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Testimonials

Managing Agents and Caretakers

 

Managing Agents

The appointment of a managing agent and caretaker is one of the more important decisions an Owners Corporation will make. The appointment and granting of powers can only be decided by a majority vote at the Annual General Meeting and the Owners Corporation must ensure that the appointed agent is licensed under the Property, Stock and business Agents Act (2002). A managing agent fulfils some or all of the functions of an owners Corporation.

All Strata Solutions can advise on the appointment of managing agents our extensive experience in the property market has helped us form a network of independent management agents who are not beholden to developers, thus ensuring that the Owners Corporation is not tied to developer friendly agents who may have conflicts of interest. It is important that the Owners Corporation understand, and is informed about the length and terms of any proposed managing agent’s contract. This should be decided upon at the first AGM.

If you are buying into an Owners Corporation which has been established recently, in that it has already held its first AGM, it is wise to check on the relationship between the developer and the appointed agent. Often a developer will use his voting power to install managing agents into the property who will resist the will of the Owners Corporation to make any claims against the developer. All Strata Solutions can assist you with your due diligence process, as this scenario has often led to expensive and protracted litigation.

After appointment of the managing agent he can only be dismissed by majority vote at a full Owners Corporation meeting. This often results in a huge expense to the Corporation as you will be likely charged termination or breach of contract fees. A managing agent authority cannot be granted to:

  • Set Levies;

  • Delegate their functions duty or authority to others; or

  • Make decisions beyond the powers limited by their contract.

If you have a dispute with your management agents All Strata Solutions can help you have an independent Adjudicator appointed, or in the alternative take advantage of our cost effective, Alternative Dispute Resolution team.

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Appointment of Caretakers/ Building Managers

Generally a building manager, often referred to a caretaker will help the Owners Corporation with the following:

  • The maintenance and repair of common property 
  • Controlling the use of common property 
  • The directions to tradesmen and visitors on common property.

A contract entered into by an owner during the initial period is only effective up until the first AGM. However, if approved at the AGM, a caretaker contract can be renewed for up to ten years. As stated above, there is often a link between the appointment of managing agents, caretakers and developers, thus it is important that your due diligence involves a look at the relationship between the parties.

Common pitfalls and problems with building managers include:

  • Building managers unsatisfactory conduct under his contract 
  • Overcharging or unfair fees billed 
  • Inaction over problems 
  • The original contract negotiated at the first AGM, where the developer controlled most of the voting rights is: harsh, unreasonable, oppressive or unconscionable. 

All Strata Solutions can help you deal with these issues, if gentle persuasion is ineffective. Then the Consumer Trader & Tenancy Tribunal on application from the Owners Corporation can make orders to:

  • Change, confirm or declare invalid the terms and conditions of the agreements 
  • Terminate agreements 
  • Require payments of compensation by a party to an agreement. 

Litigation is the last option we would suggest. However it is important to be aware of possible pitfalls when dealing with or deciding upon managing agents and caretakers. All Strata Solutions can help you with this process.

 

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Our expert team can provide you with more information or assistance with a Strata management issue. Complete and submit the Express Enquiry form on the top right hand side of this page and we will contact you to discuss your enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange an appointment.