Why is it important to have a Licensed Strata Manager?

SkylineIn a previous article, we wrote about the possibility for a strata titled building to be self-managed, rather than appointing a strata managing agent. Owners Corporations are legally entitled to manage their own affairs, however usually owners either do not have the required expertise, time or are willing to take on this responsibility.

In this article, we will explain what it takes to become and remain a fully licensed strata manager, and why you are typically much better off appointing a well-regarded and trained professional.

Strata professionals are experts in their field. They have the knowledge and skills to manage the day-to-day running of the Owners Corporation, adhering to complex regulations and laws which vary from state to state. They also possess the ability to achieve consensus amongst the owners of the strata plan. If you have ever attended an Annual General Meeting, you will know that this is an often underestimated skill!

Duties of a Strata Manager

Your Strata Manager ensures the strata scheme is properly managed for the enjoyment of all lot owners and tenants. This includes the conducting of meetings, collecting strata levies, arranging repairs and maintenance, managing a scheme’s financial affairs and strata insurance. Your strata manager also handles issues and complaints between residents and raises these with the Executive Committee for resolution.

People connected

What does it take to become and remain a Licensed Strata Manager?

1. Certificate of Registration

Everybody wanting to work in Property Services in NSW is required to apply for a Certificate of Registration with the NSW Fair Trading Office, which involves gaining a Certificate of Registration qualification. A Certificate of Registration can be obtained in a number of categories: Real Estate sales person, Stock and Station sales person, business salesperson/broker, property manager and strata manager. Once you have successfully completed your Certificate of Registration in Strata Management and meet the eligibility requirements of the NSW Fair Trading Office, you are legally allowed to work in the Strata Services industry in NSW.

2. Strata Managing Agent Licence

However this does not make you a fully qualified, licensed strata manager. In order to apply for your Strata Managing Agent Licence you must complete Certificate IV in Property Services. This is an additional in-depth training of the entire strata management process. The training consists of 5 modules or courses:

  1. Certificate of Registration (Strata)
  2. Trust Accounting
  3. Strata Management Agency Practices
  4. Financial Management
  5. Staff Management

Once you have completed all modules, students may apply to the NSW Fair Trading for their Strata Agent licence, ultimately making you a Licensed Strata Manager.

3. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

To enable to renew your registration with the NSW Fair Trading Department annually, both Certificate and License holders must complete a certain amount of study each year. This is called Continuing Professional Development or CPD. Licence and certificate holders undertake CPD by doing courses or learning activities that are delivered by training providers and industry experts. There are 15 CPD topics, which offer a choice of relevant and interesting topics for your expertise. One must undertake activities in at least one of the 15 CPD topics and earn at least 12 points per year.

Training can be obtained through a number of service providers. In addition, all reputable licensed strata agents are typically a member of industry bodies.

Strata Community Australia LogoPremium Strata is a member of Strata Community Australia (SCA)

Premium Strata is a long-standing and proud member of Strata Community Australia (SCA). The SCA is the leading industry body, representing more than 80% of strata management businesses. Membership is open to anybody who works in the Strata industry. The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is another industry body representing the broader Real Estate industry.

Engaging a strata manager that is a member of Strata Community Australia (SCA) is an important step to ensure the professional and compliant administration of a strata scheme. Members of SCA practising as strata managers are required to keep abreast of all changes in the relevant legislation through a program of continuing professional development and also maintain professional indemnity insurance. Not least, they are required to adhere to an ethical Code Of Conduct.

It is highly recommended you verify whether your strata management company is registered with NSW Fair Trading and with the SCA or REIA. (Use the links provided)

What is a Senior Licensed Strata Manager?

You may have noticed how some strata managers use the word ‘Senior’ in their title. This is not an additional formal qualification, but is typically used to indicate that the manager has a certain amount of experience.

Experience vs Knowledge

Do not underestimate the value of experience! Theoretical knowledge is an important foundation, but real life experience in complicated strata matters really makes all the difference when looking to appoint a strata managing agent. These high caliber managers have the ability to identify and address potential issues early on, before they escalate, and by doing so they could save the strata scheme a lot of time and money.

All of Premium Strata’s strata managers are fully licensed and maintain their continuing professional development. We utilise both external and in-house trainings to keep all of our staff across the latest industry developments. All our managers boast many years of experience in the industry. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

We hope you found this information useful. Please keep your eyes open for future posts, as we will continue to work towards making the somewhat complex world of strata management just that little bit easier to understand.