Building Managers are sometimes referred to as caretakers, facilities managers or resident managers. They are vital for managing the day-to-day operational management of the Strata building and facilities. Unlike Owners Corporation managers, Building Managers are often located onsite with a dedicated office.
Building Managers role is quite different to a strata manager.
Building Manager Responsibilities:
- Coordinate and oversee regular building maintenance and repairs,
- Manage and directing cleaning/security staff,
- Preparing and carrying out emergency protocols and procedures,
- Maintaining a safe environment for building occupants and visitors,
- Prepare and monitor maintenance budgets.
- Negotiating and liaising with third-party service providers.
- Conducting regular building inspections and preparing reports.
- Ensuring facilities are in compliance with applicable policies, regulations and building codes.
The Building Manager actively operates a business commonly referred to as “management rights. This term is used in the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 to refer to the rights and responsibilities granted to a Building Manager by the Owners Corporation through a management rights agreement.
The management rights business has two aspects to it, both of which come from contractual privileges, rights and responsibilities with the Owners Corporation. The contract form must comply with strict requirements. The Owners Corporation enters into a contract with the Building Manager to either preform or to supervise the on-site caretaking of the common property. Caretaking usually involves maintenance style services. For these services the Owners Corporation will pay the Building Manager remuneration in accordance with the agreement.
Secondly, the Owners Corporation authorises the Building Manager the right to run an on-site letting business for the owners that wish to take advantage of this service.
These duties are entirely different to the function performed by SSKB. SSKB provides administration services for the Owners Corporation. SSKB is a “Owners Corporation Manager”.
Duration of Building Manager’s Contract
The maximum duration of the Building Manager’s contract cannot be more than 10 years after it commenced to authorise the Building Manager to act under it. However, a person can be reappointed as a Building Manager for a strata scheme at the end of the persons Building Manager agreement in accordance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 No 50.
Building Manager’s Role
The caretaking services provided by the Building Manager are specified in the caretaking agreement between the resident manager and the Owners Corporation. Usually, the Building Manager will be responsible for duties such as maintaining the garden, mowing lawns, cleaning, lifts, lobbies, changing light bulbs, and overseeing refuse collection.
The Building Manger also plays an important role in confirming work has been done (to the standard required) by the other Owners Corporation contractors and service providers and authorising accounts as suitable for payment. Although the Building Manager’s letting business arises from an agreement with the Owners Corporation, it is not within the power of the Owners Corporation to monitor the performance of this service, as letting of lots is a contractual agreement directly between the Building Manager and the owner of the rental lot.
Resident Manager’s Report to the Committee
The manager’s report to the Committee is an important part of the committee meeting. As the Building Manager is both the eyes and the ears of the Owners Corporation on-site, it is essential for the committee to be brought up to speed with cleaning, maintenance and by-law issues. The most effective approach is for the Building Manager to prepare a written report prior to the meeting and circulate it along with the meeting notice. However, it is also acceptable for the report to be provided verbally during the meeting.
Building Manager’s Remuneration Increases
The management agreement generally provides for annual increases in the remuneration. This is in accordance with a fixed percentage, or in accordance with the inflation rate. It is the Building Manager’s responsibility to lodge a request for the remuneration increase at the relevant time.
Transfer of the Functions of Building Manager
The transfer of the functions is an event that is contemplated by both the Owners Corporation and Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 No 50 and the Building Manager agreement between the Owners Corporation and the Building Manager. It is a right of the Building Manager to transfer his or her function as a Building Manager to another person, but only if the transfer is authorised by a resolution at a general meeting. The person whom the functions are transferred to is to be appointed as a Building Manager by the Building Manager agreement. The term of appointment as a Building Manager of the person to whom the functions are transferred ends on the same day as the term of the person by whom the functions were transferred would have ended if the transfer had not taken place.
Committees Working with their Resident Manager
Often Committees and Building Managers need to temper their expectations of one another.
Every Building Manager has a different skill set, experiences, temperament, and goals and expectations for their time as the Building Manager of your building. However, as a service contractor, the Committee has the right to anticipate the Building Manager’s performance of the duties outlined in the management agreement to meet a high commercial standard.
Top Tips for Building Managers Working with Committees:
- Make sure Building Managers consult widely with lot owners and Committee members before changing anything. Ask Owners for their advice and preference before implementing a new idea.
- Building Managers should take the time to effort to develop rapport and respect with owners. Building relationships is so crucial to ensure suggestions are welcome.
- Understanding Owners Corporation systems and legislation can be useful. Workplace health and safety obligations are really important and can have ramifications for breaching this.
- Efficiently complete tasks with utmost urgency. The Committee members highly prioritize speed and competence.
- Be patient with Committee members even if there is resentment or anger towards an issue.