These are the main roles on a strata committee

Committee members

These are the main roles on a strata committee

Once the owners corporation elects the strata committee, it must decide who is to hold these office-bearing positions

In New South Wales and Victoria, members of a newly-elected strata committee can decide among themselves on the office bearers at their first meeting. In Queensland, the owners corporation votes on the roles of the officer bearers at the annual general meeting.

One person may fill more than one main role on a strata committee. If they choose to do this, they must carry out the responsibilities of each role. An individual committee member cannot make decisions on behalf of the committee, but the office-bearers can perform specific tasks that fall within their roles.

In addition to administrative duties, the strata committee should set specific, measurable and attainable goals on how they plan to achieve the lot owners’ desired outcomes and then work together towards making it happen.

New committee member series

The following are the main roles on a strata committee:

  1. Chairperson
  2. Secretary
  3. Treasurer
 
Chairperson

1. Chairperson

The chairperson’s main role in a strata committee is to preside over meetings, and ensure they are conducted smoothly, fairly and in accordance with relevant legislation.
The chairperson must chair all general meetings and strata committee meetings they attend and make determinations as to quorums and procedural matters at meetings. If the chairperson is not at a meeting, another person can be nominated to chair that meeting.

A good strata committee chairperson will be:

  • A natural leader. This should come as no surprise, as the chairperson will need to steer people when discussions go off-topic during meetings, or settle things down when debates get a little heated
  • Engaging. Having an engaging chairperson helps keep people focused and actively participating during meetings. This is especially important when big decisions that can affect lot owners and residents are being made
  • Diplomatic. One of the most common reasons for complaints and grief in strata properties is that lot owners or residents feel they are not being treated fairly. Having a diplomatic chairperson who ensures everyone is heard and makes decisions that ensure compromise and fairness can go a long way in enhancing community living.
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2. Secretary

The secretary is essentially the administrative officer for the owners corporation. It is their role to attend to the administrative requirements of an owners corporation. The secretary’s duties include calling general or committee meetings, sending out notices for meetings, preparing and distributing meeting minutes, maintaining the meeting attendance list and receiving voting papers. The secretary must also maintain the strata roll, answer owners corporation communications and enable the inspection of documents as requested by owners or authorised bodies.

A good strata committee secretary will be:

  • Organised. Having an organised secretary on your strata committee who can efficiently and adequately file, label, and store information ensures that documents can be easily found and quickly referred to if required in future
  • Punctual. Since the secretary’s responsibilities include taking minutes during meetings as well as attending to administrative/secretarial matters, being able to show up/deliver on time is a vital quality
  • Efficient. With all the requests coming through, it is important to have a secretary who can work efficiently, and is able to prioritise matters based on urgency and importance. The level of efficiency your secretary has can greatly help the management of your strata committee and strata property.
 
Treasurer

3. Treasurer

The treasurer’s main role on a strata committee is like that of a corporation’s chief financial officer. Their duties include notifying owners to levy contributions, keeping accounting records and preparing the financial statements, managing money paid to the owners corporation and preparing the information required for any strata certificate.

A good strata committee treasurer will be:

  • Trustworthy. As the treasurer will be handling and managing funds and levy or fee notices, you will want someone who can be trusted to do what’s right and fair for residents of the strata property
  • Mathematical. Someone who is able to handle a lot of numbers and calculations will be essential for the role of a strata committee treasurer
  • Organised. When it comes to budgets, funds and levy or fee notices, things can spiral out of control and get very messy quite easily. Having an organised treasurer who knows how to file these documents properly will save a lot of time, effort and stress should you need to refer back to them in future.

Delegating to a strata manager

Many functions of the main roles of a strata committee described above can be delegated to an appointed strata manager. When this happens, the office bearers have a much easier time and can focus on managing the strata property instead of worrying about accounting, compliance and legislative matters.

The appointment of a strata manager does not affect the legal responsibilities of an owners corporation as they are still responsible for the actions of a paid or volunteer strata manager. Therefore, it is important for the office bearer’s to liaise closely with the strata manager and follow up or instigate tasks that need to be fulfilled.

Having set up the very first strata scheme in Australia back in 1948, we’ve come a long way in our knowledge and experience across a variety of property types. Whether you are new to strata management or an active committee member, we have developed an extensive library of resources to assist you. Click here to download our FREE Community Living guide on committee management. For a consultation to review your current by-laws with the Kemps Petersons Legal team, click here. To find out more about the services we offer, click here for a free strata assessment.


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