If you own or live in an apartment or townhouse most likely you will have a body corporate manager. You may also have a Property Manager as well as a Building Manager. These are terms which may sound similar but are completely different.
When you buy an apartment or townhouse, you’ve not just bought an individual lot, but you’ve also bought a part of the building or complex itself and all the associated common areas (such as hallways, driveways, swimming pools and lifts).
Apartment owners and residents are often unclear about who is responsible for what and this confusion about managerial roles and responsibilities can be the cause of many disputes between stakeholders.
The difference between a Body Corporate Manager, a Property Manager and a Building Manager is quite significant.
So, if you’re an apartment owner or renter read our complete guide to who does what in your block.
Property Manager vs Body Corporate Manager- What’s the Difference?
The key difference separating Body Corporate Managers from Property Managers is that a Body Corporate Manager works on behalf of all owners in the scheme/building.
A Property Manager on the other hand is employed by individual lot owners to manage the private property of those individuals.
What is a Body Corporate Manager?
A Body Corporate Manager (also called strata manager) is a company appointed by the owners (Body Corporate) of an apartment block to manage that block on behalf of all individual owners.
A Body Corporate Manager will work for the collective interest of all owners and provide advice and guidance for matters like legal compliance and financial administration.
What does a Body Corporate Manager do?
Body Corporate Managers are involved in coordinating the affairs of lot owners including conducting meetings, collecting and banking levies, advising on asset management, arrange insurance valuations, manage insurance claims and keeping financial accounts.
They are specialists that have the knowledge and skill to administer the body corporate in accordance with complex and ever-changing legislative requirements.
Crucially, they work to keep the building or complex compliant in terms of legislation and insurance coverage.
They provide an objective role in managing any disagreements that may arise between parties and work to minimise any conflicts of interest, to achieve consensus in decision making by owners, and otherwise assist the lot owners by assuming essential responsibilities.
Their duties include but are not limited to:
- Working with the committee to set dates for committee meetings, the annual general meeting, extraordinary general meetings
- Prepare and distribute notices, agendas and minutes
- Attend to correspondence
- Arrange payment of all invoices
- Prepare and distribute financial statements and budgets
- Prepare and distribute contribution notices
- Attend to orders, submissions and appeals
- Ensure the strata scheme complies with all the Work Health & Safety (WHS) and other regulations
- Provide advice regarding the day-to-day running of the building or complex as well as handling ‘difficult’ or complex strata issues.
What a Property Manager does?
A Property Manager manages an individual property on behalf of a lot owner.
They find suitable tenants for lots, arrange leases, inspect the condition of the property, receive rent, manage repairs and for arrange maintenance for the inside of the apartment.
Very often a Property Manager will manage multiple lots in a development.
Property Managers also act as a liaison between the tenant and the owner, so if the tenant wants to ask permission to make any changes to the property, they can let the Property Manager know, who would then pass on their request to the landlord.
Most repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of individual owners and tenants. Repairs and maintenance that is needed to common property will need to be brought to the attention of the Building manager or the body corporate
What a Building Manager does?
A Building Manager is hired by the Body Corporate to look after the day-to-day operational management of the building or complex and its facilities.
Building Managers are often onsite with a dedicated office in the building whereas the Body Corporate Manager is located offsite.
They are the foot soldiers on the ground who meet with and supervise various contractors and suppliers carrying out maintenance and upgrades.
Building Managers provide offerings such as security, cleaning and property maintenance and undertake day-to-day administrative tasks, policing by-laws and issuing keys to new occupants or holiday renters. Building Managers will often also act as Property Manager.
Body Corporate Managers, Property Managers as well as Building Managers, all have an important role to play within strata communities.
With more Queenslanders than ever before living and owning apartments it is vital that all stakeholders involved in a strata community have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different types of managers.