Malvern Owners Corporation called into our office as they were unhappy with their owners corporation management company. The building was only a few years old and the developer had appointed and signed the contract with the incumbent owners corporation manager.
The Committee’s Concerns
In the words of the Committee, it had been a ‘rocky last 12 months’ with the incumbent owners corporation management company… Their other concerns related:
- No communication with the Committee;
- The owners corporation manager not replying to emails;
- The owners corporation manager never returning phone calls;
- The Committee not being provided with quotes when requested; and
- Some concerns around additional service fees and charges.
Stage 4 COVID Restrictions and Transitioning Owners Corporation Management
- We held numerous Zoom meetings and discussions with the Committee.
- The Committee emailed us all the contracts that we asked for to facilitate our review.
- We walked the Committee through all the new management companies and their proposals.
- The Committee shortlisted and held Zoom interviews, which we facilitated and also attended.
- After 5-6 weeks of working with the Committee (virtually and remotely), they were ready to move forward.
- We assisted the Committee with the transition processes.
Getting Off on the Right Foot and Being Proactive
The new owners corporation management company was able to receive the books and records of the owners corporation in electronic and get to work. The new manager opened a new trust account for the owners corporation and requested for the transfer of funds.
One of the first the things the new owners corporation manager did was to email all the tradespeople and contractors that service the building. The new owners corporation manager advised them that they taken over management and provided updated contact details to ensure invoices would be received and paid.
A Fresh Set of Investigative Eyes
The Chair of the Committee was also able to readily provide the new owners corporation manager with a list of their service providers and preferred contractors. The new owners corporation manager promptly emailed the Chair back with this feedback:
Thank you for the details of those contractors, I’ll list that they are preferred contractors.
I agree, once we have more info I will contact the contractors to confirm if there is currently an agreement in place/ warranty period and then assess.
Just so you are aware, expenses that are jumping out to me at the moment where I think we can get savings are:
- Lift maintenance & repairs
Other areas that we will review but do look somewhat reasonable are:
- Waste Management
- Insurance (Details TBC)
The new owners corporation manager contacted all the service contracts, asked for a copy of their service contracts, and then proceeded to review them. This was one of the findings that resulted:
Hi [ESS servicing company],
I’ve reviewed the outstanding invoices that were sent through yesterday.
In the agreement you sent through on 7/9/20 [ESS servicing company] have quoted $6,490.00 per annum for all routine inspection and testing of the fire equipment. If I am interpreting the agreement correct, the quarterly invoice would be $1,622.50.
The outstanding invoices sent through yesterday for the two quarters April – June 2020 & July – September 2020 are $2,163.34 each therefore I’m assuming that the annual charge would be $8,653.36 which is $2,163.36 over what is quoted in the agreement and budgeted for.
Before we proceed with payment of invoices, can you please review to ensure your accounts team have invoiced as per the agreement you provided dated 2/4/20 and can you also provide a schedule of your routine inspections? For example, at the moment, all we know if that you do routine inspection and testing of the hydrant booster point Six Monthly and Annually. I would like you to advise which months what testing is carried out for each type of equipment for our record.
In regards to the invoices with $2,277.00 worth of additional works, as this work was booked prior to our appointment I will need to seek permission from the committee before processing.
*As this owners corporation is not GST registered all figures above are inclusive of GST.
The Quantitative Comparison
The previous owners corporation management company was charging the owners corporation $9,151.00 per year (total of management fees, disbursements, and other charges).
The new owners corporation company’s management services came in at $9,807 – which was $655 more per year (shared across all the owners).
We think it was a reasonable increment for the proactive approach and personalised service – and the Committee seems to think so as well:
Appointing and Selecting the Right Owners Corporation Manager is an Important Process for Every Committee.
Due diligence and choosing carefully is important – have a read of this article for one example of where things didn’t go right – Don’t Trust a One-man Band with Your Money (or Owners Corporation Management).
Lastly, Strata Management Consultants specialises in not only advising and guiding Committees on how to change body corporate management companies but have also carefully vetted every management company we work with. Find out more about the value of having a Strata Consultant working for you here, or feel free to get in touch on 1300 917 848 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Helped Malvern OC Change to Proactive Owners Corporation Manager – Content Copyrighted 2020 by Strata Management Consultants