22 Mar 2018

You may be considering a change in strata management for your scheme for a number of reasons. It is important to note that the switching process should not be difficult if you are prepared and informed.

You may be considering a change in strata management for your scheme for a number of reasons. It is important to note that the switching process should not be difficult if you are prepared and informed.

The below steps can assist you with the process, however, for some schemes, there may be unique circumstances that will require consideration. If at any stage you are unsure, Blackburne Strata will be more than happy to assist you in the process.

It is important to be prepared for the change and make an informed decision for your scheme. After all, the Council of Owners (COO) are required to make decisions that are in the best interest of all owners. Cost isn’t the only factor that should be considered. It is also important to consider factors such as longevity in the industry, experience, professionalism and industry knowledge.

We’ve decided to change our strata management company – what next?

Under the Strata Titles Act 1985, the COO has the authority to enter into contracts for your scheme and the Strata Management Company.

The following are some preliminary steps that you should consider undertaking in preparation:

  • Check your by-laws

Some schemes have specific by-laws in place that outline how your scheme can change Strata Managers and any requirements that must be fulfilled. Some examples include having to have the decision passed at a General Meeting, or a by-law that specifies standards in which the chosen Strata Company must meet.

  • Check your current agreement / contract

The terms in your current management agreement may be specific about when and how you can end a contract. Commonly, detailed timeframes are provided.

We can proceed – so now what?

Now that you have determined that you can change Strata Managers, the COO should hold a Council of Owners Meeting. This meeting should include on the agenda the motion to change Strata Managers. This decision should then be recorded in the minutes of your meeting. If you do not want your current Strata Manager to assist with this meeting but would like some guidance on the requirements for this, contact Blackburne for further assistance and advice.

The strata industry in Western Australia is not currently regulated. As a result, a large variety of quality and service exists within the industry. Blackburne strives to deliver an excellent level of quality and service to each of their valued schemes. Some of the benefits of moving to Blackburne include:

  • Longevity in the industry
  • Blackburne has decades of history in strata management, so you know we’re dedicated to the long-term success of your scheme.
  • Level of professionalism and desire to assist
  • We guarantee our turnaround times and outstanding levels of service. We also offer an after-hours emergency phone service to our clients in need.
  • Industry memberships
  • Industry memberships incorporate a Code of Conduct and have expectations of a standard level of service. Blackburne are members of Strata Communities Australia (WA). For more information visit their website here.
  • Funds held in trust accounts
  • There are no legislated requirements for your funds to be held in trust accounts, yet here at Blackburne we ensure your money is secure.
  • Operating under a Real Estate License
  • Although this is not required for a Strata Management Company, we do operate under a Real Estate License which means we are held to a certain level of service and are independently audited on a regular basis.

To obtain a full strata management proposal from Blackburne, you will need to provide us with relevant details of your scheme. These details can include; how many lots / units, address and common facilities. It is beneficial to provide details of the previous Annual General Meeting to allow us to get an understanding of upcoming issues under consideration by the scheme.

The Council will need to collectively consider the proposal received and determine the best fit for the scheme and all the owners.

We’ve chosen a new strata management company – what’s next?

Congratulations! Choosing a new strata management company for your scheme should be a joyous occasion and you should be confident that your scheme is in capable hands.

If you haven’t already, you will need to provide an official written notice to your previous strata company. Generally, an email will suffice in these circumstances. Furthermore, you will need to make Blackburne aware of your decision. At this stage members of the Council will need to sign and return the agreement provided to you in your proposal.

It is important both the new and old strata management companies liaise for the handover of your scheme. It is best practice to send an email to both companies for the purpose of them having each other’s details and your authorisation.

How does the handover work?

The strata management companies will determine a day and time to conduct the handover based on the terms in your contract and when the notice has been provided. Once the scheme has reached the end of a contract with their previous strata management company, they usually have 7 days to provide the new strata company the records.

At Blackburne we aim to obtain the strata roll details from your previous strata company before handover occurs so that set up can be prepared within our system. This helps to streamline the handover process for the owners who can then contact us right away.

Handover will include the physical handing over of the schemes record, which includes financial records, minute books, hard copy paper-work, and any other documentation belonging to the strata company. Funds will also be transferred over (usually electronically) to the nominated account within a day or two of the handover.

What information is given to the owners?

Blackburne have a ‘Welcome Pack’ that is distributed to all owners at handover of a scheme, and to any new owners when a property is transferred. This pack includes important information, some helpful flyers and details for the online portal.

This is also a great time to invite your new Strata Manager along to a Council of Owners Meeting so that you can get to know each other. It is important that the Council collaborate with their new Strata Manager as we’re here to help the Council of Owners manage your scheme!

If you have any questions or would like to discuss transferring the management of your strata scheme to Blackburne, please contact us on 08 9429 5777 or email strata@blackburne.com.au.

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