There are many extremely important aspects of managing a Strata Scheme. This article assumes that your Strata Scheme has duly appointed a licensed and experienced Strata Manager. The Strata Collective considers the following areas of Strata Management as minimum standards for well-run Strata Schemes:
- Holding your Annual General Meeting on the same month each year with a quorum present at each meeting.
- The Strata Committee members playing an active role in the management of their Strata Scheme by voting on important matters at hand.
- Obtaining an audit each year. This acts as good governance for all Strata Schemes.
- Have a regular Work, Health and Safety report completed at your Strata Scheme. The regularity of performing this report will depend on both changes in your Strata Scheme (new items arising) as well as legislation changes.
- Having a valuation completed at least every five years. Many larger schemes have this completed each year and many schemes arrange a valuation every three years as best practice.
- If you have more than $10,000 in the trust account, having a term deposit put in place to maximise interest for funds held.
- Match your Capital Works Fund levies to the Capital Works Fund expenditure.
- Have an approved policy for repairs, with delegation provided to your Strata Manager of at least $1,000 as well as approved trades in each repairs category (plumbing, handyman, electrical, security and locksmith). This will reduce Strata Committee workload on minor matters.
- Appoint an engineer to scope and project manage any non-standard repairs over $25,000. This will ensure that you receive fair value for money and reduce exposure on variation claims and warranty issues (they will have strong muscle to negotiate on both these items for you).
- Ensure that you meet the requirements of the Window Lock legislation (due to commence 13 March 2018).Clear policies in place for installations of fly screens, down lights, floating timber flooring, air conditioning units and more intrusive strata renovations such as removal of walls, replacement of kitchens and bathrooms.
- Clear policies for pets and speedy approvals for those that meet the requirements.Minuted policies (a by-law is better) for handling of money on swipe replacements (is the money to be treated as a refundable deposit or income to the Strata Scheme).
- All registered by-laws in a word document and provided to the Strata Committee as a key reference document.
- Not making insurance claims for minor items (to keep the cost of your insurance premiums down in future years).
Advanced Management Items for Larger Strata Schemes:
- Have a depreciation schedule available for your owners.
- Have an expert prepare an asset register which is managed proactively by your Building Manager. This should form the basis of future Capital Works Fund projections and budgets.
- A training programme for new Strata Committee members that is simple and practical (to teach the basics).
- Appoint sub-committees who research specific matters on behalf of the Strata Committee (in conjunction with the Building Manager and Strata Manager). Some Sub Committee examples include Building Sub Committee, Finance Sub Committee, Facilities Sub Committee and other one off sub committees for projects from time to time.
- Prepare and distribute an Owners Handbook and a Residents Handbook (two separate documents). This covers off the major items. The Residents Handbook is usually simplified to just include day to day information such as parking, rubbish disposal, use of the facilities, pet policy, security and a copy of the by-laws.
- An induction video / booklet for each new owner to your Strata Scheme.
- Regular newsletters to owners after each Strata meeting to explain each outcome in terms and language they will understand.
- Online booking for removals including policies such as bonds to protect the Owners Corporation.
- Holding a residents Christmas party to enhance Community within your Strata Scheme.
If you have any further questions on how to incorporate any of these items into your Strata Scheme, please contact your Strata Manager at The Strata Collective.