Frequently Asked Questions
Strata Managers are facilitators and act on instructions from the Strata Committee in the best interests of the Owners Corporation. Strata Managers are involved in coordinating and performing certain delegated duties and functions that are on behalf of all the Owners of a Strata Scheme. The main duties of a Strata Manager are as follows:
- Set dates for annual general meetings and extraordinary general meetings and where required the Strata Committee meetings.
- Prepare and distribute notices, agendas and minutes.
- Generate and send levies, pay invoices for the strata scheme, daily reconciliation of trust accounts, monthly bank statement reconciliation.
- Prepare budgets and end of financial year accounts and reporting.
- Follow up and recover outstanding amounts owed to the Owners Corporation
- Liaising with Owners, the Strata Committee, Contractors, Insurers, Real Estate Agents, Lawyers.
Repairs and Maintenance
- Assist in determining common property and lot owner property.
- Arrange repairs and maintenance including coordinating tradespeople, obtaining quotes and issuing work orders.
- Ensuring tradespeople are compliant.
- Maintain the strata roll and the books and records, provide reports and certificates, ensure compliance, coordinate inspections and effect insurances.
- Arrange Fire Safety, Lift, WHS and other certification.
- Insurance – Arrange quotes and lodge claims where agreed to by the Owners.
The Owners Corporation is comprised of all of the lot owners within a complex.
The Owners Corporation is a separate legal entity whose duties are to administer, control, maintain, repair and manage all areas of common property for the strata scheme. To manage finances, to keep and maintain the accounts and records, to comply with all legislation and to effect all insurances for the scheme.
The strata committee consists of representatives of the Owners Corporation elected at each Annual General Meeting who oversee the day to day running of a strata scheme. The Strata Committee provide instructions to the Strata Manager to complete these tasks.
The Department of Fair Trading has some important information on Strata Committees.
Following the introduction of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, renovations in a Strata Scheme in New South Wales were classified into three different types of renovation and each has a different approval process. When planning to renovate, it is important to be aware of the type of renovation you will undertake and what approval you will need.
3 Types of Lot Owner Renovations:
- Cosmetic Renovations
- Minor Renovations
- Major Renovations
Section 109 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
You do not require the approval of the Owners Corporation and this type of renovation includes:
- Superficial alterations
- Interior painting
- Installing hooks, nails or handrails within your lot
Section 110 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
These renovations require the approval of an Owners Corporation and include:
- Renovating or replacing a kitchen, bathroom or laundry (providing it does not include removing tiles and waterproofing works).
- Installing or replacing hard floors.
- Changing Internal walls that are not structural.
- Installing air-conditioning
Your Strata Plan may have registered a ‘Minor Works Renovation By-Law’ which delegates authority to approve works to the Strata Committee.
It is important to be familiar with the by-laws of your building. A copy of the by-laws for your Strata Plan can be obtained from your Strata Manager.
Section 110 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
Major Renovations can impact the structure and framework of the property and therefore require a more stringent approval process.
These renovations require approval of the Owners Corporation and include:
- Work that involves structural changes such as removal of a wall or installation of structural support beams.
- Work that changes the external appearance of your apartment.
- Waterproofing works to the bathroom, kitchen or laundry which includes the laying of a new waterproofing membrane.
- In most cases a general meeting of the Owners Corporation will be required to approve Major Renovations along with a by-law for the works.
If you are considering carrying out a renovation to your unit or wish to perform other works, the following procedures need to be followed:
- Provide details of your proposed renovation by completing a Renovation Application Form and submitting to this office allowing at least 30 days for processing.
- Your completed form will then be circulated to the Strata Committee for their review.
- Our office will advise if any further information is required.
- The Strata Committee, in conjunction with our office, will advise the method of approval which may include signing an indemnity form which outlines your responsibilities, having a by-law drafted and/or the passing of a resolution at a General Meeting.
- Should a by-law be required you will be asked to contact a strata solicitor to have one drafted which can be submitted to a general meeting to be passed by Special Resolution.
- Once approval has been given (by either indemnity form, by-law or resolution at a General Meeting) you may proceed with the work.
Please note the type of approval (indemnity form, by-law or resolution at a general meeting) is dependent on the nature of the work and how extensive it is as defined by the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
Please also note that we may not need to be informed if you are painting or changing carpet, but other more significant works are subject to the above procedures. If you are unsure, please contact your Strata Manager.
An application is required because as the Lot Owner you only own the air-space within the boundaries of your lot. The structure of the unit is owned by the Owners Corporation, therefore any work carried out which impacts the structure requires permission form its owners.
When the application is reviewed, depending on the extent of the works being carried out and the effect on common property, it is possible that a by-law could be required under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. Should this be the case we will provide you with details of suggested Strata Solicitors to draft your by-law. Once it is ready you will need to provide a copy to our office for review by the Strata Committee. If the by-law is approved in principle by the Strata Committee they will call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) or include a motion at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) so that it can be considered by the Owners Corporation as per the requirements of the legislation. By-laws can only be passed by Special Resolution – where no more than 25% of votes are cast against the motion at the meeting, based on units of entitlement (including votes in person and by proxy).
Depending on the nature of the works you may also be asked to submit an Engineers Report, Dilapidation Report, drawings, plans etc. Should the works also require council approval a Development Application (DA) would need to be submitted. Please check with your local council to see if your works falls into this category.
If you are looking to install hard flooring please check the relevant by-laws for your building for further information, however this is classified as a ‘minor renovation’ which will require approval from your Owners Corporation. Dependent on the by-laws this approval may require an Ordinary Resolution at a General Meeting.
Should you proceed to install, you should use the highest grade of underlay/sound insulation available (if not defined in the by-laws) to minimise the risk of breaches of by-laws, such as Noise and Floor Covering By-Laws.
I am on the Body Corporate Committee and have had dealings with Strata Partners for 10 years. I have been impressed with Paul as he knows our building inside and out and he is a thorough gentleman. If you have a query he can answer immediately and he recommends very reliable and efficient contractors. I have always been able to make contact with a representative of the company if Paul is away. This is very important.
I find the company to be very efficient and trustworthy and I am glad that we are with such a quality company.
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Our strata managers are at the ready to answer any questions you may have.