apartment building representing owners of apartments in a strata building Vantage Strata Canberra

A strata manager plays a key role in any building with multiple stakeholders. Here’s a look at their exact responsibilities and what can you expect from them. 

As an owner, occupant or tenant of an apartment, office or commercial outlet, you have the right to get what you are paying for and to be comfortable and safe. 

A key figure in making this happen is your strata manager. Here’s a look at where the strata manager fits within your building management’s organisational structure and what their responsibilities are. 

Multi-tenant buildings: Who is responsible?

Whether you rent an apartment, an office or a retail outlet, the property is owned by a landlord. 

In a multi-tenanted block, each landlord or owner-occupier forms part of the owner’s corporation. In a building with more than a handful of dwellings or businesses, the owner’s corporation is represented by an executive committee. 

The elected executive committee makes decisions on behalf of owners and tenants. One of these decisions is which strata management company to employ. 

The strata manager’s role is to liaise with the executive committee and ensure important tasks are carried out around the building. 

Responsibilities of a strata manager 

A strata manager is a paid professional who has experience working in the property management industry. 

There are a lot of duties for a strata manager as they manage a tenanted building. These include: 

  • Ensuring the areas outside of each lot/apartment’s walls are kept clean, tidy and safe
  • Carrying out the instructions of the executive committee
  • Attending meetings of the executive committee
  • Collecting strata levies from lot owners
  • Getting quotes for insurance, organising it and ensuring rates are paid
  • Banking strata levies
  • Arranging tradespeople, cleaners and maintenance
  • Managing financial accounts
  • Paying invoices
  • Preparing budgets
  • Sharing advice on asset management
  • Distributing meeting minutes and notices
  • Ensuring the building meets safety requirements
  • Acting as a liaison during disputes
  • Advising the executive committee on a range of decisions.

Having a strata manager makes sense because they are experienced in the real estate industry and understand the complex laws surrounding property management. 

While an owner’s committee may have good intentions, it is often made up of civilians who don’t have in-depth knowledge of this subject. What’s more, it is unlikely the owner’s committee members have time to stay on top of the many changes in regulation which happen regularly. 

A strata manager can’t own property within a complex themselves so they are able to contribute to decisions in an impartial way. They act in the best interest of the owners while keeping the ‘big picture’ of the buildings overall value in mind and also being mindful of tenants rights. 

What makes a good strata manager?

Strata management is a busy job which requires people skills and attention to detail. 

A good strata management company will: 

  • Provide someone to take meeting minutes so the executive committee members don’t have to
  • Have specific team members within their company who take on different responsibilities e.g. financial administration/maintenance
  • Be focused on efficiency and value for money. A good strata manager will proactively seek ways for owner’s corporations to save money and maximise the value of their property
  • Provide simplified communication channels which make it easier to share information with owners and tenants
  • Be connected to the best maintenance providers, cleaners and tradespeople
  • Manage disputes quickly and with diplomacy
  • Have a clear understanding of up-to-date tenancy laws in your area
  • Only focus on a small number of clients so they can deliver outstanding service.

As a tenant, you will probably go directly to your property manager if you have a problem involving the building. However, you should find your strata manager approachable and willing to share information. 

For owners, your strata manager should be accessible, responsive and friendly. Their communication should be clear and proactive so you feel up-to-date with what’s going on in your block.