6 Ways To Promote Harmonious Strata Living- NSW

Harmonious Strata Living

6 Ways To Promote Harmonious Strata Living- NSW

The current property market in New South Wales has seen expediential growth in apartment living, with many of these buyers being new to an Owners Corporation. In Australia, apartments now account for nearly one third (30.9 per cent) of the increase in private dwellings since 2016 (ABS, 2021). Considering this, as an Owner it is important to familiarize yourself with how to live harmoniously in an Owners Corporation Community.

In this article, we share with you 6 ways you can help to promote harmonious living in your Strata community:

1. Compromise is key

Strata living is all about sharing and compromise. This applies to both your investment interests, your Owners Corporation responsibilities as well as the shared common areas in your complex.

A good Strata resident will accept that they can’t have it all their way and they need to work collaboratively with other residents to limit noise, park in designated areas and obey by-laws to promote harmony in their Owners Corporation community.

2. Clear rules

All strata schemes are required to have a set of by-laws that residents and visitors of the scheme must follow.

Common by-laws include rules about pets, smoking, short-term rental accommodation (like Airbnb), parking and noise, so it is important to understand how they affect you.

It is important to understand the by-laws, and how this might impact the way you live harmoniously in your Strata Scheme.

For example:

  • Approval needed to keep a pet
  • Where can you hang washing
  • Parking restrictions

By-laws can come into existence through any number of means. Most buildings probably still have By-Laws based on the first set they were registered with. Those by-laws may (or may not) adequately cater for the needs of the building today.

3. Good communication

Legislation needs to encourage communication of rules and Owners Corporation need to pay special attention to communications.

Whether you are communicating via verbal or written communication you should always ensure you are calm and polite.

If the community or your SSKB Owners Corporation Manager becomes involved, you are more likely to achieve your desired outcome if you have approached your concerns in a non-confrontational way.

4. Quality management

Your Owners Corporation Manager is engaged to undertake:

  •  Administrative tasks to assist the Committee in the day-to-day operation of the Owners Corporation compliance with the applicable legislation
  • Issuing and collection of levies
  • Payment of approved invoices
  • Providing draft budgets
  • Assisting with calling and minuting meetings
  • Implementing motions and Committee directives
  • Providing general guidance on relevant legislative matters to the Committee
  • The Owners Corporation Manager facilitates a number of meetings each year as directed by the Committee:
  • An Annual General Meeting
  • A budget meeting
  • A specific number of Committee Meetings relevant to each scheme

So, are there things an Owners Corporation Manager does not do?

An Owners Corporation Manager is not the real estate, property manager or letting agent. An Owners Corporation Manager does not set levies or make decisions on running a Strata community – that is the obligation of the Owners, governed by the Committee. They cannot give legal advice, but they can point to relevant clauses in state legislation that may assist Committees to make a decision.

5. Community spirit

We encourage Owners to participate in Owners Corporation life. You can get involved in several ways by:

  • Attending your general meetings and/or submitting a motion for consideration by all members.
  • Putting forward your point of view on any of the motions under consideration at that time.
  • Being actively involved in the decision-making process by voting on the motions and returning your voting papers by the due date.
  • Participating in Committee election ballots
  • Reading the minutes of your meetings

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the one guaranteed opportunity you have as an Owner to exercise your vote in the running of your community and to select the Committee representatives who will administer the scheme in which you have made a considerable investment.

6. Dispute mediation and resolution

When living in an Owners Corporation, disputes can occasionally occur. How the issue is approached and resolved is crucial to the relationships between the parties going forward.

Be calm and polite:

Whether you are communicating via verbal or written communication you should always ensure you are calm and polite.

If the community or your Community Manager becomes involved, you are more likely to achieve your desired outcome if you have approached your concerns in a non-confrontational way.

Document your dispute:

If you have approached your issue in a calm and friendly manner and the issue continues to persist, you should start to document what has been said and done. This will assist you in the case that the dispute continues to escalate.

Who should you escalate your concerns to?

If you are an Owner in an Owners Corporation property, you can contact your Building Manager if appropriate. Otherwise, you can contact your SSKB Owners Corporation Manager of your building with any concerns or disputes that are occurring. If your building does not employ an Owners Corporation Manager, you should raise any concerns with your Committee.

One of the roles of a Committee is to enforce the by-laws and with assistance from an experienced Community Manager they will be able to assist you in resolving your matter.

At SSKB we promote harmonious strata living in communities and can assist with any dispute resolution.

If you are new to an Owners Corporation and are still getting used to community living, learn more in another SSKB article that may be of assistance. If you have any concerns about disputes in your Owners Corporation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Owners Corporation Manager to discuss these issues.

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