The difference between a strata manager, a property manager and a building manager
1. What is the role of a strata manager (or body corporate manager)?
If you’re living in a strata scheme, the owners corporation or body corporate may appoint a licensed strata manager or body corporate manager to assist in the day-to-day management of the building and to ensure the strata scheme fulfils its legislative responsibilities.
Under a service agreement it is usually their responsibility to manage matters relating to common property – the areas of the building that are shared amongst the owners such as pool facilities, the foyer, hallways and communal gardens.
A strata manager’s role includes but is not limited to:
- Coordinating and managing committee meetings and AGMs
- Issuing strata levy notices on behalf of the owners corporation
- Managing insurance claims
- Preparing and distributing agendas and minutes
- Arranging the payment of invoices on behalf of the owners corporation
- Preparing and managing the annual budget
- Enforcing by-laws
- Record keeping: the strata roll, registered plans, by-laws, correspondence and specialist reports
- Promoting legislative compliance for various types of necessary certification and Work Health & Safety obligations
- Providing general guidance on by‐laws, and assisting with by-law breach management, mediation, NCAT orders & appeals
2. What is the role of a building manager?
A building manager is sometimes referred to as a caretaker, facilities manager, or resident manager and can be appointed by the developer, owners corporation or body corporate.
Their role involves coordinating the maintenance to optimise the good order of common property.
A building manager’s role includes but is not limited to:
- Creating and managing the asset register and preventative maintenance schedule
- Organising and co-ordinating repairs and maintenance (to common property)
- Issuing work orders and verifying invoices
- Being an on-site contact for owners, residents and contractors
- Periodic site inspection of all common property
- Help identify by-law breaches for escalation
- Registering common property access devices such as keys, swipes, and remotes
- Preparing notices and communications, and posting to the building noticeboard
- Record keeping of all services, costs and expenditure associated with contractors authorised by the owners corporation
- Ensuring building compliance and safety is maintained, and coordinating certifications including lifts, swimming pools, fire systems, and roof anchor points
- Obtaining and recording all documents from contractors (such as their insurance certificate and copy of a business/contractor licence etc.) to ensure compliance and regulatory requirements are met
Additional Services that can be performed by a building management company:
- Conducting a capital works fund assessment to provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions
- Preparing a building condition report
- Project co-ordination and supervising the contractor’s agreed services on-site
- NABERS for Apartment Buildings assessment (support energy efficiencies and maximise utility bill savings)
A building manager is generally the primary contact for contractors working on-site. Unlike a strata manager, a building manager does not have the authority to enforce by-laws and is not licensed to carry out certain duties performed by a strata manager.
3. What is the role of a property manager?
Property managers normally work in real estate agencies. They act as a middleman between the tenant and landlord and manage residential tenancies. Property managers are employed by the apartment or lot owner, unlike a strata manager, who is employed by the owners corporation.
Part of a property manager’s role is to find suitable tenants for owners and to manage the leasing contract between the two parties. Some of their duties include marketing the property, collecting rent and conducting property checks to ensure the property remains in good condition and managing the financial accounts for the investment property. They must inspect and determine whether there is adequate fire and safety measures within the apartment in keeping with legislation. For example, checking that the smoke alarms work.
Property managers are the first point of contact for a tenant. If the tenant raises any strata related issues, the property manager will take these up with the strata manager or owner. A tenant typically has no direct dealings with the strata manager, who only represents the owners of a lot.
A property manager’s role includes but is not limited to:
- Managing move outs, bond evaluations and evictions
- Showing and leasing vacant apartment/lots
- Managing the set-up, collection and adjustment of the rent
- Arranging and managing non-common property repairs and maintenance on behalf of the lot owner
- Keeping of apartment/lot access devices such as keys, swipes, and remotes
- Liaising between the tenant and lot owner