Hello Strata Podcast


Hello Strata Podcast

Welcome to Hello Strata, hosted by Craig Baylis, founder of Coastal Strata and My Bylaw.

On this show you’ll find a mix of insights and tips from a straight talking strata expert along with interviews and chats recorded for the show.

Whether you are a purchaser, a strata owner or property industry professional, join us as we say Hello Strata.

New Episodes available every Wednesday Morning.

Listen

Listen to the Episodes below or Subscribe to the Hello Strata Podcast on iTunes

Show Notes

Episode 8 – Lot numbers explained

Why is my lot number different from my unit number?

Why it’s important to know what you own

Why is my lot number different from my unit number?

Episode 7 – What are they, what do they do? how do you contact them to get things done and what makes a stand out strata manager?

What is a strata manager 

Well for reference lets look at what the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 says in Sections 49 and 50.

“A strata scheme may appoint a person who is the holder of a strata managing agent’s licence under the Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 to be the strata manager agent of the scheme.”

“A strata manager can be appointed at the first annual general meeting for 12 months or in any or case for a period of 3 years.”

The strata manager will present the owners with an offer of their service called the strata management agreement outlining the services they’ll provide and the fees to do so.

A decision to appoint a strata manager is a majority vote. So if you have 5 units in your strata scheme and everyone is at the meeting and able to vote, the strata manager will be appointed if 3 people agree.

Another way a strata manager can be appointed is by an Adjudicator from the Tribunal. If a strata scheme is totally dysfunctional, and can’t agree on even the basics let alone planning an owner can request that the tribunal appoint a strata manager to make decisions for them.

If the Adjudicator agrees that the strata scheme is dysfunctional they’ll grant a strata manager the right to make all of the decisions for the owners, including deciding what levies owners.

This is pretty rare however it does happen and with the strata manager clear to steer the ship a strata scheme will hopefully come out better off 6 or 12 months down the track and the owners can again make their own decisions.

What does a strata manager do?
Strata management companies generally operate by assigning a portfolio of properties to a manager.

Depending on the size of the strata schemes each strata manager could manage anywhere from 20 – 120 strata schemes that may contain 900 – 1,200 strata units in total.

The strata manager will have a lot of buildings to manage so to help the larger companies will often have other staff or departments to collect the levies and manage the finances, arrange repairs and carry out the administration which can free the strata manager to attend meetings and offer advice and guidance to their strata committees.

If you’re finding it hard to get hold of your strata manager (a very common complaint) it’s possible they’ve simply got too much on their plate tending to other properties and are unable to delegate some of the back office tasks.

The bulk of a strata manager’s day will include answering emails and phone calls from owners about strata issues, arranging repairs and maintenance, dealing with complaints like pets, parking and noise and arranging and attending meetings.

They’ll try and get through these items in the mornings and early afternoon and will attend and chair meetings in the late afternoons and evenings.Strata managers are appointed by the strata scheme as a whole however day to day they’ll deal closely with the strata committee.

The committee are a group of owners from your property, anywhere between 1-9 of them, who are selected at each annual general meeting that can act (with certain restrictions) on behalf of all owners. The committee are able to approve repairs and maintenance quotes and provide instructions to the strata manager a lot quicker then by getting agreement at a general meeting.
How do you contact them to get things done
The best tip we can offer is don’t overload them with communication. Don’t send 5 emails when one will do. If you’re on the committee and discussing amongst yourself which quote to approve don’t CC the strata manager into every email.

Discuss the issues within your committee then have just one committee member advise the strata manager of the outcome. Much cleaner and quicker for everyone and less chance of your instructions being buried in an inbox.

And if you’re an owner asking for information or requesting some maintenance on common property we suggest that you ask your question in such a way that the strata manager can respond easily and clearly.

For example. “I’ve noticed some water damage inside my unit. Repairs will be required. Is this a common property issue or my responsibility to fix?” You shouldn’t have to chase your strata manager for a reply, they are in the service business so the best ones should be able to get back to you immediately or within a day or two at most.

What makes a stand out strata manager?

It’s ok if your strata manager doesn’t know every strata law and have a solution to every strata issue of the top of their head. The good ones aren’t afraid to say they don’t know but will find out. The best ones say this AND they actually get back to you with the answer. Strata managers are in the service and relationships business and they can’t just hide behind what their management agreement says they will do.

Service levels do differ between companies so if you’re not happy with your strata manager, and the other owners in your scheme feel the same way you can consider changing to a company that better suits your needs.

Episode 6 – What is the difference between Strata, Community and Neighbourhood title in NSW.

STRATA

When you buy a house under Torrens title you’ll own both the house and the land that it’s on. You might be the sole owner and you’ll be responsible to repair and main the house and the land.

A property that contains villas, townhouses or units is generally strata title. This means that the property has been divided into individual areas that you’ll own. These areas are known as lots and would contain your unit, car space, courtyard etc). There are also common areas like the driveways, gardens and in more substantial properties may include pools, gyms and other facilities.

The common areas have to be maintained by all of the unit owners. Owners are generally solely responsible to repair areas inside their unit however the floors, walls and ceilings may be common property.

All owners share the expense of maintaining the common areas and common property.
COMMUNITY TITLE

Community title is the division of land into lots and an area of community property. These are generally larger developments like a housing estate or rural subdividision where the roads are private and there are lots which may contain houses.

The owners share the expense of maintaining the roads known as community property and shown on the plans as lot 1.

Unlike a strata scheme each lot owner is responsible to repair and maintain any structure within their lot. Therefore if there’s a house on your lot you’ll have to maintain it at your own expense.

Community title properties will have a management statement (known as by-laws in strata title) that will outline
NEIGHBOURHOOD TITLE

Community title is the division of land into lots and an area of community property. These are generally larger developments like a housing estate or rural subdividision where the roads are private and there are lots which may contain houses.

The owners share the expense of maintaining the roads known as community property and shown on the plans as lot 1.

Unlike a strata scheme each lot owner is responsible to repair and maintain any structure within their lot. Therefore if there’s a house on your lot you’ll have to maintain it at your own expense.

Episode 5 – First Home Buyers Special 

Listen in for this special Episode as we joined Be There Financial Services at their recent First Home Buyers Seminar held in Shellharbour NSW.

Speakers include

1 . PRD Dapto (cliff@prddapto.com.au)- Cliff McGrath

2. Simple Investing (simpleinvesting.com.au) – Robert

3. Coco Accounting (cocoaf.com.au)

4. Kells Lawyers (kells.com.au) – Michael Hatfield

5. Ray White Shellharbour City – Lisa McDonald

6. Heritage Bank – Jeff

7. Be There Financial Services (betherefs.com.au) – Craig Mowbray

Episode 4 – Pets – Help, I need permission asap

The process you need to take to obtain permission from a strata scheme to keep a pet.

What happens if the strata scheme says no

Pet Application Forms available here

Episode 3 – 7 Steps To Buy A Strata Unit

Are you looking to buy a strata unit? If so, you’ll want to hear about our 7 steps to buy a strata unit.

Step 1 – Assemble your team

Step 2 – Go hunting

Step 3 – Pre purchase inspections

Step 4 – Negotiate and exchange

Step 5 – Pre settlement

Step 6 – Settlement

Step 7 – After settlement

Episode 2 – Levies. Your Questions Answered

Today we’re going to chat about strata levies.

– What are levies?

– How are levies calculated?

– What is the administrative fund?

– What is the Capital Works Fund?

– What is a special levy?

– And finally are lower levies always a good thing? Here’s the short answer to that one. Definitely not.

Episode 1 – Q & D Day

Welcome to the first Episode of the Hello Strata Podcast.

In this episode we put the call out to our industry contacts for questions and we’ve covered the below topics.

•    What does strata cover?

•    How much is in the strata account?

•    Do I need my own building insurance?

•    What happens if an owner doesn’t pay their strata levies?

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