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.
A Body Corporate Manager is expected to have a solid grounding in legislation, industry practices and property management. Larger firms have dedicated accounting and bookkeeping staff to manage financial affairs of body corporates.
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.
The Body Corporate Manager Is Not In Charge
Some people believe by appointing a manager they’re appointing someone to run the “business” for them, but that’s simply not the case.
Although the Body Corporate Manager is appointed to undertake the tasks of the executive committee they do so without negating the committee’s power.
That’s because Body Corporate Managers’ do not make decisions. Instead they will refer correspondence and decision making to the committee.
This is why it can take so long to have issues dealt with in a body corporate; everything must wait until the next committee meeting where the committee will resolve what action, or not, to take and direct the manager. At times a Committee may also address decisions via a Voting Outside Committee Meeting, which is usually a quicker process.
In most cases it’s best to think of the manager as the secretary / accountant / personal assistant who acts on behalf of the committee, under committee direction.
Appointing Body Corporate Managers
A BCM is appointed by passing an ordinary resolution at a general meeting.
The appointment must be made under a written agreement that sets out;
- The term (not greater than three years)
- The remuneration payable
- The tasks the manager will perform, and
- How the agreement may be terminated
In most cases the BCM will undertake the tasks of the secretary and treasurer however different committees have different needs so the agreements can be tailored.
The BCM is a member of the committee however they have no power and cannot vote on motions. Their role is to advise and take minutes, and from there implement the decisions of the committee.