Dissatisfied with the actions of your Body Corporate Manager, and want a new one? Wondering how you go about that? Not sure you received the right advice from your Body Corporate Manager?
The role and obligations of your Body Corporate Manager are clearly set out in body corporate law, including codes of conduct. Those laws also set out how to appoint and dismiss a Body Corporate Manager.
What does a Body Corporate Manager do?
The Body Corporate Manager may be an individual or a firm that supports the Body Corporate Committee to manage the day-to-day tasks that are needed to run a strata title complex. These tasks can include:
- Collecting and banking body corporate fees, including pursing unit owners that have not paid their fees for their bad debt;
- protecting the complex’s property, including arranging quotations for property maintenance and renovations, and monitoring that actual work, ensuring property is appropriately insured,
- keeping good records – Body Corporates must ensure they comply with legal record keeping requirements such as maintaining a register of unit owners, financial records and arranging the audit of the Body Corporate’s finances, and creating other reports required by law,
- paying invoices for utilities, rates and other usual or one-off expenditure necessary for the smooth operation of the complex,
- organising meetings of the Body Corporate and its Committee, including preparing and distributing meeting notices, proposed resolutions, agendas and minutes, and preparing the annual budget for endorsement, and
- ensuring other compliance with body corporate law, including managing compliant procedures.
Complaints about Your Body Corporate Manager
As with any concern or complaint, discuss your concerns with your Body Corporate Manager – the Manager may not be aware of your concern, and more than happy to address it. If you feel intimidated about contacting the Manager, raise your concern with the Body Corporate Committee Secretary – the Body Corporate Committee is the group that should be assessing and managing the day-to-day performance of the Body Corporate Manager. It is always best to put your concerns in writing (even a simple note or email), so there is a record of when you raised your concerns, and the outcome – if your concerns are not addressed, then you have documentary evidence of the efforts you have made to resolve the matter, which may be important in future action against the Manager.
If you are unsure of what the Body Corporate manager should be doing, ask to see the contract that appoints the Body Corporate Manager – this document should clearly set out what the Manager is required to do (and not do), when the Manager should undertake specific tasks, and what fees the Manager will charge for that work.
If you do not feel your concerns have been properly considered by either the Body Corporate Manager, or the Committee, then you can apply to a State government tribunal to consider your concerns. In making any application to this tribunal, ensure that you have correctly identified that the Manager is not acting legally, including fulfilling the contract with the Body Corporate, and that you have given the Manager and/or the Committee sufficient information, and reasonable time, to properly deal with your complaint.
Dismissing a Body Corporate Manager
To terminate the services of a Body Corporate Manager, the Body Corporate has to first carefully consider the terms of the Manager’s contract – is it possible to terminate the contract, and in what conditions? If the contract is terminated, does the Body Corporate have to pay any penalties?
If you believe the Manager is not acting in the best interests of the Body Corporate, including negligently performing, or wilfully neglecting their role, then you can assert your rights as a member of the Body Corporate and try to:
- hold a general meeting of the Body Corporate – how to call a general meeting, and terminate the Manager’s contract at that meeting will be stated in the State government’s laws, or
- have your Body Corporate apply to a State government tribunal for an order terminating the Manager’s contract.
Once a Manager’s appointment is terminated, the Manager has a set time period to return all funds and records to the Body Corporate.
As an executive member of a Body Corporate Committee, Faileen has performed the duties of a Body Corporate Manager. Faileen has also engaged and fired Body Corporate Managers and property contractors, and managed complaints against Body Corporate Managers through arbitration. If you have concerns about how your Body Corporate Manager is operating, contact Faileen for support in dealing with this issue. Faileen’s firm can also act as your Body Corporate Manager, either for an interim period or longer term, if your Body Corporate needs to appoint a Manager.