of important building related updatesLiaising with Strata Manger of apartment building to discuss any common area concerns, move-in or move out plans.
Commissioning periodic building valuationsUndertaking inspection reports with photos to ensure that property is being well maintained or to support any repair requirements
Setting up emergency service contacts for electrical, security and plumbing issues after hoursSetting up emergency service contacts for electrical, security and plumbing issues after hours

Secretarial & Compliance Duties (in general)

Strata Manager RolesProperty Manager Roles
Arranging, chairing and minuting the AGM and OC Committee meetings and sharing the documents with all owners in a timely mannerSetting up lease agreements and contracts
Registering OC rules with governing bodyConducting condition reports within set time frames as set out by legislation
Ensuring compliance with OC regulations and legislation and providing regulatory information support to ownersEnsuring advertising and marketing campaigns are approved by landlord and all efforts are made to ensure occupancy by qualified tenant
Ensuring compliance with property essential services for OH&SConducting necessary ID checks and background checks on tenants prior to approving lease terms
Staying informed about updates lawsStaying informed about updated laws

*The above tables are not limited to the information they contain. It is important to discuss the exact scope of services you can expect from your chosen real estate management service company. Supplementary services for strata managers include providing OC Certificates for property sales and project management of major building works.

For owners of a private property within a strata scheme

Many owners of residential or commercial properties within a strata scheme opt to appoint a property manager to ensure smooth running of their asset. As such, you will likely deal with BOTH a strata manager and a property manager. The two will be in contact for the duration of time where a tenant is occupying your property, for various reasons. The ongoing aim is to benefit the unencumbered running of your physical asset within the building.

Whilst a property manager will be selected, appointed and paid for in full by yourself as the landlord, an owner’s corporation appointment is decided by the collective ownership of all lots in a building, with only a small portion of your strata management fees payable for strata management services, as the funds all form part of the building operating fund and in some cases, a sinking fund as well.

Appointing New Strata Management Services vs New Property Management Services

One of the biggest differences between Property Management and OC Management is the onboarding process. A landlord, or private owner is free to select any property manager he chooses. Most opt for a local real estate company with a reputation for low occupancy and great service. The home will likely be marketed, opened for inspection and tenant applications will be screened until an agreeable tenancy and terms are finalised.

The process for changing over Owners Corporation Management Services requires specific protocol to ensure the collective decision and smooth handover is executed without hassles. It is important to know the details of your existing contractual agreement with your Strata Management Company before considering a change. For new buildings, appointing a Strata Manager as early as possible is the best way to be ready to produce OC Certificates and set a budget as soon as the building is ready to occupy.

Our Body Corp specialises in making the onboarding or switch to expert Strata Management services extremely smooth for all parties. If you would like more information about our process, get in touch today.

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