For larger strata schemes with many lots, it may be a good idea to appoint a building manager. Building managers are officially appointed at the Annual General Meeting by a consensus vote of the owners corporation. The role is a full-time, paid position so it can’t be done voluntarily or casually.
Sometimes known as a caretaker, the building manager’s purpose is to assist the scheme with the day-to-day running of the complex. The manager may or may not be required to live on-site but its certainly easier to deal with after-hours emergencies if they’re close by. They can’t enforce by-laws but if they observe owners or tenants breaking a by-law they can refer the offender to the Strata Managing Agent.
According to the Department of Fair Trading website, the building manager can assist the owners corporation with:
- The management of common property
- Controlling the use of common property by tradespersons and other non-residents
- The maintenance and repair of common property
- Duties such as concierge, security and cleaning
When the building manager identifies significant maintenance or repairs, the first step is to contact the Strata Manager. The Strata Manager will then work with the Strata Committee so that the appropriate funds can be allocated. Once everyone is in agreement that the work can commence, the building manager would liaise with the contractors on-site to ensure the work is carried out efficiently.
It’s therefore essential that the building manager has a good relationship with both the Strata Managing Agent and the Strata Committee. They also need to be respectful of all owners and tenants, and know how to work with tradies.
Great building managers will have such a detailed knowledge of the property they look after that they’d be able to spot issues when they’re small and have them rectified before they turn into a significant problem.
An appointment of a building manager should be considered a long-term investment for both the manager who’d like the job security and also the scheme who’d receive exceptional service from someone that knows the property intimately.
If there’s a dispute between the building manager and the owners corporation, the owners corporation can refer the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal has the power to terminate the agreement or dismiss the application. In general, the Tribunal would terminate the agreement if it’s unnecessarily harsh, the manager’s performance is unsatisfactory or if the manager fails to disclose a conflicting interest.
For more information on Building Managers, contact your Strata Manager at Netstrata.