Debunked: Five common myths about what strata is and how they operate.
When it comes to strata, it’s easy to get confused. There is a lot of misinformation out there about what strata actually is, what strata managers do and what your levies pay for.
Here at Independent we want to make all aspects of strata as simple and stress-free as possible. So, we thought we would sift fact from fiction by tackling five of the most common misconceptions people have about what it is strata management does.
Myth #1: ‘Strata is just another word for strata management’
When we use the word ‘strata’ we are referring to a specific type of land title that allows a larger property to be divided into smaller properties. These smaller properties are called lots.
By owning one of these lots you also have shared ownership of the entire premises encompassed by the lots – including spaces like foyers, stairs and gardens – commonly referred to as strata. Every person who buys a lot within a strata titled development automatically becomes part of the owners corporation.
Strata managers, on the other hand, help run the administrative side of your building (we’ll touch on that more, later). The term strata management doesn’t necessarily refer to one person, either. For example, our managers are supported by a dedicated team that are all up to date with what is happening in your complex.
Myth #2: ‘Strata managers are the ones who decide how a complex is run’
The strata is actually run by an executive committee made up of members of the owners corporation. As we mentioned before, the owners corporation of your new complex comprises everyone who owns a lot in it.
The owners corporation are responsible for electing 3-7 representatives to form the executive committee. This committee oversees the day-to-day running of a strata title.
A strata manager is contracted out and paid by the owners corporation. They handle the administration-heavy legwork involved with running the strata and ensure your complex complies with the relevant legislation. At Independent, our strata managers also act as educators and guides, here to provide advice to the executive committee based on decades of experience.
This means that while they’re active in getting the job done, they are not the key decision maker. Nor do they have any stake in the development. The power of decisions belongs to the executive committee.
Myth #3: ‘My levies go to my strata manager’
A lot of people think that strata levies are paid to a complex’s strata management company, but this is incorrect. Although your strata manager is responsible for sending out levy notices, levies are stored in administration and sinking funds that are fully controlled by the executive committee.
Below is a summary of the three main types of levies you may be required to pay and what they go toward:
Myth #4: ‘Strata managers are only responsible for carrying out repairs and looking after the common areas of my complex’
The role of a strata manager is that of an administrator. They don’t carry out repairs or maintenance, but instead organise a professional to come out and perform the work. However, a strata manager can only do this with approval from the executive committee. New technology, like our digital strata management platform, has streamlined this process, assisting strata managers to organise repairs even quicker.
Here are some of the other duties our strata management team can provide:
- Send out levy notices and collect levies
- Assist with insurance policy valuations, obtaining new policies, preparation of claims and lodging
- Ensure the building complies with Work Health & Safety regulations
- Set dates for strata meetings like the annual general meeting, executive committee meetings and emergency meetings
- Write and distribute notices and meeting minutes from the annual general meeting
- Pay invoices and budget for costs relating to the development’s common areas. Our team also has access to accounting and tax specialists
- Mediate disputes between neighbours or between owners and the executive committee
- Educate the executive committee and owners corporation on updates to legislation
Myth #5: ‘I can take or leave being involved in the owners corporation. Either way, it doesn’t really impact me’
By owning in a strata titled building you are automatically part of the owners corporation. Not only is it a responsibility, it’s an opportunity to have influence over how your complex is run and how its levies are spent.
By being involved, you will have a more direct influence over how your complex is maintained, which can impact the value of your property over time.
Get in touch
Got an inquiry, question or feedback? Drop us a line and our Strata Management team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Current owners please contact your Strata Manager. Our after hours phone line is contactable from 7am-10pm on weekdays and 8am-10pm on weekends.