Changing Strata Managers – Part 2

Published: Tuesday 30 March 2021

Having completed part 1 “How to choose the right strata manager for your scheme”, covered in our previous blog, we now get into the detail of the legal steps of changing strata managers in order to realise your decision.

The process to change strata managers will depend on:

  1. If the change is being initiated by the Committee. Normally the Strata Committee are best placed to assess who will work well with them as the current working group administering the scheme on behalf of all owners.  This group also knows how they wish to manage their strata challenges and objectives for the Owners Corporation as a whole.
  2. Alternatively, if it is a group of active owners who are initiating the change of strata manager, however they are not currently on the strata committee, then the course to do so is a bit different.

We will cover both ways to change strata managers.  

THE IMPORTANT POINT TO NOTE IS THAT, IN THE END, THE OWNERS CORPORATION MUST DECIDE, AND THUS IT MUST BE PLACED ON AN AGENDA OF A MEETING FOR ALL OWNERS.

Is it a Strata Committee or an individual owner wanting to change the Strata Management company?

If the change is initiated by the Strata Committee

i) If the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is only a few weeks away, then one of the strata committee (nominated by the group) or an individual owner, can provide a motion to the strata manager, to be included in the agenda.  In the case of changing agents – to first terminate the current one, and then appoint the new. 

In these cases, the information you need is:

  1. Your strata plan number
  2. Your current strata agents legal name of the company
  3. The legal name of the new strata management company you wish to change to

Complete the motion here (click link to word document) and include the above information as appropriate.

This is a legal matter, so getting all the information correct is critical.

Once complete, send it to the current manager for your strata plan and request this be included in the AGM notice.  This should be done at least three weeks before you would normally have your AGM.  If you are on the committee and liaising with the current agent as to the date, then at least a month before the date of the meeting.

Alternatively, if there is an extra-ordinary meeting (EGM) of all owners coming up, this too is another opportunity to place a motion on the agenda and see if owners support a change. If an EGM is coming up, follow the steps above.

ii) However, if the Annual General Meeting of your strata scheme is not due for some months, the secretary of the strata committee, may convene an Extra ordinary General Meeting at any time.

The Secretary may simply forward the completed motion (link above) to the current strata manager, instructing the agent to call a meeting of all owners as soon as possible to determine the attached motions.

Note it is important not to refer to “discussing” the attached motions, as all you can do is talk about them, and no decision can be made. The intent of the motion on the agenda must be to “determine” their decision regarding the various motions.

If a group of individual owners are wanting to initiate changing strata managers.

If you are an individual, or group of owners who are not on the committee wishing to effect the change of strata manager, you can complete a qualified request, to the strata manager, requiring a meeting to be called, but you must stipulate the motions to be put on the agenda.

Here is a link – click here – for a qualified request form that you can complete and provide to the agent.  For this you will need:

  1. Your strata plan number
  2. A list of the unit entitlement for the various owners in your scheme.  The easiest place to get this is asking your current strata manager for a copy of the current Certificate of Title.  This has the “share” that each owner has in the scheme represented as a number for each lot.  The unit entitlement is a
  • Voting right – when a poll vote is called
  • How each owners portion of levies are determined

The legal requirements are that ¼ of the total unit entitlement (shows as a figure on the Certificate of Title) must sign the petition, calling for an EGM.  

This is done by writing their name, signing, indicating their lot, and their unit entitlement.  Once signed, the form should be dated the date it is being sent on to the strata manager.  In this case we have assumed that the qualified request is to change agents and so have included this. Other motions can be added if you wish.

As with (i) above, you will need to insert certain information into the motion before everyone signs it.

The Most Important Final Step

Having done the work to get the meeting called, it is just as important to ensure you and any supporters can vote to pass the motion and effect the outcome you want to see.  To do this, you must have all levies paid up to date. You have no vote if you have not paid all your contributions at least 5 days before the meeting to ensure it has cleared the bank by the time you need to vote. 

To check your levy status, you can log onto the agents on-line portal if such exists, otherwise call them to verify your “financial status” to vote at the upcoming meeting. 

If a payment is required, call the agent to verify payment has been received and you have a voting right, at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Should you need help with any of the above on changing strata management companies, simply call us, Progressive Strata Services, on 02 9389 9599.