Troubles with Strata Managing Agents – and How to Avoid Them
Strata managing agents are responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of matters within your strata scheme. Your strata manager should generally be making life easier – and if they’re not, there’s usually something wrong. Here are some of the common issues that can crop up and how you can either avoid or address them.
The problem: Your strata manager can’t answer basic questions about strata by-laws.
If you have a question about parking, pets, smoking, repairs or other matters to do with your strata property, your first point of call will be either your strata manager or secretary. If your strata manager isn’t across the state strata legislation or cannot tell you the rules of your scheme’s by-laws then that is concerning, as it indicates they may not be aware of their full obligations and responsibilities. Have a word with your strata manager, and if their response isn’t adequate consider making a change to a new strata manager.
The problem: Your strata manager is restricting access to records.
If you’ve recently changed strata managers but they are refusing to provide your strata scheme’s financial records, there is seldom an acceptable excuse for them to do this! The owners corporation should first formally request the records from the agent in writing. If that fails to work, the owners corporation can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to order the agent to return the records.
The problem: Your strata manager fails to follow up on matters or is completely unresponsive.
This can be incredibly frustrating, particularly if you are awaiting a repair or have an important question and aren’t receiving a response within a reasonable timeframe. The first step is to address the problem directly with the agent and see if their responses improve. If it does not, then you might consider either terminating your contract with that managing agent (depending on their terms) or swap to a new agent as soon as the contract period ends.
The problem: Your strata manager is making decisions that you don’t agree with.
Strata managers need to be given permission to make decisions on behalf of your owners corporation. Remember that your owners corporation is always in control, so if you collectively feel that your strata manager is making bad decisions you might vote to revoke those permissions, hold General Meetings to vote on relevant matters, or even change to a new strata manager if they’re being hard to deal with.
The process for changing strata managers can be much easier than you might think. Get in touch with Jamesons Strata Management today for more information.