COVID-19

COVID-19 | Information for Strata Owners

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our life and unfortunately its likely to linger around for the immediate future. Smarter Communities is proud to have led prompt and decisive action to best protect our staff and communities during the onset of COVID. Our teams have firmly proven that even a pandemic cannot dampen our drive to provide the best service to our customers and uphold our corporate values of honesty, quality, curiosity and collaboration.

As always, our priority is to ensure communities we manage continue to run smoothly, especially during turbulent times. Being a national company, we are well resourced and well positioned to guide strata committees through any current and future community issues.

For existing customers, don’t hesitate to contact your Community Manager for assistance or if you are looking to experience better, seamless strata management, click here to Request a Quote or call 1800 519 642 to see how we can help address your community needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a community manager?

Each Body Corporate is legally required to manage and maintain shared property and services. This includes ensuring the strata scheme is compliant with strata law and regulations, as well as a myriad of associated laws affecting strata buildings in Queensland.

This takes time, skill and an understanding of the complex legislation. That’s why most Bodies Corporate choose to engage the services of a professional Body Corporate management company. Just like Ernst.
When contracted to a strata scheme by the Body Corporate, Ernst is delegated the responsibility of managing the day-to-day affairs of the scheme on behalf of the Body Corporate Committee.

Tasks will vary according to the management agreement, but broadly cover:

  • Conducting the Annual General Meeting
  • Financial management
  • Technical services
  • Administrative duties

There is so much more to managing your scheme, including tasks we perform behind the scenes, but you will experience the difference Ernst professional management makes.

What are levies?

As a lot owner you must financially contribute towards the running costs associated with your building and common property.

These contributions are called levies and they are payable to your strata scheme.

Levy notices are typically distributed to each owner four times a year to meet the financial obligations of the Body Corporate.

As part of Ernst’s management agreement we will send levy notices to owners on behalf of the Body Corporate.

It is important to pay your levies on time, every time. It is your scheme who receives these funds. Penalty fees are usually applicable for late payments.

Who Sets the Levies?

Ultimately, it is you, the owner.

Levies, as part of the budget, are voted on and approved by the Body Corporate at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year.

Utilising its wealth of strata experience Ernst prepares detailed budgets for the Body Corporate Committee to present to owners at the AGM. These have been carefully forecasted to assist your Committee make better, more informed financial decisions to future-proof your scheme.

It is you, the owner, who votes on and approves the budgets at the AGM, therefore setting the levies amount to be paid for the year.

What is a Body Corporate?

A Body Corporate is the name given to represent all lot owners within a strata scheme.

When you purchase an apartment, or lot, you automatically become part of the Body Corporate for your building.

Responsibilities

The Body Corporate is responsible for the overall management of the strata scheme. This includes financial management, arranging insurance, conforming to strata law and by-laws, record keeping, ongoing maintenance and managing repairs of common property.

As a lot owner, and part of the Body Corporate, you also share the ownership and responsibilities of common property with other owners in the scheme.

The Body Corporate should hold regular meetings to discuss the scheme’s management and decide on a course of action to manage tasks required.
To enable quicker and more precise decision making in your strata scheme, every year you can nominate yourself, or vote for candidates, to form the Body Corporate Committee at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), who will in turn represent all owners.

It is in your best interest to attend these meetings, especially the Annual General Meeting.

You have a right to participate in the decision making of your scheme and influence how your community functions.

The role of a Building Manager

Some Bodies Corporate choose to engage the services of a Building Manager to oversee the onsite maintenance of the building. They often live or have an office onsite.

The Building Manager is responsible for the maintenance of the building, common property and shared services such as heating, air conditioning, ventilation, waste disposal, lifts, garages and utilities.

The Building Manager also oversees or undertakes onsite works and arranges for any permissions or access requirements for contractors.
Think of it like this: Strata Community Managers look after the business side of strata, while Building Managers look after the building. We all work together to ensure your building is well maintained and cared for.

What's a Body Corporate Committee?

The administration and management of the strata scheme may be performed on behalf of all lot owners by the Body Corporate Committee.

The Body Corporate Committee is a group of owners elected at each AGM who can make many of the day-to-day decisions about running the scheme on behalf of the Body Corporate including the control, maintenance and repair of common property.

The Body Corporate Committee has the responsibility of enforcing by-laws (rules) and must budget how much money is required to maintain your building now and into the future.

The Body Corporate must elect a Committee at each AGM and appoint executive positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Some of these positions can be held by the same person.

Election of the Body Corporate Committee

The Body Corporate Committee must have at least 3 members and maximum of 7 members (for schemes with 7 or more lots). If there are less than 7 lots, the maximum number of members is the same as the number of lots.

You can be elected to the Committee if you are:

  • an owner;
  • a company nominee of a corporation that is an owner; or
  • an immediate family member.

A ballot may need to be held to decide executive positions and ordinary committee members.

It is you, the owner, who votes for the Body Corporate Committee.

What are by-laws?

An essential and unique part of living within a strata scheme is the necessity to follow set rules to ensure all residents can enjoy their home and live safely and harmoniously together.

By-laws are the rules and regulations adopted by the Body Corporate that all owners and occupiers living within a strata scheme legally must follow.

Some by-laws are set out in legislation and these can be found in the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act). Other by-laws are adopted by the Body Corporate.

Each strata scheme can decide and enforce its own by-laws to suit the way its owners want to live. It’s important to understand your responsibilities and obligations.

Ernst can advise your Body Corporate how by-laws can be changed, or new ones created, to meet the needs of all owners.

Common by-laws

Pets, parking, noise, renovations, behaviour of residents, use of common property, and smoking are all common by-laws found in strata schemes.

By-laws can vary significantly from scheme to scheme. It’s important you know and understand which by-laws apply to your scheme and you must abide by these by-laws.

Some by-laws, such as pets and renovations, may require permission from the Body Corporate Committee.

BEFORE you do anything, check the by-laws, follow procedure and seek permissions.

These rules are in place to protect all residents and to promote a harmonious environment and community.

Still Have Questions

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