Commercial strata schemes may come in many different forms, including office buildings, factories, shopping centres, car parks, or combinations of any of these.
A commercial strata scheme is, therefore, significantly more complicated to run than standalone, single-use commercial premises. It is a complex engine with a number of expensive moving parts, and often requires professional attention to keep it running smoothly.
- For starters, it is usually a lot bigger than a standalone premise. As a result, the work required to administer and maintain it requires a more consistent and systematic approach than most individual businesses have time for.
- There are often a lot more stakeholders and interests to be balanced, particularly where the developer retains an active interest and involvement as landlord over a number of lots, or where a number of businesses with vastly different needs are attempting to share space and amenities.
- There are a number of strict legal requirements which come along from conducting business in such a shared arrangement – requirements many businesses and commercial landlords do not have the time or resources to stay on abreast of.
While these matters may appear onerous, the same benefits that come with a residential strata scheme come with conducting business in a commercial strata scheme – namely, pooled resources and shared responsibility for common amenities and areas which, alone, businesses might not be able to afford to access.
As with a residential strata scheme, the Owners Corporation rather than individual owners or occupants is notionally responsible for many of these matters. However, as a matter of practical reality, many of these functions are best exercised by dedicated strata professionals acting on instructions from the owners.
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A commercial strata manager’s role is, in short, to make sure that businesses can operate and thrive without having to dedicate time and resources to managing common areas and complex amenities in their place of business.
Depending entirely on the needs of the relevant scheme, a strata manager’s role may include taking responsibility for:
- administering finances and accounts for the strata scheme;
- procuring and maintaining appropriate strata insurance;
- instituting programmes of preventative maintenance;
- arranging and managing security for the scheme;
- providing for ad hoc repairs and maintenance, including dealing with vandalism and graffiti;
- administering car parks, bathrooms and other shared areas;
- managing waste disposal and other utilities;
- negotiating and managing contracts with service providers;
- liaising with tenants, neighbours and other stakeholders;
- convening, hosting and preparing minutes for owners’ meetings;
- otherwise ensuring compliance with applicable legislation, including:
- legislation specific to strata schemes mandating such matters as fire safety testing;
- constantly evolving workplace health and safety laws; and
- local government planning laws regarding permitted land uses, hours of operation and any proposed alterations.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with one of our dedicated strata professionals about our commercial strata management services, contact the team at Jamesons today.