Strata property owners can sometimes get confused between the roles of body corporate manager and property manager, and it’s easy to see why. The roles sound similar and many people think they do the same thing – but they are actually quite different. At first glance, the roles seem to have a fair bit of crossover, as both body corporate and property managers help owners to manage their investments in order to create a harmonious community. But apart from having similar goals, the roles differ quite significantly. If you own or live in a strata property, it’s important to know the difference between the two roles.
The role of a body corporate manager
A body corporate or strata manager manages the entire apartment block on behalf of all of the individual owners. They will ensure that the building and its common areas stay compliant with current industry regulations, and that all aspects of it are well managed. The body corporate manager will oversee the maintenance of the scheme, take care of its legal requirements and financial affairs and manage all community issues.
Duties of a body corporate manager include:
- Preparing the budget
- Keeping records of financial and non-financial accounts and statements
- Ensuring compliance with WHS, fire safety and any other applicable legislation
- Preparing and managing insurance claims
- Issuing and collecting levies
- Providing advice on strata legislation
- Attending to the day-to-day running of the building, with such things as maintenance and managing disputes
- Attending, chairing and conducting meetings
- Preparing agendas
- Managing correspondence
- Ensuring correct valuations are carried out on the building
- Dealing with emergency repairs
- Facilitating payments to tradespeople
- Encouraging harmonious living within the scheme by acting as a peacemaker, mediator and problem-solver
The alternative to a body corporate manager is to self-manage the building, where the owners work together to carry out all the duties of the body corporate manager. This can be an enterprise that is fraught with pitfalls, so in most cases it’s usually better to employ the services of an expert body corporate manager such as those you will find at Capitol.
The role of a property manager
Whereas body corporate managers take care of and manage an entire scheme, a property manager will only take care of and manage one unit. They will serve as a liaison between the unit owner, the tenants and the body corporate manager, and will protect the welfare of both the owner and the tenant. A property manager will typically work for a real estate agent and is considered to be the middleman between the landlord and the tenant.
Duties of a property manager include:
- Searching for and screening tenants
- Collecting rent from tenants
- Regularly inspecting the unit to make sure it’s being well-kept
- Taking care of repairs and maintenance for the unit
- Ensuring the tenant doesn’t experience any strata issues; and if they do, raising these issues with the body corporate manager
The main reason why the two roles are kept separate is to avoid conflicts of interest caused by managers who are invested in the best interests of their clients trying to remain objective while dealing with disputes.
The two roles work in tandem, however, so chances are you might want to use the services of both. Of course, not all landlords choose to use property managers, but many people find that doing so frees them up to focus on other things and gives them great peace of mind.
At Capitol Body Corporate Management, our body corporate managers are experts at maintaining open lines of communication and liaising with owners, tenants and property agents to achieve the best outcomes for all our clients. You can contact us here for an obligation free chat.