Search for a strata manager

byt2007 10 July 2020 24

My newish apartment complex (20 units) in Turner is currently looking for a new body corporate manager/strata manager. However, options seem to be severely limited in Canberra and the hunt is very frustrating.

I’d appreciate any recs/anti-recs you have.

The only companies we’ve been able to find are:

A.C.T Strata Management
Canberra Units Plan

Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated, I’m particularly interested in any really bad experiences. Cheers!

If you’re also looking for a strata manager, check out our recently updated article on the best strata managers in Canberra.

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24 Responses to Search for a strata manager
chrispmarks chrispmarks 7:20 pm 30 Sep 14

I would stay away from ACT Strata, I have found them to have a could not care less attitude. Darren Walton is our property manager and I have found him difficult to deal with, he has no opinion on anything.

LisaACT LisaACT 3:01 pm 13 Apr 11

nemesisrocks said :

Stay away from Independent Body Corporate like the plague.
Our managing agent changes approximately every 3 months. There’s no handover between agents, issues get “lost”. Utterly incompetent.

I agree. Independent Body Corporate is utterly incompetent. They are slow to act and when they do they often send out the wrong type of tradesperson to deal with a complaint which in the end adds unnecessary costs the Owners’ Corporation. Each Manager usually has a portfolio of 60 apartment complexes. How on earth can they possibly devote the proper time and application to your own apartment? Stay away from Independent.

Chippie Chippie 10:15 am 26 Jan 11

Just found this thread while looking for a good Body Corporate Manager.

Similar experiences as #8, #20 and #21 – on the EC and have been dealing with body corporate managers for nearly four years. In one complex we sacked CUPS (4 managers in a year couldn’t even change the light globes (mmm – feel a joke coming on here!)) after giving notice (even when they were taken over by Ray White) and moved to ACT SMS. Service has generally been good, they’ve cleared up outstanding matters from the last 10 years and we’ve had the same manager for 2 1/2 years which makes it easier.

Am currently with Independent in another complex – they are great at brainless rubber stamping but have no real idea of how to source quotes, waste our money (overinsured, non-interest bearing bank account), blame previous managers etc etc. Claim to have highly trained and experienced experts yet we get managers who are new to BC work, stuff things up and move on.

Sounds like it’s a bit of a lottery and depends on the service given by the individual manager rather than the company.

nemesisrocks nemesisrocks 9:19 am 04 Mar 10

Stay away from Independent Body Corporate like the plague.
Our managing agent changes approximately every 3 months. There’s no handover between agents, issues get “lost”. Utterly incompetent.

ozmreeee ozmreeee 1:42 pm 08 Dec 09

G’day RiotACTers

Came across this old thread which covers exactly where we are at. Our Body Corporate (I’m on the exec) is exploring options as our current manager is not quite stepping up to the mark – and it’s been the same with all managers from the company we are with. We had a particularly nasty situation which involved litigation against one of the owners and did not want to change managers while that was going on. It’s resolved and so we are now looking.

We are a small group with 8 units and that may be the problem, as we are with a large management company and always seem to have to follow-up to get action on matters raised. Not sure if our size means less attention or it just appears that way.

Appreciate any advice or update on the comments provided in the thread – i.e. who’s good and who’s not?

illyria illyria 8:03 pm 09 Mar 08

Canberra Units Plan do the right thing by us. There are only 8 units in our complex and there is no way that with the differences between owner occupiers and investors you could do it at the pub. You need professionals who act as mediator and who know what ALL the requirements are.

Ron Foster Ron Foster 3:23 pm 09 Mar 08

Canberra Unit Plan Services is now part owned by a large Real Estate Group -Civium Property Group ,
Management Charges have doubled so we hope the efficiency of this group has doubled.

andy andy 12:28 pm 18 May 07

toriness – i agree completely. get on your committee, attend the AGMs, say your piece, and try and change things. Don’t just complain to your neighbours and friends

bonfire bonfire 11:54 am 18 May 07

insurance agents.

gingermick gingermick 11:47 am 18 May 07

Skaboy12 – if you reckon McNamee’s are fantastic, you are either a relative, an employee or barking mad. Their incompetence is only exceeded by their laziness.

toriness toriness 11:22 am 18 May 07

I think Canberra Unit Planning is pretty good actually although I’m sure, like with most things, it depends on who you’re dealing with. I am on a body corporate committee for one complex they manage and live in another they also manage and have found them excellent – Chris Miller with CUPS is fantastic, I highly recommend him if you can get him.

ACTSM on the other hand – absolutely horrific. We (body corporate committee and CUPS) keep uncovering unpleasant surprises (dodgy tradework, unaccounted expenditure) from our time with ACTSM. And the last 6 months with them when we were trying to keep them on track and gave them warning after warning that if they didn’t pull up their socks, they were out – acted like a 3 year old thrwoing a tantrum and didn’t do any work, didn’t return calls or emails, and were outright rude when confronted about things they were doing wrong.

Really though if you want some control over your living environment, get on the committee, go to AGMs, be active – don’t just sit back and complain.

andy andy 11:06 am 18 May 07

as was pointed out, yes, it also depends on the size of the complex.
However bonfire – I’m curious, does your Body corporate have 10M in public liability that you’re required to have ?

skaboy12 skaboy12 10:20 am 18 May 07

I highly recommend McNamee, they have been fantastic for us the last couple of years.
I advise you to steer clear of Independant, I had nothing but problems with them as did several of my collegues.

bonfire bonfire 9:58 am 18 May 07

ahhhh i have some experience in this area.

16 units – the professional manager was flicked and the owners met once every 6 weeeks at a rented room in a pub. eventually it became every three months.

some owners never came or cared but paid fees anyway.

as long as letters go out to them explaining what you are fdoing and why and how much, it should be ok.

if its a smallish place, you dont need ‘professionals’. saves you quite a bit of money.

andy andy 9:32 am 18 May 07

blub – if you’re unhappy with the committee, run for election on the committee at your next AGM.
I will agree there are occasional errors with stuff IPG send out to us, but at the same time, I know our strata manager manages the complex in the best interests of the complex. There’s even a specific instance where, to my mind, i got rorted, but i understand why.. and the BC manager pusing the issue till i resolved it gave me confidence in their ability to do same if someone was doin somethin they shouldn’t

FC FC 9:01 am 18 May 07

I am with Canberra Units Plan Service and they are crap. They don’t return your calls, do sh*t all.
I’ll just say I wouldn’t recommend them if you paid me.

Special G Special G 8:34 am 18 May 07

We have rentals managed by ACT Strata Management and Independent – ACT Strata Management have been helpful and although slow at times (probably more to do with being in a larger complex and getting the Executive committee togther, which we are on). I much prefer their comparatively swift and professional service as compared to Independent, who have changed managing agent 4 times over the past 3 years, send out letters without attachments or quotes that they are supposed to contain, the executive committee are never called together, probably because nothing ever happens and they just raised the fees a whole bunch.

blub blub 10:51 pm 17 May 07

I’ve got ACT Strata. They do nada and have been often unwilling to provide advice to the committee. Not too happy with them – but them I’m not too happy with the committee either.

utah utah 10:24 pm 17 May 07

Third negative vote for Canberra Units Plan.

Pandy Pandy 9:50 pm 17 May 07

I concur. Stay away from Canberra Units Plan. They are arrogant and wont do a thing (like getting the unit exterior repainted) until really pushed.

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