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Forum: Strata managers, the only way is ethics

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Sometimes it’s the things that people are told not to do that give you an insight into what they might do or may have done in the past.

Take strata managers, for instance.  Did you know that NSW strata managers have a pretty strict Code of Ethics?

We came upon this after a post to the Forum asked if there was a ‘duty of care’ for Body Corporate Managers (as they are called in Queensland), that obliges them to advise the strata committees to abide by Body Corporate law.

There is, as a matter of fact, and it’s written into their contracts too so, I suppose, a breach of the code would be a breach of contract. Which could be interesting.

That led me down a series of rabbit holes, as these questions invariably do, to discover that NSW Strata Managers – at least those who are members of the Strata Community Association – have a recently revised and greatly expanded and strengthened Code of Ethics.

It contains good, basic motherhood statements, such as SCA members must act “ethically, honestly, be straightforward and sincere and perform their duties diligently and with competence.”

But it’s when the code gets into the nitty-gritty of strata managers’ specific rules that we find the juicy gems of what they might otherwise be getting up to.

And if you think being told not to use personal membership of strata committees to poach gigs from other strata managers indicates potential sneakiness, how about this?

“A professional Strata Manager Member must not refuse or delay convening a meeting, where one of the motions to be considered is the termination of its appointment or the appointment of another Strata Manager.”

Naughty strata manager! But seriously, next week will see the official launch of SCA NSW’s Professional Standards Scheme, which actually came into effect in July this year.

According to the SCA website, it means the organisation will “oversee and self-regulate the conduct of all members within a structured professional framework defined by our Code of Ethics” and bring a “robust and independent complaints handling process, ensuring clients can be assured of an independent review and response.”

That last part will interest any owners who have ever been dudded by an incompetent or dishonest strata manager. And it’s another reason to ask why any owners corp would ever employ a strata manager who wasn’t a member of SCA?

You can read the question that sparked this ethics hunt HERE.

Elsewhere on the Forum

  • Fitness freaks wake me ridiculously early every morning with their breakfast cupboard door bashing.  That’s HERE.
  • I’m looking at buying a flat in a small self-managed block with no formal strata system.  Should I be worried?  That’s HERE.
  • Who pays to replace hard-wired smoke alarms?  That’s HERE.
  • Do we really need to replace our reliable old electricity meters with so-called smart ones?  That’s HERE.
  • I think I own the area outside my townhouse.  Can the committee stop me fencing it off?  That’s HERE.

How to ask and answer questions

Anyone can read our posts any time but now there are several easy ways you can search, access, ask questions and reply to others’ queries. 

The best way these days may be to click on “Forum: Your Qs & A’s” on the top menu bar on a computer screen or on the drop-down menu (three lines) on the right of the screen on phones and tablets, under the Strata Choice ad.

Then click on the topic title that interests you, and off you go.  

Alternatively, you can look at the list of “Your latest questions and answers” under the ads on the right of the page on a computer screen. Or at the bottom, after the ads and stories, on a tablet or phone.

Or you can go “old school” and go to the Forum Home Page and work your way through the topics there.

Whichever route you take to get there, the best way to keep up to speed with what’s happening is to register (if you haven’t already done so), then login and subscribe for free to the topics that interest you most.

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