Strata management is becoming a hot topic in urban centres, as the rapid growth of inner-city regions sees young professionals and families alike flocking to apartment and townhouse-living. As more people purchase these properties, more voices are added to building committees, and thus, many more are impacted by the comings and goings of their body corporate.
If you’re part of a committee and have been experiencing some difficulty with your current contract, you might be considering a change in your strata management. When you’re looking to change your strata manager, however, it’s imperative that you have a firm understanding of your current grievances so that these issues can be addressed by any new manager that you’re looking to appoint.
Of course, it’s also valuable to get some reassurance that your grievances are valid enough to be seeking a change in management. To set your mind at ease, we’ve outlined some of the most pressing reasons that prompt committees to provide their current management with a notice of termination.
A lack of constructive or effective communication
One of the primary reasons for committees seeking new strata management is simply because of a lack of effective communication between themselves and their current manager. As your strata manager’s responsibilities include concerns that may be highly personal for you and your fellow lot owners, such as maintaining the strata roll as well as overseeing the day-to-day maintenance of your complex, it’s reasonable to expect clear channels of communication between yourself and your body corporate.
However, if you do find that you’re dissatisfied with the constructivity or general quality of your communication with your strata manager, it may also be worth voicing your concerns in a general meeting if you haven’t done so already. If you have and there have been no positive developments, be sure to discuss the issue further with your fellow committee members.
Unaddressed disputes and general discord between lot owners
As your strata manager is primarily responsible for ensuring the satisfaction of all lot owners, any disputes that arise between owners must be mediated by the management team. Whilst some of these disputes can be minor in the grand scheme of things – such as cars being parked where they shouldn’t be, or pets disrupting surrounding neighbours -, it’s still the responsibility of your strata manager to ensure that these disputes are addressed promptly and with consideration for all lot owners.
If disputes go unaddressed, they can lead to lasting discord and general dissatisfaction between lot owners, which can in turn, often greatly impact the quality of living for all owners. In this sense, unaddressed disputes is indeed a valid reason for you and your committee to consider a change in strata management.
Unreasonable increases in strata levies
An unreasonable or even inexplicable hike in strata levies followed by a general rise in levy arrears is a surefire sign that your strata management is generally unpopular throughout your complex, and that the time is absolutely ripe for a change in management.
Be sure to address any financial concerns with your fellow committee as well as checking the terms of your contract with your body corporate, just to make sure that you can seek out new management without breaching any rules established by your current strata manager.
A drop in standards of property maintenance
One of the most clear-cut signs that a change in management is due, is simply that property maintenance standards have dropped significantly or at the very least, noticeably enough that your fellow owners are voicing concerns. If repairs aren’t being seen to promptly, and your lot owners are making claims of disrepair, you may not even have to wait until your contract is up to start seeking out new management, as your strata manager has failed to fulfill the responsibilities of their role.
Of course, it’s always worth speaking to a lawyer or strata consultant before any big changes to your management or body corporate. Be sure to also always consult with your committee and organise an EGM prior to making any final decisions when it comes to changes in your body corporate.