FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can owners change the strata manager?

Under Section 44 of the Act, the functions of the Strata Company are carried out by the council of owners therefore they can appoint a new strata manager. It is possible, however, that your current strata manager has a binding contract in place and there may also be additional by-laws in place that restricts this authority, therefore we advise you check your current contracts and by-laws.

How do we change to Central Coast Strata Management?

Once the council of owners have selected the type of service they would like, the process is relatively simple. The outgoing management company is advised and a handover date is set. Central Coast Strata Management will then collect your strata company's books, records, keys, remotes and plans from your previous manager and integrate them into our internal filing system. The financial records are loaded into our system and copies of your strata plan, by-laws, minutes and insurance certificate are published on our website. Owners are allocated login details to our website and all property managers and vendors are advised of the change.  During this time your strata manager will work with the council of owners to address any outstanding maintenance and management issues.

What information do I need to provide for a new strata account to establish my financial records?

Copy of the strata plan and by-laws, No. of units in the Building, unit entitlements, amount of Levy per unit, Levy Period, ABN no., TFN no, establish a bank account, establish chart of accounts.

Who will prepare the Financial Statements and Reports?

Central Coast Strata management will prepare the Financial statements, Outstanding levies statement, Invoice receipts and Expenses statement, Tax return, Notice of intended AGM meeting, AGM Agenda, and AGM Minutes of the Meeting.

How are individual levy amounts decided?

Unless there is a by-law to the contrary, the levies can only be raised in accordance with Unit Entitlement. Unit Entitlement is set by a Licensed Valuer and shows the relative proportion of each owner's share in the scheme.

The owners determine what the levy amounts will be at a General Meeting and this is usually based on the strata company budget. This budget is decided on based on what the owners estimate the running costs of the strata company will be for the coming financial year.

Reasons why owners would agree to increase the levy contribution include rising electricity costs and insurance premiums. It is important to note that as owners, there is a responsibility to repair and maintain the common property at all times, therefore funds are required to be available for this purpose.

How often are meetings of the Owners Corporation held?

Every Owners Corporation (Body Corporate) is required to convene a general meeting at least once every 12 months, which is known as the ‘Annual General Meeting’ (AGM).
Every Owners Corporation (Body Corporate) is required to convene a general meeting at least once every 12 months, which is known as the ‘Annual General Meeting’ (AGM). The Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (the Act), requires the AGM to be held, ‘on a date not earlier than one month before and not later than one month after the anniversary of the first annual general meeting’. As such the AGM is usually held around the same time every year.
Aside from the statutory motions detailed above, additional motions may be placed on the agenda by any financial owner (IE whose strata levies are fully paid) for consideration at the AGM by the Owners Corporation. Any additional motions for inclusion on the agenda of the AGM must be provided in writing prior to the meeting being convened.

How often are Executive Committee Meetings held?

The Act does not obligate the Executive Committee to convene meetings at any particular time during the year, as such committee meetings are usually held as the need arises. The only time a committee meeting must be convened is where at least 1/3 of committee members request a meeting to discuss or determine a particular item.
In many instances the responsibilities of the Executive Committee are delegated by the Owners Corporation to your Strata Manager so there may be no need to convene a committee meeting at all during the year as many of the functions of the Executive Committee are exercised by the agent.

What do my levy contributions pay for?

Your levies contribute to the operating and long term expenses of your strata or community scheme property. They are divided into two separate funds; administration fund for current operating costs and sinking fund for long term, large scale maintenance costs.

1.Administration Fund - The administration fund is intended to provide adequate funds for the running costs of your property, such as;

  • Insurances (buildings, liability, etc.)

  • Audit & insurance valuation costs

  • General maintenance of shared property

  • Shared water consumption costs

  • Cleaning of shared property

  • Shared electricity costs

  • Mowing & gardening of shared property

  • Management & administration costs

  • Annual fire certification costs

  • Taxation & statutory costs

  • There are other types of administration expenses, many of which will depend on the facilities at your property such as caretaking services, automatic garage doors, elevators, air-conditioning plants, swimming pools, gymnasiums, shared hot water systems etc.Sinking Fund

2.The Sinking Fund - The sinking fund is intended for the long-term maintenance of the buildings and improvements at your property, such as replacement of carpet, repainting of common areas, replacement of building components or building refurbishment etc. This fund is required to accumulate over time so that the scheme has sufficient reserves to accommodate these long-term maintenance items when they occur.

Can our strata manager decide what is discussed at general meetings?

No, this is a responsibility of the council of owners. There are several items that must be considered, including the budget, election of councilors and levy contributions.Any items that owners have raised with their council throughout the year are often also discussed at these meetings.

What is defined as 'Common Property' in a Strata Scheme?

Common Property is defined as the part of a Strata Scheme which belongs to everybody, rather than to an individual. On a piece of land, anything not defined as part of a 'lot' is by default Common Property. This may include walkways, hallways, stairwells and garden areas. The Strata Plan will define exactly which is constituted Common Property for a particular Strata Scheme.

What are "Unit Entitlements"?

Each Strata Plan details the complete list of lots within the strata scheme, and lists a corresponding allocation of "Unit Entitlement". The total of all of the units on the plan is called the "Aggregate Unit Entitlement". The Unit Entitlement is used to determine the lot owner's:

  • Share of common property.

  • Voting rights in the event of a poll.

  • Right to a share of surplus Owners Corporation administrative or sinking fund monies.

  • Right to a share of compensation in the event of a public authority resuming whole or part of common property.

  • Proportion of maintenance levies

  • Obligation to contribute to repair and maintenance of common property held under a joint exclusive use by-law.