In November 2020, the Chair of an Owners Corporation in Ringwood contacted us. The building was falling behind on many fronts and their owners corporation manager wasn’t stepping up, let alone providing a professional service.
In December, we sat down with the Committee to learn more about the building, the history, the issues and where they were up to, and what the Committee’s expectations were.
In mid-January 2021 we were able to arrange to visit the building and undertake a building tour with the Committee.
The Committee forwarded all the documents necessary for our review and for the preparation of the RFT.
In mid-February 2021 we met with the Committee again to review the new strata management proposals.
New Strata Management Proposals
Given the unique situation of the building and the outgoing building rectification work, we had to be more targeted in the companies that we selected to tender.
We presented the Committee with 3 different strata management options. In terms of experience, capability, and capacity in dealing with building defects – all 3 strata companies ticked the box.
In terms of pricing (comparing the total of every fee and charge levied by the OC companies), 2 companies were about the same and one company was a few thousand dollars more per year.
The Committee ultimately decided to appoint the OC management company that was a bit more expensive (than the incumbent and the other companies presented). The Committee chose this strata company because 1. they were didn’t take any insurance commissions which could mean savings for the building and owners corporation and 2. they recognised that dealing with defects takes more time and presents more work for the OC manager.
The priority here, more than most situations, was to appoint a proactive and hands-on OC manager who could work through the issues.
Changing to New Strata Management Company
In April 2021, the new owners corporation management company assumed management of the building. Within the first two weeks of management, the new manager assigned to the building had been on-site to meet with the Committee.
The Committee and the new OC manager kept us updated and informed as to how things were progressing as the weeks went on. Below is one email that shows some of the items being addressed in a tangible way:
I hope this email finds you well.
It was a pleasure meeting you all yesterday and thanks for showing me around the property and bringing me up to speed.
We discussed the below items and I look forward to working with you and have them resolved
- Faulty front door lock and the locked 2nd floor window – Action: I have engaged a locksmith to attend to fix the front entry door and cut a key for the window.
- Loose Lift handle bar – Action: I will advise Otis to attend and fix.
- Defective Balconies due to waterproofing failure – We may need to engage a building engineer to identify the total number of balconies that are defective. Approach the builder to rectify as the building is still under warranty. Committee, Please feel free to suggest other alternatives to address this issue.
- Caretaking Services – the level of service provided by the [incumbent caretaking company] was deemed poor. Action: I will source 2 caretaking quotes and forward them to the committee. In the interim, I will advise Minders to improve their service and clean obvious stains i.e. on the wall near second floor lift
- Lot owners in arrears – Action: We will issue arrears notices to owners who are behind in levy payments. To the owner who has significant debt, I will discuss with accounts the best approach and advise.
- Faulty Lights in the carpark – Action: I will engage an electrician to attend and fix.
Please feel free to add to this list if I have missed something.
Any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.”
In May 2021 we spoke with the Chair again and her feedback upon review of everything since she first spoke to us was this: “a step in the right direction and feels like we are doing things that previous OCM was not able to do.”
Really good Committee and Owners – and we wish them the best. Good to see some positive progress after having spent 4-5 months speaking and working with the Committee.
Time to Change Owners Corporation Managers in Melbourne?
Having a professional, proactive, and dedicated owners corporation management services company is immensely vital to the running of your building. When it comes to changing strata companies, Committees should undertake due diligence and research – here is one example of where things didn’t work out – Don’t Trust a One-man Band with Your Money (or Owners Corporation Management).
Strata Management Consultants specialises in working with Committees on how to change owners corporation management services companies. Get in touch on 1300 917 848 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org