Understanding the difference between strata management services and property management services
Q. What is property management?
A. Property management is the oversight, control and operation of real estate, physical assets, personal property, equipment or tools. It involves maintaining contact between a landlord and his or her tenants, overseeing the repair, maintenance and improvement of the property in question. For example, a single rental unit owned by an individual may be placed under property management especially when the owner is not present or does not have the time and skills required to carry out the day to day management.
Q. What is strata management?
A. This is a specialized kind of property management and it involves the overseeing the day to day operational needs of a jointly owned property that also has common facilities and resources. For example, it could involve the management of a gated community that has residential and commercial utilities including schools, malls and shared recreational facilities. Strata management involves the maintenance of the common facilities or utilities on behalf of the property owners.
Since this form of property management involves multiple owners and tenants, there is a complex management system in place to take care of the needs of different owners. It also involves ensuring that individual lot owners take care of their end of the bargain for the best of the whole community.
Q. What are the differences between strata management and property management?
• Property management is the broad service category while strata management is a category within property management.
• The resources managed under strata management services have to be jointly owned and have multiple units. Property management on the other hand may involve management of individually owned properties that may or may not have multiple units.
• Strata management more often than not involves dealing with an association or community while property management involves dealing with individual property owners.
• Property management has fewer legal and insurance requirements usually to protect the owners from under insurance and poor maintenance as opposed to strata management.
• In strata management, it is the responsibility of the strata manager and the tenants to ensure proper maintenance while under property management, it is the responsibility of the property managers to ensure that the rental units are maintained well.
• While property management takes care of the well-being of an individual property owner, strata management services should ensure that there is transparency, efficiency in communication and fair treatment of all the owners of the property.
Q. What are the criteria used in the choice between a property management and strata management?
A. If you own the property solely, then you qualify for property management. If you are among multiple investors in a block of apartments, gated community or any other property then you qualify for strata management services.
Q. Between strata management and property management, which one is more expensive?
A. This is dependent on the extent of the property in question.
Q. What rules govern strata management and property management?
A. The local property laws and by-laws apply in the case of property management while in the case of strata management, the rules applicable depend on the strata management Act or rules set aside by the local government. Some property management laws may be applicable in strata management.