A strata managing agent is required to exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence in carrying out their duties. They must act honestly, fairly and professionally with all parties in a transaction. They must act in the owners corporation’s best interest at all times unless it would be otherwise unlawful to do so.
A strata managing agent must be licensed under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 and has duties and responsibilities under that Act, and also the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
At each Annual General Meeting (AGM), the strata managing agent is required to disclose whether any third party commissions or training services:
The disclosure of these details must be recorded in the minutes.
A strata managing agent must, as soon as practicable after becoming aware that commissions to training services provided to, or paid for, the agent (other than the owners corporation) differ from the commissions or training services or any estimate of them disclosed at AGM, disclose to the strata committee the variation and give an explanation for the variation.
These requirements do not apply to training services or remuneration provided directly to a strata managing agent by their employer agency.
If an agent does not disclose commissions or training services that they have received, the owners corporation can apply to the Tribunal to make an order that any commissions accepted by the agent be paid to the owners corporation and a fine of up to $2,200 may be imposed on the agent.
A managing agent who refers an owners corporation to a service provider must disclose if they have a personal or commercial relationship with that service provider. They must also disclose the nature and value of any rebate, discount, commission or benefit they may receive, or expect to receive, and refer the owners corporation to the service provider. This enables the owners corporation to make a value judgment on whether they are getting a good deal on the services to be provided.
A strata managing agent must disclose whether they are connected with the original owner or developer of the strata scheme. The agent must also disclose if they have any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the strata scheme. Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to $5500 being imposed on the agent.
If an agent intends to act (or offers to act) for an owners corporation and is aware that another agent is already managing that property, the agent must, unless the person otherwise directs in writing, disclose the agent’s intention to act or offer to act to the current agent.
A strata managing agent must not, in connection with the provision of services as a strata managing agent or the exercise of functions as a strata managing agent, request or accept a gift or other benefit from another person for himself or herself or for another person (except in the circumstances listed below).
However, a strata managing agent may accept the following:
Gifts or other benefits, including the provision of training courses to a strata manager employee of an agency by the agency, in the course of the person’s employment or otherwise, are also not prohibited by these requirements. This means that an agent’s employer can continue to pay for employees to undertake courses, or provide them with benefits or gifts.
The maximum amount of $60 allows agents to receive reasonable refreshments when attending meetings for example, and small gifts by the owners corporation they are managing in appreciation of services provided by the agent.
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