The Missing Link

18 June 15


Building Managers either already have the practical skills required to conduct the caretaking or facilities management part of their new business or will receive training from the outgoing manager to be able to do so. In addition to this training there are now a number of highly qualified professionals who offer assistance during the lead-up to or immediately following a business changeover. As awareness of these services has grown, some Bodies Corporate now insist that Building Managers engage these professionals as part of the assignment process.

The key point here is that training in practical caretaking matters is available for Building Managers – if required.


With letting services, not only is training available but it is an essential element of the Building Manager’s ability to operate a letting business. Building Managers must complete a recognised training course to be able to obtain a letting or sales licence.

This means that prior to commencing their new business the Building Manger has obtained relevant training and readily has the option to seek further training if required.

Strata Laws

In my view, the missing link for new comers to the industry is an education in the strata laws that will significantly govern their day-to-day life and have a big bearing on the value of their business. Building Managers typically do not receive a basic grounding in or understanding of the strata laws before they commence operating their new business. For many Building Managers, training in strata law usually involves learning from their mistakes.

It is easy to say that having a working knowledge of strata laws is not the province of Building Managers – “leave that to the strata manager – that is their headspace”. The fact is that strata managers are engaged by Committees and they will generally do the bidding of whoever holds the balance of power in the building. This will often mean that the Building Manager’s interests are secondary to the Committee’s interests and the strata manager will interpret and apply the laws for the benefit of the Committee rather than the Building Manager. To avoid being walked over by the Committee, a Building Manager must ensure that they have a reasonable understanding of the strata laws.

Building Managers need to be able to:

1. read strata plans so they can clearly identify what is common property and what are lots;
2. understand exclusive use by-laws and who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of exclusive use areas;
3. know how voting works at meetings – including the use of polls and proxies;
4. be aware of the timing for when the submission of owners’ motions close for inclusion on AGM agendas;
5. understand the notice periods required (including postage) for the calling of an AGM or EGM;
6. know the Committee’s role in calling an EGM and, if need be, how to requisition their own EGM;
7. understand the types of motions that can go on the agenda of an AGM or EGM and what type of motion the Chairperson can rule out of order;
8. understand their rights in relation to when they can or cannot use proxies;
9. understand their right to vote at general meetings as a lot owners (notwithstanding that they, as Caretakers, may also have a material interest in the outcome of the vote); and
10. know how far they can go in “enforcing” by-laws.

The above list is not conclusive by a long way, but it will give you a pretty good indication of the sort of issues that Building Managers need to understand. In the absence of knowledge, strange happenings can occur in strata!
As a starting point, I recommend that Building Managers obtain the NSW Fair Trading booklet titled “Strata Living” – or download it off the Fair Trading website ( This is an excellent production and answers most of the queries raised above. A similar (but somewhat more detailed) booklet exists in Queensland titled “The New Layperson’s guide to Body Corporate Laws in Qld” – by Garry Maynard.


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
Disclaimer – This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice.


Contact Us Now

Phone:+ 61 7 5552 6666
Fax:+ 61 7 5528 0955
Address:Level 2, 17 Welch St Southport, Qld, 4215
Postal:PO Box 1876
Southport 4215



Most Popular Articles

Management Rights News

Number of news items returned: 1 to 15 records of 113

The Different Types of Caretaking Agreements

17 November 2014


 Essentially, there are three types of caretaking agreements in the marketplace: “Do” agreements; “Supervisory” agreements; Hybrid “Do” and “Supervisory” agreements. “Do” Agreements A “Do” agreement ...

Unit Entitlement in NSW

11 February 2013


The issue of unit entitlement was recently looked at again as part of the Department of Fair Trading’s Discussion Paper ...


16 July 2015


This month, we continue our examination of various clauses within caretaking and letting agreements and the important considerations to be ...

Is it Time to Change the Management Rights Model?

13 May 2013


I think the time is right for the management rights industry to explore the creation of a new model. I ...

What Managers Need to know about the NSW Child Window Safety Devices Act 2013

17 January 2014


Resident building managers have general obligations under their Caretaking Agreements to assist Owners Corporations with building and compliance issues. Managers ...

Short-Term Letting, Occupancy Limits And Tenant Representatives In NSW Strata

25 July 2017


Occupancy Limits By-laws in NSW may limit the number of adult residents in a lot. The limit however cannot be fewer ...

Be Careful with your Proxies!

03 October 2013


In June this year, I wrote an article headed “Proxy Farming”, which set out the relevant restrictions on caretakers using ...

The Law Relating to Management Rights in Queensland

14 June 2010


This article looks at the legislation in Queensland dealing with the constraints and obligations imposed on developers whilst they control ...

Duty Bound or Duty Free - Do you know what Your Duties Are?

23 September 2013


The day-to-day care and maintenance of your resort facilities and communal areas is essential to its ongoing performance and success. ...

Caretaking and Letting Agreement Essentials Part 1

03 September 2014


We regularly prepare caretaking and letting agreements for new developments. However, it has become increasingly common for us to be ...

For Your Eyes Only!

15 April 2013


Information is a commodity and for many, information is power. As you would most likely know from personal experience, the right ...

Owners Corporation Insurance - How do we Stop the Spiraling Costs?

12 August 2013


In NSW, all strata schemes are required to be insured for the full replacement value, as well as public liability ...

Proxy Farming

10 June 2013


It is often stated that Strata and Community Schemes represent the “fourth tier of Government” and, as such, voting (either ...

"Legal Action", All those in Favour say "Why"

15 July 2013


I was recently involved in a New South Wales matter where an Executive Committee had received extensive legal advice from ...

Not Getting the Fundamentals Right

15 October 2013


A recent decision of the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) has highlighted the importance of ensuring that the ...