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Body Corporate recommendations?

By Flatone - 5 March 2012 13

I am trying to find out who are the best Body Corporate managers

in Canberra. I am with one company but am seeking others that may be able to give a better service.

Your experiences please?

Thanks

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Body Corporate recommendations?
tim_c 8:52 am 20 Mar 13

I’ve had a place for about 9 years now and the company appointed to manage the Body Corporate is ACT Strata Mismanagement. Initially they seemed good, responding quickly to reports of required maintenance but not particularly pro-active (always seemed to need to be told that the gutters were full of leaves before they bothered cleaning them out, then all the gutters rusted through and we all had to chip in to pay for new ones – their suggestion: rip out all of the trees!). All is good until you have a problem with anything they do, they don’t want to know you though. I’d wondered for a few years why so many other unit owners had problems with them (ie. not responding to correspondance, etc.) when I got along fine with them – until we reported a downpipe leaking onto our balcony. They sent someone around within a day who bogged up every joint in the downpipe, but forgot to check that it was actually clear inside. The next time it rained, the blocked downpipe overflowed and flooded the balcony and loungeroom. ACTSMS blamed the tenant for not keeping the balcony weepholes clear (ACTSMS seemed to think that 2x 20mm dia. weepholes should be able to cope with the same amount of water as a 100x75mm downpipe) and now refuse to enter into any further correspondence with me on any issue – they have changed locks on the common facilities and mailed new keys to everyone but me, they don’t even send any correspondance to me anymore (eg. minutes of AGM, etc.) even though I know other unit owners have received them – not what I’d consider a professional response.

I started to look around for other managers and could only suggest Ray White – they might be a bit more expensive, but I’d rather pay a bit more for someone pro-active and professional if it means the tenant doesn’t have to move out while the place is dried and re-carpetted. I’ve yet to hear anything good about Independent. I tried to get Link Corporate Services to give a proposal for managing our place but they didn’t seem interested.

546 11:58 pm 19 Mar 13

I have heard the same about Capital Strata going to ACAT & that they are bullies. I have had good dealings with Link Strata (Link Corporate Services), answered my questions, fixed problems and polite staff. Very transparent financial reporting.
Not much help from Independent ,main reason why our ec moved away.
Haven’t had any dealings with City Strata but have heard they are very ‘green’ and dont know too much about the Unit Title Act, but are managing lots of new complexes as they get in at developer level. ACT Strata depends which manager you get, but still OK.
It’s not difficult to change managers, but I’d suggest doing some ringing around and discuss what you expect a manager to do for you.

Chippie 2:15 pm 31 Aug 12

I currently have a unit managed by ACT Strata. In the four years since we’ve been using them we’ve had the one manager. ACT Strata have given us excellent service and managed to finalise work that the previous manager had failed to do over several years.

I had Independent managing another unit and we had three managers in 12 months so lots of time was wasted with repeated handovers. Financially everything was well done.

I’ve heard Capital Strata recently got taken to ACAT – apparently they can’t understand the Unit Titles Act and thought they could take over the role of the Executive Committee. Other friends who have them as manager said they promise exceptional service to get the job and then make excuses as to why they can’t deliver – even blaming the weather for not producing proper financial statements.

There’s also City Strata – haven’t heard much about them but worth a look.

Try to get references and ask questions such as how many complexes have left them and why. The Owners Corporation Network may also be able to assist as they have good knowledge about the various manager’s reputations.

lealea 11:13 pm 18 Mar 12

bigM said :

Stay away from independent.one word,rubbish.seems we have a new agent every other week n things never seem to get done.

I would second that. We also never seem to be able to get straight answers out of Independent (perhaps has something to do with staff turnover, perhaps not). In my experience, it is also exceptionally difficult to get rid of a body corp manager once instated – the owners just don’t seem to be motivated to do so, especially the investors (as bitzermaloney said). It’s incredibly frustrating to live with the mess facilitated by poor management.

No matter who you engage, I would recommend becoming familiar with the Unit Titles legislation. Even if you end up engaging an agent, it gives you some leverage when problems arise. I know it defeats the point of paying someone else but it does seem to help.

bigM 8:09 pm 10 Mar 12

Stay away from independent.one word,rubbish.seems we have a new agent every other week n things never seem to get done.

Flatone 6:59 pm 10 Mar 12

Thanks Vlad, I like the dictionary definition, it didn’t click at first.
Yeah, gonna be looking at ACT Strata mgt, we are paying high fees to another company for not the best service.
Are there any exit fees with these companies? We have to give 3 mths notice apparently?
Ta

toriness 7:04 pm 06 Mar 12

ka1042 said :

Have you considered running the BC yourself? We did it a few years ago and have saved heaps. All you need is a a strong committee. It can be done, you DO NOT need to go through an agent.

i can’t be bothered looking up the legislation right now because i’ve had a rubbish day at work but i am 95% sure you can only self-manage a unit development with less than a certain threshold, a very small number of units – something like 4 or 8.

ka1042 6:12 pm 06 Mar 12

Have you considered running the BC yourself? We did it a few years ago and have saved heaps. All you need is a a strong committee. It can be done, you DO NOT need to go through an agent.

bitzermaloney 9:54 am 06 Mar 12

Vlad_Gregor said :

bitzermaloney said :

Unlike Vlad, I’d avoid ACT Strat Management like the plague. In the 2-3 years that we had a unit that where they in charge of the starta management we had 1 AGM, they were slow to non-responsive in managing faults and problems associated to the until complex and their representative rarely returned phone calls.

How long ago did you have the unit? I understand for a while they were pretty hopeless, but they’ve hired a few new staff members in the last year or so, and their responsiveness is always good.

Similar situation with another big strata company, have consistently been the worst body corporate managers over the last few years, but in the last few months have started to claw their way back up with new managers and improved service, still have some ways to go however before I would be trusting them to look after any unit complex.

It was a couple years ago, but the experience (if you can call it that) was so bad that I’d look at all alternatives before approaching them. At the time they were not affliated or registered with any reputable property management associations. I would like to hope this has changed if in fact their service has improved.

My experience with ACT Strata was similar to the Vodafone issues of 12-18 months ago… the service was crap, network was failing… they couldn’t have created a worse customer experience if thye tried, hence the service could only improve. Would I use them again? Probably not given the experience.

All I would say is check the credentials of the organisation you select, ensure that they adhere to an industry standard (or body), especially if you are trusting them with an investment property. Why would you trust $400+k investment with someone else to manage that genuinely isn’t interested in seeing it maintained? You just see the money you save in strata management fees eaten up in repairs that should have been reported 6, 12 or 18 months earlier.

Vlad_Gregor 2:57 pm 05 Mar 12

bitzermaloney said :

Unlike Vlad, I’d avoid ACT Strat Management like the plague. In the 2-3 years that we had a unit that where they in charge of the starta management we had 1 AGM, they were slow to non-responsive in managing faults and problems associated to the until complex and their representative rarely returned phone calls.

How long ago did you have the unit? I understand for a while they were pretty hopeless, but they’ve hired a few new staff members in the last year or so, and their responsiveness is always good.

Similar situation with another big strata company, have consistently been the worst body corporate managers over the last few years, but in the last few months have started to claw their way back up with new managers and improved service, still have some ways to go however before I would be trusting them to look after any unit complex.

golden_youth 1:54 pm 05 Mar 12

My 2 cents… Our place is managed by ACT Strata Management (by choice of body corporate rules), I can’t remember the name of our manager but we cannot fault him.

Our tenant reported a leak in the roof, and he organised someone to look at it the next day, by the end of the week it was repaired. I don’t think you can better that. He is always happy to help us out if we have any questions and can always be contacted.

bitzermaloney 12:37 pm 05 Mar 12

Unlike Vlad, I’d avoid ACT Strat Management like the plague. In the 2-3 years that we had a unit that where they in charge of the starta management we had 1 AGM, they were slow to non-responsive in managing faults and problems associated to the until complex and their representative rarely returned phone calls.

Unfortunately the only reason they stayed was becuase the body corporate rules mandated that a majority of unit owners approve changing to a new strata management company, and most of the other unit owners were property investors that were more interested in the cheapest option as opposed to a competent manager.

Vlad_Gregor 11:24 am 05 Mar 12

I can highly recommend Link Corporate Services, or ACT Strata Management aren’t half bad either. Both have managers working for them who are easy to contact and actually keep you informed of what’s going, as well as respond to enquiries and problems pretty quickly.

At all costs avoid the big body corporate manager who can be defined by the following:
“adjective
1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself”

As a property manager in the inner north, I have to deal with them on a daily basis for all sorts of problems, and believe me when I say that a good body corporate manager makes all the difference, for EVERYONE involved; tenants, owners, property managers, contractors etc.

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