Body corporate management is a cost effective and efficient way to get rid of all the stress and hassles surrounding managing your entire apartment block. A body corporate manager will liaise with your committee to oversee the maintenance of your building when a caretaker is not engaged, take care of its financial affairs and legal requirements, as well as managing all community issues. Having your building managed professionally will make it a pleasant, safe and efficient place to live.
As great as body corporate management is, you can’t just expect your body corporate manager to look after everything for you, however. There are some things that are just not included in body corporate management.
What body corporate management covers
Body corporate management does cover:
- Day-to-day paperwork management, including record-keeping and sending notices
- Organisation of AGMs and special general meetings of the body corporate and taking minutes
- Facilitation of budget setting
- Assistance with financial planning
- Collection of levy contributions
- Maintenance of financial statements
- Administration of insurance and facilitation of the most effective and economical insurance cover
- Submission of insurance claims, the processing of insurance paperwork and schedule of repairs
- Assisting the committee to schedule essential services as necessary
- Assist the committee to schedule grounds maintenance and liaison with gardeners, groundspeople and tradespersons
This is a substantial list of tasks, and the body corporate could not function without these tasks being performed. However, the role of the body corporate manger is limited in some ways. Here is what body corporate management doesn’t cover – and what body corporate managers can’t be expected to do.
The body corporate manager is not in charge
Contrary to popular belief, the body corporate manager appointed by a body corporate is not “in charge”. Many people hold the mistaken belief that the body corporate manager is appointed to run the building for them, but this is not actually the case.
Rather than seeing them as an operational manager, a body corporate manager should be viewed more as a personal assistant than a leader. They do not actually make decisions for the body corporate but must only act at the direction of the committee. Every decision is made by the body corporate committee, which then directs the body corporate manager how to act. Rather like a personal assistant, a body corporate manager does a lot of the leg work without taking responsibility for decisions.
So, body corporates cannot expect their manager to make decisions and choices for them – but the manager will carry out the arrangements arising from a committee decision.
The body corporate manager is not a voting part of the committee
The body corporate manager is separate from the body corporate committee and works at the direction of the committee. While he or she automatically becomes a non-voting member of the committee, the body corporate manager should be considered more in the light of an employee of the committee. As outlined above: the committee makes the decisions and the body corporate manager sees that they are carried out. The committee may sometimes ask the body corporate manager not to attend a committee meeting.
The body corporate committee is usually comprised of:
- Ordinary members
- Non-voting members
The body corporate committee is responsible for enforcing payment of body corporate levies and for overseeing levy payments. Each body corporate committee can delegate some or all of its powers to the body corporate manager.
The situation changes, however, in bodies corporate with no committee. In this circumstance, the body corporate manager is authorised to carry out all the functions of the committee and exercise all committee powers.
The body corporate manager is not a property manager
People often get the roles of body corporate manger and property manager confused. There’s a significant difference however: a body corporate manager is responsible for looking after the building and scheme as a whole, whereas a property manager looks after individual property on behalf of the owner. The body corporate manager works on behalf of all owners; while a property manager works on behalf of one owner. Likewise, the body corporate manager deals with issues relating to the common property, in contrast to a property manager who deals with issues relating to private property.
Tasks undertaken by a property manager can include:
- Conducting property checks to ensure a property remains in good condition
- Collecting rent
- Acting as a liaison between tenants and owners
- Finding suitable tenants for properties
- Arranging maintenance for the inside of apartments
The body corporate manager is not the “strata police”
The body corporate manager is not authorised to enforce strata by-laws or deal with by-law breaches. It is the task of the body corporate committee to enforce the by-laws. The committee cannot delegate this task to third parties – including body corporate managers.