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Strata Managers vs Building Managers

The roles of strata managers and building managers are often misunderstood. In well run strata schemes where there are both, they usually work closely together so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. Both are responsible to report to strata committees. They will often both attend the same meetings. They often coordinate on different but linked responsibilities. The key to a good professional working relationship is trust, integrity and putting the rights of others first.

Functions and responsibilities of Strata Managers

Part 4 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA) deals with the functions Strata Managing Agents and Building Managers.

The functions of a strata managing agent are set out in the SSMA and include the following, depending on whether there is full or part delegation by the owners corporation:

Below are some responsibilities that may be delegated to strata managers are:

  1. preparation of estimates/budgets for the annual administrative and capital funds the of the owners corporation,
  2.  the levying of contributions,
  3. the receiving of, acknowledging of, banking of or accounting for money paid to the owners corporation,
  4. having custody of any money paid to the owners corporation or making payments from any such money,
  5. the taking out of insurance required or permitted by the SSMA,
  6. the conduct of meetings of the owners corporation and handling of correspondence
  7. the maintenance of records required to be kept under the SSMA,
  8. such other functions as may be prescribed by the Strata Schemes Management Regulations (SSMR).
  9. Enforcing committee-agreed by-laws,
  10. record keeping,
  11. incident reporting, and myriad other administrative tasks.
  12. Engaging with professionals and trades people such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects, lift engineers, plumbers, electricians, and various contractors.
  13. when dealing with those folks referred to above, strata managers must have a good working knowledge of the laws governing their areas of profession and/or trade.

Strata Managers must hold a strata management agent’s licence pursuant to the provisions of the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002.

Functions and responsibilities of Building Managers

The role of a building manager is also covered by Part 4 of SSMA which provides that a building manager is a person who assists in exercising any one or more of the following functions of the owners corporation:

  1. managing common property,
  2. controlling the use of common property by persons other than the owners and occupiers of lots,
  3. maintaining and repairing common property.

A building manager may be entitled to exclusive possession (whether or not jointly with any other person) of a lot or common property in a strata scheme.

A person is taken to be a building manager for a strata scheme if the person meets the description of a building manager, regardless of whether the title given to the person’s position is building manager, caretaker, resident manager or any other title.

Like strata managers, the appointment is to be made by instrument in writing (a “building manager agreement”).

Their appointment may be made before or after the strata scheme commenced.

A building manager agreement (including any additional term under any option to renew it) expires (if the term of the appointment does not end earlier or is not ended earlier for any other reason)–

  1. at the conclusion of the first annual general meeting of the owners corporation, if the agreement was executed before the meeting, or
  2. when 10 years have expired after it commenced to authorise the building manager to act under it, in any other case.

A building manager may be reappointed at the end of the building management agreement.

The functions of a building manager are usually set out in the building management agreement and are designed to assist in exercising one or more of the functions of the owners corporation of managing and controlling the use of common property (otherwise than by the owners or occupiers of lots) and of maintaining and repairing common property.
However, the owners corporation may continue to exercise all or any of those functions, subject to the building manager agreement.
The job of the building manager is usually more hands-on as they perform their duties on site.

They take care of the physical aspects of property care; giving tradespeople access for repair and maintenance work, responding to maintenance requests, and carrying out regular inspections to make sure everything is working as it should.

How often a building manager attends the building is a matter of choice. Some attend full time, seven days a week, and others are engaged on a part time basis.

I hope this short article has been of help and provided you an overview of the different roles of a strata manager and building manager.

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