This article about conducting an owners corporation health check has been supplied by Andrew Terrell, Bright & Duggan.
I recommend that every owners corporation (or community scheme) takes time periodically to reflect on the way it’s managing its affairs.
This isn’t just going through a process to look at a change of strata managers or building managers (in fact I advocate that people stay with their service providers and try and resolve small differences, rather than move to save a few bucks and lose a whole lot of knowledge in the process).
I have noted a few different areas of focus for a ‘health check’. Some of these are relevant to all schemes, others are overkill for smaller schemes.
- Is the current strata and facility management operation optimal – what other options exist in the market (services performed directly or virtually)? What are the costs of alternative services/structures?
- What software exists that may be able to improve the running of the community?
- Are your service providers professional, value for money and do they know the building/community?
- What are the provisions for out of hours/emergency events?
- Does the building budget program (which needs to be looked at over a multiple-year period) align with the capital works fund?
- Are there possible savings that can be made (contractual or otherwise)?
- How does the budgeting process work on an annual and ongoing basis?
- How are invoices coded? Are work orders generated from the relevant cost centre?
- How regularly does the committee meet – are these meetings productive (i.e. are issues being resolved or are they ongoing)? Do the meetings align with meetings for other entities of which the scheme forms part (e.g. BMC).
- What introduction/guidance do new committee members receive to being on the committee? The Fair Trading Strata/Community Living guide should be required reading for anyone in strata or community title (let alone those who live in a strata scheme within a community scheme!).
- Is there knowledge amongst the committee members which should be recorded/held to be accessed if a member sells their property or is otherwise unavailable?
- Are relevant sub-committees being formed?
- What technology does the building have available to it to improve the management of the building (e.g. data logging, automated reporting)?
- What sustainability upgrades exist – should the community consider obtaining a NABERS rating?
- What security upgrades should the building consider?
- Would the building be best served with a professional building manager?
Have a question about your building’s health check or something to add to the list? Leave a comment below.
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This post appears in Strata News #282
This article has been republished with permission from the author and first appeared on the Stratalife website.