8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Strata Manager

Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.

Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.

We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.

How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after

Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.

What’s included in the monthly management fee

Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.

Qualifications

The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.

Experience

When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.

Reporting

How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.

Service Level Agreements

Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.

Your money, your input

It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.

Agreement terms

When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.

Will the Raiders Domed Stadium Increase My Market Value?

The development of a $1.9 Billion dollar professional football stadium down the street from your current business location is usually a good thing. There are always those who may garner a real property value increase due to the stadiums location but then realize that the traffic from the new venue may destroy their ability to do business or it may make renting their building to a tenant or tenants more difficult. You can have a huge real property market value uptick and still lose your tenants or lose the utility of your building for its current use at the same time.

Appraisers are always asked “how much of a property value Increase can I expect?” It’s not something that can easily be answered because, as you know, each property is different and each will benefit more or less from the stadium development.

If you own a single-family residential home located 5 miles away from the planned stadium I wouldn’t hold my breath regarding appreciation, the stadium may provide some great entertainment to you if you can afford to pay for it but you will likely pay more in taxes for its construction than you will ever gain from your homes appreciation.

The domed stadium planned for Las Vegas is going to be developed west of Interstate 15 and thus west of the Las Vegas Strip in an area dominated by smaller existing industrial building development.

Thus, it is likely that many industrial properties located near the planned domed stadium site will likely increase in value over the next few years. If you look at other professional stadiuhe dome, but they can’t offer you that many choices. ms, I have, you will find that there are (look at the AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX for example) 30 to 50 restaurants surrounding it. Las Vegas is full of Strip based restaurants but do fans traveling in and out of the dome want to deal with the Strip just to get some food? Yes, they will sell you food inside of t

Industrial land often sells in Las Vegas for a price near $10 per square foot but fast food restaurant ground sells closer to $25 per square foot. There appears to be some upside potential for those willing to transition their properties from industrial to commercial, and much of the area surrounding the proposed Las Vegas dome stadium has already been planned for a tourist commercial use.

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO is isolated from most private development, and the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte is isolated by highways. The Los Angeles Chargers stadium (StubHub Center) adjoins Cal State University and still has nearly 15 fast food restaurants close by.

Properties have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and owners have to follow how the areas near the planned stadium are transitioning. If the stadium had been planned for the Strip side of the freeway there would likely have been much less potential for stadium-related development given the relatively high prices from the influence of the Strip, but west of the I-15 there are more possibilities.

The transition of the area away from small industrial users to stadium related uses will offer an opportunity to current owners and to investors who can benefit from locating close to the stadium.

Why Use a Professional Inventory Company?

An inventory is a concise and detailed list of the contents, fittings and fixtures of a house, flat or office that is being let. This includes everything from the carpets and curtains to all the furnishings (if furnished). An Inventory provides a clear concise snapshot of the property at the time of the inventory completion with digital photographs provided to support the report. The inventory should be carried out by a third party, independent inventory specialist otherwise it will be considered bias and will not stand up in a court of law when needed to be relied upon.

“With approximately 50% of all of end of tenancy issues going into dispute, and the Landlord being awarded 100% of the deposit in only 18% of those cases.”

There is no legal requirement for an independent company to carry out inspections on a property. However, an Inventory and Schedule of Condition of a property at check-in is a vital piece of evidence in showing the condition and cleanliness of the property at the start of a tenancy. When the tenancy ends, it is this document against which the check out report is compared. Therefore it is very important that both documents are as accurate as possible and their content is clear for all to see.
Some landlords do produce very comprehensive reports which are impartial and accurate. However, our experience from our work with dealing with disputes shows that many are not. It is very hard sometimes for landlords who probably have an emotional attachment to the property to be objective about either condition or cleanliness.
Sometimes agents take on this role, but again whilst their clients are both landlords and tenants, in practice, it is not always easy to be impartial. It is also not a cost-effective option when having to send staff out for time-consuming Inventories when their time could be better spent elsewhere in the business.
Using an independent and professional inventory company cuts out any risk that things are not reported correctly. It is therefore in the best interests of the landlord, the tenant(s) and the agents to engage a professional independent inventory company.

Are you renting out your property?

Have you collected a deposit from your tenant which you will in case of damages or unpaid rent?

In this case, it is wise to have an inventory done on your property before anybody moves in.

An Independent, Impartial Property Inventory clerk or expert can provide you with a professionally compiled service including check-in report, inventory, check out report or interim inspection, which will mean you should be covered when it comes to making any deductions from the deposit at the end of the Tenancy.