Being part of a strata scheme is not just about buying a house actually it’s much more than that. It is a mental state and a lifestyle. Let’s analyze what entails buying an independent house.
•You are the sole owner
•Maintenance management and rental options are your responsibility
•Availing facilities like swimming pool multi-gym etc depends on your budget and you will have to install them or pay a hefty sum to avail the facilities and moreover they might not be easily accessible
•Being the sole owner you are not answerable to anyone as long as you are paying your taxes, insurances and abiding by the Government rules and regulations.
•The responsibility of maintaining the house along with the open areas will be your sole responsibility
•For all professional utility services you have to pay
•So though independent houses have their advantages it requires a great deal of time, inclinations, and knowledge about various rules and regulations to maintain it.
Now let’s see what strata community offers you:–
•You become the owner of a portion of a building and you jointly hold the ownership of common property
•Apart from the Govt. rules and regulations you have to abide by the special by-laws
•Apart from maintaining your lot you have to jointly look after the common property.
•Becoming a member of the Owners Corporation and executive committee and deciding important issues by mutual consent
•Pay quarterly levies, insurances and some amount for the sinking fund
So in a strata community you lead an independent lifestyle in your lot and, at the same time maintain a harmonious co existence with the other owners.
It might seem that your privacy is at stake to some extent, but when you consider the positives, it certainly outweighs the one off inconveniences. Most of the strata schemes are hiring strata management companies who provide qualified / licensed managers with years of experience behind them. On a daily basis -year after year, the strata manager orchestrates the co-ordination of each and every activity, within the scheme.
The complexity of responsibility handled by the strata manager is unique since it encompasses a vast array of different and diversified tasks, all requiring a different skill set and knowledge base. Further, there are multiple owners involved, each with their own issues and problems that occur on a regular basis and the same requires immediate attention, for early resolution. Therefore, is it asking too much, to be paying a fee of just somewhere between $6 to $8 a week per lot owner, given the amount of professional expertise, experience and hand-holding the lot owner has, in his / her disposal?
Finally to clear the fog, let’s have a peek into the world of the ‘Behind the scene worker’/ the strata management scheme’s Man Friday. Some of the many functions that our Strata Manager negotiates on behalf of the Owners Corporation are:
•Maintenance of all accounting records besides ensuring safe storage of all records and accounts
•Ensuring the scheme complies fully with all Fire Safety regulations
•Ensuring the scheme complies with all the Work Health & Safety (WHS) regulations
•Issuing levy notices besides collecting and depositing levy contributions
•Preparing, implementing and coordinating a Preventative Maintenance Program for the scheme
•Organizing and coordinating repairs and maintenance of common property
•Preparing agendas and notices of all meetings besides convening them
•Attending to and resolving 'harmony' problems (i.e. disputes) within the scheme
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Christopher Whelan is a Licensed Strata manager at Whelan Property Group Pty. Ltd., a professional and proactive Strata title management Company Sydney.
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