Survey Strata WA - Prpty Mgr

Evening All,

I'm seeking input regarding the obligations / roles of a real estate agent being a Strata Manager for a complex of Survey Strata Villas.

One of my IPs has been diagnosed as having a concrete blockage in a sewage drain line. From the plumbers' boroscope report today, it appears a fence post pierced the sewage line during construction, the fencing contractors just poured bags of rapid set into the hole and added water and walked we have a partially blocked sewage line needing replacement.

Complex is 5yrs old and the builder has a fault obligation for 7yrs post construction.

I've spoken to the agent / strata mgr and she has washed her hands of it saying that as the complex is Survey Strata, she is only responsible for management of common areas. I challenged this by asking her why she oversaw, via our committee, the massive increase to the total insurance on the rebuilding of all the dwellings by a huge amount if she is only managing common areas? Also, why do we pay her $2200 per annum per unit in mgt fees if she does sweet #uck all, except send us bills twice a year???:mad:

Yes, I know I'll have to go direct to the builder with eveidence of the damage and begin banging my head against that wall too. But I really do wonder why the hell we have a strata mgr in place under this arrangement.:mad:

Why is survey strata mgt so different to strata mgt? :confused:

Sorry people.....very tired, very ****ty......and very peed off people passing the buck all the time. Why aren't guns legal in this country???:(

Ian.......i'll be better in the morning after I get this **** off my liver.
Unfortunatly Ian too many stratas are self managed or managed by the cheap and nasty.
I believe the difference between a strata and survey strata is only to do with titles/landgate and the laws govening the site not necessary the way a place is run/managed.
You cannot have a manager just for the common areas. She has been on a damn good wicket and got away with it. You need to make a few phone calls to get your rights sorted. if you like l can PM you some phone numbers tomorrow that will help. You may even find your common ground manager:rolleyes: may have fraudulenty taken funds.
You do need to get to the builder and their insurance. That too is going to be a battle. As it involves a sewage drain it may pay you to contct the water authority to see what they have to say as health regulations come into play and l would hazard a quess they too would like to have a chat with a builder who is doing this type of work. You need also to have your Council of Owners on this case to set a plan of getting to the bottom of this.
You may find out that the massive increase in the insurance is in part her comission. Those details will be on the insurance documents and in your yearly budget as all must be declared.
In WA you can attend a 6 week course to be a strata manager. Its good money if you can deal with it.Or in some cases avoid the hard stuff.
Hate to say it but you do literally have yourself a s#+t fight on your hands. Let me know if you want some numbers.
By the way strata laws are different in every state so l am told.
ask why she charges what she charges if she does nothing. that's called fraud, because last time i checked, money was exchanged for goods and/or services - anything outside this constitutes theft or fraud.

the builder is liable - it's a construction fault and needs to be rectified.

make her sort it out - just tel her who to call and say "it's your job or you're fired".
'Morning All,

I should clarify the Strata Manager is First National Realty......there are 12 'stand alone' villas in our strata lot and there are some 12 or so strata lots in the whole complex (so approximately 144 villas @ $2200/annum fees.....not bad for doing #$%@ all!!).

They are not my individual Property Manager as I self manage.

All they do is manage meetings, lawns & gardens to common areas only, insurance for each strata group........ummmm.....and not a whole lot more from what I can tell.

I'll be fishing out all my paperwork later today and going over it in detail.

The answer to my concerns will no doubt be tied up in the wording of any documentation pertaining to them as Strata Manager for a "Survey Strata Group". I'll get my hands on any such document and go over it to see exactly what my rights are and indeed what their job is.

Have a read of her comments below (names deleted & "The Builder" inserted by me):

Hi Ian,

After our conversation, I have had some time to look at the strata documents and although this has occurred in the complex it is not part of our strata management scope. Due to the complex being a survey strata, we are only authorised to deal with the common areas. I have had a discussion with our Licensee ###### and her recommendation would be to invite "The Builder" to the site if possible while your plumber is there as you suggested.

If this has already happened, then our suggestion would be to approach "The Builder" with your findings, including all evidence you have available. Give them an opportunity to respond. If the response is not satisfactory, your next option would be to lodge a complaint with the department of Commerce.

"The builder" have a duty of care when carrying out works, as stated in the Trades Practices Act.

I trust this has been of some help to you.

Kind Regards,

Thanks for your replies folks.....please continue to reply with further comment or information if you wish.

I'll keep you updated on this same thread as events unfold.


So if you bring a plumber to the site who pays his bill?
Ask your "common property manager" that.
I have put some contact numbers on a pm for you.
does the insurance cover your building or do you have your own building insurance? (the later would be a crazy arrangement by the way... 1 policy would be substantially cheaper)

If you dont have it, ask for their contract that appointed them as strata manager and have a read of what they are actually suppose to be doing.

unfortunately this is one area where you can get stitched. it is not uncommon for developers to do sweetheart deals with strata managers and sign them up for donkeys years on fat fees and there is buckleys you can do if you buy into the complex
Hello All,

Just an update: I've just spoken with the local supervisor for the building company and he is going to meet my plumber on site Monday when full repairs to the sewage line will be undertaken.

The supervisor indicated the damage to individual lot sewage lines during fencing activities is not uncommon. I only hope his manager agrees when they come to discuss liability next week.

This issue really shouldn't get to, or involve insurance as it appears the damage was done during construction. Hopefully the builder accepts responsibility, pays the plumber and we all live happily ever after.

I've also spoken with a lovely, knowledgeable lady from the Strata Institute of WA (thanks Yadreamin!!)....and she has clarified the role of the Strata Manager in this. Because the sewage line is particular to my villa only, and our complex is Survey Strata, it does not come under the common property sewage system therefore I have to make my own arrangements.

If the damage was sustained to the common property sewage header i.e. outside of my lot boundary, then the Strata Body would come into play.

As to the $2200 per annum each lot owner pays First National Realty....that's a lot of stamps to lick on sending out meeting minutes!! :rolleyes:

I'll update nextweek when I hear back from plumber & builder. Once again, the building was completed in 2005 and the builder has a 7yr warranty obligation.

omg... $2200 each? for just a common area insurance policy? ouch

when's their contract up for renewal? I might apply for the job.

Get a copy of the busget preseneted at last year's AGM.

This should show how much strate fees wee collectd and wha they were spent on.

I live in a copelx of 48. We pay around $1450 pa incldung $200 to a reserve fund. Most of it goes on hot water charges & building insurance and odds and ends, the actual strata manager is on a set fee but this is not th majority of the funds collected
Nice bit of reading in the West today for those of us who are own strata title properties in the West.
A push is on to change/reform the laws regarding percentage of votes to redevelop all or make changes at strata lots as its currently 100% votes required in favour of any changes and this is really blocking so many redevelopments especially of old run down units in prime areas as example Scarborough.
The push is have only need 85% of votes in favour.
I reckon this could be a good thing.
Provably years off though
I shall live in hope :)
Strata Managers

Hi Ian, I can't believe what you had to go through. Or should I say, i'm not surprised, Strata Management is not regulated in WA yet and so there are a lot of dodgy ones out there. I own an investment property in Mandurah and have had a lot of issues with strata managers in the past and paid a high price for them too, I think i'm in the wrong business :). We changed strata managers recently to Diamond Strata Management Services and so far they have been excellent. They go out of their way to be helpful, even working outside of normal hours if necessary like when we had the big storms come through a couple of months ago. They organised everything, the clean up, the insurance claims etc. Nothing was to hard for them and even if it wasn't their "job" they got information that helped us. It pays to ask a lot of questions when searching for a strata manager and also tell them what has happened to you in the past to see what they would do differently. I suggest you raise your issues at your next AGM and request to try another strata manager. Good luck with it all.
mkjb - joined to either help out (yay for you!) or flog a product (nay for you) - you are in Armadale and diamond are in Sevllie Grove...

excuse me for being suspiscious.