Property investment tip 37: Don’t assume your property manager or strata manager is always there to help you

The property manager, who is also referred to as the strata manager in some countries, is often the main point of contact for owners and tenants of apartments and houses in multi-unit complexes.

And so, many people mistakenly assume the property manager is responsible for fixing problems with the building and the communal areas. This is not true.

The property manager informs the Body Corporate Committee (also known as a Strata Committee) of the problem. The Committee makes a decision and list of instructions on how the problem should be addressed. The property manager actions the instructions given by the Committee.

In other words, your property manager or strata manager cannot fix your problem, no matter how helpful they appear to be. That’s because the Committee members are the primary decision-makers who control the budget.

People care less if it’s not their investment

Sometimes the property manager is one of the current landlords. But in larger complexes, the property manager is often an employee from an external property management or strata management company, hired by the Committee.

Generally, a property manager will have more property management experience than the Committee members. But the Committee will always believe they know what’s best.

Worst, the property manager will often get blamed by landlords and tenants for not fixing a problem, when, in fact, the Committee members are taking too long to make a decision.

Though most property managers and strata managers work hard, they will never care for your building as much as you do because it’s not their investment.

How to get your problem fixed sooner

If you want your problem with the building or complex to be resolved sooner, you need to copy a Committee member, preferably the Chairperson, every time you email the property manager. Remember, the Committee holds the decision-making authority.

You also need the Chairperson – not the property manager – to list your problem on the agenda for discussion at the next Committee meeting. If it’s not on the agenda, it will not be discussed or resolved, period.

Miscommunication can be a frequent occurrence between the Committee members and the property manager as everyone corresponds remotely.

Often, Committee members will insist that they were not aware of your problem. Whilst, the property manager is adamant the Committee was informed of your issue. Thus, emailing is always preferable as you have written confirmation.

So, have you had any problems with your property manager?

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Please note, though I own a few properties, I am not a legal, financial or professional property expert. I’ve written this post to share my personal experiences and would love to hear your opinions and views.

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