This article questioning the benefits of a self managed strata plan has been supplied by John Fisher, Strata Water Solutions.
I would like to comment from my own business perspective about the choice of some strata buildings to run as a self managed strata plan.
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We are involved with many a self managed strata plan. While many are efficient and cooperative, there are issues which threaten even the good relationships.
Continuity – change of roles within the Corporation can be disruptive and do not provide the same stability as a Strata Management Company.
We maintain a good communication and support process with all the recognised Body Corporate/Strata Management Companies. This is a two way relationship.
We find that changes of ownership/changes of address are not generally advised with the same efficiency.
Generally there is a complete ignorance when it relates to some of the Legislative procedures eg Advising Conveyancers of our own role in water management and failure to request Special Meter readings of sub meters at settlement dates.
We tend to “steer clear” of larger self managed groups because of the inefficiencies described above and the lack of proper administrative support, but those same inefficiencies often apply to the smaller two and three unit self managed strata plan and guess what – often they are in conflict with each other over issues (including water usage) which could well be resolved by an appointed Body Corporate Manager.
Is a Self Managed Strata Plan really worth the savings?
I understand the desire to “save a dollar” but it can be counter-productive. I have seen some Corporations engage in what I call the defacto Body Corporate Manager who “masquerades” in his/her duties and is cheap! There is no legislation in some states, such as here in South Australia, which requires them to be registered and that is of concern.
Obviously I cannot comment specifically on Body Corporate Management. Our business represents a very small (but significant) aspect of Corporation management. What I do notice however is that the Body Corporate Companies who do charge larger fees seem to have efficient infrastructure and administrative processes in place that complement our business.
Searching for cheaper fees can come at a cost that is not immediately evident.
Finally, I always give an example of an experience I had many years ago where a young lady started her career as a Body Corporate Manager in one of the larger companies in Adelaide. In the first week of her employment a fire occurred in one of the units she was assigned to manage and an owner died in the incident. She had the administration and knowledge of her fellow workers to deal with this situation. How would a self managed group deal with this situation ? With difficulty, I suspect.
This post appears in Strata News #162
Strata Water Solutions
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