Strata vs property managers
AS an investor, do you need a strata manager and a property manager? Cvue Property Managers director Honor Borg outlines the responsibilities of each role.
WHEN you buy an investment property in an apartment complex or set of villas or units, you often have to deal with a strata company or body corporate.
A strata manager, also known as a body corporate manager, looks after the complex on behalf of all the owners.
Generally, they are responsible for looking after the external areas, such as the building, gardens, pool, parking, lifts and communal areas.
On the other hand, a property manager looks after an owner’s individual apartment/villa/townhouse and generally focuses on the inside of the property and deals with the tenant.
A complex will have only one strata manager, but there may be several property managers overseeing homes in that complex.
You can choose your property manager but you cannot choose the strata manager.
The paths of a property manager and strata manager cross very regularly when a property is leased.
For example, when a tenant reports a leak from the upstairs neighbour’s bathroom, the property manager will liaise with the strata manager to have it fixed.
The strata manager will oversee the job until competition and liaise with the property manager, who will liaise with the tenant, to complete tasks such as insurance claims.
In another example, when the pool in a complex has an issue and needs fixing, the tenant will advise their property manager, who will in turn contact the strata manager to have it repaired.
However, if a tenant has a concern with the dishwasher in their home, this is the responsibility of their property manager, not the strata manager.
As a rule of thumb, a tenant should always come directly to their property manager for any issues with their rental property and the property manager can discuss this with the strata manager if necessary.
It is very important that a property manager and strata manager communicate well as both parties are at all times representing the owner(s). ■