There are many reasons that your Owners Corporation may want to switch to a new strata manager. It could be due to slow communication, lack of transparency on financial matters, inadequate experience or consistent errors. Any of these issues can be quite serious, and it’s worth looking around for better management if you’re faced with these problems.
In some cases, a strata scheme may be self-managed. This setup often becomes too much to handle, therefore you may be looking at choosing a professional strata management service for the first time. Either way, here’s what’s involved with switching your strata management service.
Review your existing management contract
If you’ve engaged a professional strata manager, there will be a Strata Agency Agreement between the manager and the Owners Corporation. There are generally clauses within the agreement that outlines how ‘exits’ are to be handled. Depending on the remaining period of the agreement (the maximum duration for any Strata Agency Agreement is three years), breaking the agreement and exiting early can be costly.
Most changes in strata management occur at the same time a contract expires because it’s just easier that way. However, if you do have major concerns mid-way through a contract and the issues can’t be remedied, don’t stress, as there are options. Firstly, you should request a copy of the existing agreement with the current strata manager, then this is where the team at More Than Strata can step in to offer advice based on your unique situation. We have helped Owners Corporation get out of unfavourable situations time and again.
Discuss with the committee
Your strata committee is in the driving seat when it comes to changes such as this as they are generally the closest and see first-hand how the current manager is performing or underperforming in the overall management of the Owners Corporation. Raising your concerns with the committee is a good starting point, but what if they are part of the problem?
The committee are elected to represent all owners, but that doesn’t give them any special voting rights over any other owners. A decision to change strata managers must be decided at a General Meeting. The secretary, a majority on the strata committee or owners representing 25 per cent or more of all unit entitlements can call a General Meeting to vote on terminating the current manager and appointing a new one.
Once the meeting is called, a majority of those present in person or by-proxy can vote on the motions at the meeting so either way, you will need the support of your fellow owners to make the change so it’s important you communicate with them why you believe a change is in order.
Looking for a new management team
In the same way that you wouldn’t usually quit a job without having something else to fall back on, it makes sense to sound out some potential strata management candidates before you take any further action. The decision to change strata managers shouldn’t be taken lightly, and like most services, it’s worth getting quotes from different providers to gauge what is available on the market. Generally speaking, you should never base the decision on price alone, but instead, create a set of selection criteria and assess how each provider scores in each. The experience of the strata manager and wider team that will be looking after your community and the range of included services should form part of your consideration.
To build a successful partnership, the fit of the company and person(s) looking after your community is crucial, not to mention the stability of the team to ensure continuity. External reviews of the company may also be a useful reference point.
Once your new manager is appointed at a General Meeting, they’ll liaise with your outgoing manager for the handover of books and records, trust funds, and other assets like keys/remotes that belong to the Owners Corporation. Most of this will happen behind the scenes. At More Than Strata, we will conduct an initial review of accounts and records received and inform the strata committee of any deficiencies. We will also meet with the strata committee to confirm key priorities and areas of focus for the initial period so that we are aligned and actioning what is really important to the community.
If you’d like to experience a better way to manage strata properties, More Than Strata is here to help. Contact our friendly team today if you think it’s time to switch management companies.