A body corporate manager is a specialist industry professional appointed by a body corporate committee to administer a strata property. There’s a lot involved in managing the demands of a large building and strata community, and a body corporate manager assists the committee to take on all the responsibilities and obligations on behalf of the lot owners. They can be considered rather like a business manager for a body corporate community. They report to the boss (the committee) and attend to the administration tasks required by the committee.
But what does a body corporate manager actually do all day? Read on to find out.
Duties of a body corporate manager
The body corporate manager can assist with tasks relating to property management, financial and legal affairs, maintenance co-ordination, insurance, communication, record-keeping and enforcement of by-laws. They will work to ensure the strata scheme stays compliant with current industry regulations, and that all aspects of it are well-managed.
A good body corporate manager should have a strong grasp on industry legislation, practices and property management; and many will have a solid grounding in financial management as well.
How a body corporate manager works
A body corporate manager’s role covers multiple areas:
- Assisting the committee to manage the physical assets of a body corporate, for example, the building itself and the property as a whole when a caretaker is not in place;
- Managing the financial assets of a body corporate, for example, budgets and administrative and sinking funds;
- Managing the informational assets of a body corporate, for example body corporate rolls and registers;
- Managing and ensuring compliance with the legal requirements of a body corporate; and
- Managing the human assets of a body corporate.
A body corporate manager will manage all of these various assets and tasks fairly and with equal regard for each member of a scheme.
Managing physical assets
The physical assets of a strata scheme are the most obvious assets, and need to be well-maintained to present the building in the best light to owners and investors, and allow for safe and happy living. Some schemes engage a caretaker contractor to carry out duties under an agreement, whilst other schemes rely on the body corporate manager to assist with the maintenance of the building
A body corporate manager will assist the committee to manage physical assets by carrying out some or all of the following tasks:
- Organise quotations for the committee to consider, arrange formal decision making by the committee and send work orders on behalf of the committee regarding maintenance, landscaping, repair and preventative maintenance work on the building
- Organise contractors to conduct regular maintenance inspections at the request of the committee and keep detailed documentation
- Ensure payment of tradespeople
- Deal with emergencies and emergency repairs and liaise with the committee for approval
Managing financial assets
Keeping the financial state of the body corporate in good shape is obviously extremely important, as buildings cannot run without adequate funding.
- A body corporate manager will manage financial assets by carrying out some or all of the following tasks:
- Manage administrative and sinking funds, to ensure these funds remain at adequate levels to cover projected costs
- Issue and collect levies to ensure a reliable and consistent cash flow
- Prepare draft budgets as a starting point for each financial year for committee approval at the first stage and then owners approval at an Annual General Meeting
- Set up approved new budgets and levies on a system that owners can access
- Ensure body corporate creditor invoices are paid
- Maintain and report on the financial accounts of the body corporate
- Manage tax returns and audits
Managing informational assets
Bodies corporate generate a great deal of information and paperwork
A body corporate manager will manage informational assets by carrying out some or all of the following tasks:
- Maintain body corporate rolls and registers, such as the owner’s details register
- Issue by-law contravention notices after approval by the committee
- Maintain all body corporate records
- Issue Disclosure Statements for owners selling their lot
- Prepare agendas and notice of meetings for committee and general meetings
- Forward minutes of meetings to required parties
Ensuring a body corporate scheme meets all its statutory and legal requirements is an extremely important part of a body corporate manager’s role. Making sure the body corporate is in compliance at all times helps minimise risk. A great strata manager needs to be well versed in all the relevant legislation and regulations.
- A body corporate manager will manage legislation by carrying out some or all of the following tasks:
- Facilitate body corporate insurance
- Look after insurance matters such as renewals, claims and owner’s queries
- Ensure compliance with Workplace Health and Safety, fire safety and any other applicable legislation
- Ensure valuations are carried out on the building for insurance purposes
- Provide general guidance and advice on strata legislation
Perhaps the area where a good body corporate manager can make the most difference is in their management of people. People are at the heart of a body corporate community. It’s inevitable with a wide variety of people living in close proximity to each other, that tensions and disputes will often occur. A body corporate manager will help to manage and maintain continuing good relationships between residents and/or owners – in a fair and impartial way.
A body corporate manager will manage people by carrying out some or all of the following tasks:
- Provide general guidance and advice to committee members and lot owners on body corporate-related matters
- Act as a mediator to help different parties of a body corporate scheme understand each other’s point of view better and work towards a common solution
- Manage any disputes, clashes or contentious areas that may arise and find resolutions that are satisfactory for all parties
- Encourage harmonious living within a body corporate by acting as a peacemaker and problem solver
- Call, attend and record general meetings and committee meetings when required, and send out related notices and nominations etc.
- Manage committee issues
- Manage correspondence with owners, contractors and other third parties
Why you need a body corporate manager
A professional body corporate manager will provide expert help, advice and practical support that will streamline the running of a body corporate scheme. They make running the scheme easier for all involved and alleviate a great deal of stress and hassle for lot owners. A good body corporate manager, such as those you will find at Capitol (https://www.capitolbca.com.au/who-we-are/our-people/), will run a building in a professional, effective and timely manner, giving owners great peace of mind.