The who’s who of strata management

It’s essential to understand each party’s role and responsibilities, when it comes to strata management

Many people are involved in strata management, regardless of how big or small your strata, owners corporation, or body corproate property may be. Each person, group and professional service provider involved must engage in significant work to keep a strata property running like clockwork. Do you know who is involved in maintaining and improving your valuable asset and what they do?

In this article, we explore the roles and responsibilities of the following parties involved in strata management:

The owners corporation or body corporate

Property owners automatically become part of the owners corporation when purchasing a strata, owners corporation or body corporate property, and play an important role in the who’s who of when it comes to the management of your building. Owners cannot opt out of these obligations and are legally responsible for carrying out tasks required, such as maintaining the property’s common areas, infrastructure and shared amenities.

An owners corporation is responsible for:

Ensuring owners and residents have a copy of relevant state legislation and by-laws or building rules so they are aware of their rights, responsibilities and limitations.

Managing strata finances and funds.

Overseeing and managing maintenance and repairs of common property.

Issuing fee notices to owners.

Developing financial budgets and statement of accounts, and keeping proper financial records.

Keeping records and accounts of all strata property matters.

Appointing a strata committee to undertake strata management activities.

The strata committee

A strata committee plays an essential role in the administration of the property. Committee roles are usually undertaken voluntarily and require a significant investment of their own time.
Committee members and the nominated roles (chairperson, secretary and treasurer) are elected at an AGM to represent the owners corporation’s interests. They make decisions at committee meetings on behalf of the owners corporation or body corporate. They are often the first contact point for owners with a strata-related matter they wish to discuss or a common property maintenance issue.

The following people are eligible for election to the committee:

An individual who is an owner

A company nominee of a corporation that is an owner

A co-owner of a lot, as long as only one co-owner is a member at the same time

An individual who is not an owner but is nominated for election by an owner who is not a member

Strata committee responsibilities include:

Maintaining an owners corporation or body corporate register.

Overseeing day-to-day strata management and maintenance of common property.

Managing and maintaining insurance.

Making decisions, within their powers, on behalf of the owners corporation or body corporate.

Reviewing owner requests such as pet applications, flooring applications.

Attending to by-laws or building rule breaches.

Carrying out specific tasks as outlined by state legislation.

Reviewing financial information and approving invoices.

Examples of common decisions made by a strata committee include:​

What work gets done to the common property, and when.

Managing items for meeting agendas.

Proposing property improvements at annual general meetings.

Proposing changes to, or addition of, new strata by-laws or building rules.

Acting on a by-law or building rule breaches such as noisy parties or parking violations.

Making decisions on the degree to which common property is kept clean (i.e. the number of cleans per week, degree of landscaping per month).

Responding to resident pet ownership applications and other applications.

Committees often appoint a qualified strata, owners corporation, body corporate management company or building manager to undertake these duties to ensure a strata property’s smooth running, thus playing a crucial role in the who’s who of strata management.

In New South Wales

The strata committee functions are governed by the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
Section 29(1) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and Regulations 2016 (the Act) requires a committee of between one to nine members to be appointed to the committee. However, for strata properties comprising more than 100 lots, the committee must consist of at least three members under Section 30(2) of the Act.

In Queensland

body corporate functions are regulated by an update to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 under the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2020.
The maximum number of committee members is seven. Different committee regulations apply under the Small Schemes Module of the relevant legislation. The committee only needs a secretary and treasurer for properties with two or fewer owners.

In Victoria

Committee functions are governed by the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and the Owners Corporations Regulations 2007. Under Victorian legislation, it is mandatory for an owners corporation with more than 13 lots to elect a committee.

In the Northern Territory

The committee can have anywhere between two and seven members under the Unit Title Schemes Act, which outlines the functions and powers of the committee.

In Tasmania

A strata corporation should have at least three committee members as outlined under the Strata Titles Act 1998 committee management requirements.

PICA Group tip

Strata committees can adopt policies and procedures that help facilitate their roles and service the owners corporation effectively.
A sound governance framework can include:

  • A timeframe in which the committee acknowledges an application has been received and when it must request further information or clarification
  • An outline of the process by which the committee may refuse applications
  • A timeframe in which an application may be refused if the applicant does not provide the necessary information
  • A deadline for when a final decision is to be made
  • A process for appeals if applicants wish to appeal a decision.

The strata manager

Property management companies employ experienced professionals (strata, owners corporation or body corporate managers) to administer the essential duties and obligations in line with state legislation.
Under a service agreement, they manage matters relating to common property — the building areas shared amongst the owners, such as pool facilities, foyers, hallways and communal gardens. They liaise with the strata committee to coordinate the owners corporation’s or body corporate’s financial, legislative and compliance obligations, such as:

They liaise with the strata committee to coordinate the owners corporation’s financial, legislative and compliance obligations such as:

Collecting and banking fees

Arranging property maintenance

Organising meetings

Taking out and maintaining required insurance

Attending to correspondence

Keeping and maintaining records, arranging audits and financial reporting and solving problems within the community living arrangements.

They are qualified to provide sound advice on legislative and financial matters, so your committee can make informed decisions that benefit all owners.

There are some tasks they are not able to conduct — in such instances, it may be wise to engage a property manager or building manager’s services.

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 (NSW only). To find out more about the services we offer, click here for a free strata assessment.