This article about dealing with a corrupt council of owners has been supplied by Sandy Papalia, Manager – Property Services, Realmark Corporate in response to a request for information we received from a troubled lot owner in WA.
Choosing a strata manager is one of the most important decisions for property owners to make. But what happens if you become disenchanted with your strata manager because you believe they’re not meeting their contractual obligations?
The first thing to do is review the strata management contract to ensure the services in question are required to be performed by the Strata Manager, as contracts may vary. You may also need to seek legal advice for any termination of contracts.
It’s essential for owners to clearly understand the role of the Strata Council and the Strata Manager, as well as the services Strata Managers are expected to provide under the strata management contract.
Role of the Strata Manager
The role of a Strata Manager is to work cooperatively with the council of owners to successfully manage, maintain and administer all aspects of the property and; to foster an appropriate community environment for the owners.
Tasks that may be required of a Strata Manager include:
- General accounting services
- Preparing Budgets
- Invoicing of levies/service charges
- Arrears collections
- Financial reporting
- Contract management
- Meeting preparation
- Communication with property stakeholders
- Coordination of maintenance tasks
- Enforcement of rules/by-laws
- Issuing of notices, orders and certificates
- General secretarial tasks
- Advise the Strata Company on matters of compliance, procedure and management issues.
A Strata Manager is not permitted to make decisions on behalf of the Strata Company, or do anything that requires a resolution of the Strata Company.
If you have concerns about the conduct of the Strata Manager you may raise your concerns directly with the Council of Owners to address with the Strata Manager. The Council of Owners may need to seek legal advice about the obligations and conduct of the Strata Manager before any action can be taken.
The Role of Strata Councils
The strata council acts for and on behalf of the strata company in accordance with the conditions specified in the Strata Titles Act, the by-laws in force for the strata scheme, and subject to any restriction imposed or direction given at a general meeting of the strata company.
Members of the council of owners do not acquire any privileges by virtue of their election to the council, or if they become official office bearers. They are required to carry out their duties without favour, for the benefit of all owners.
If you believe your strata complex is not being managed properly by the council of owners on behalf of the Strata Company or they are behaving as a corrupt council of owners, you may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to have the matter resolved.