Perth property groups are pushing for an official licensing process for strata managers in an effort to streamline the growing strata industry.

According to Strata Community Australia WA, unless action is taken to streamline licensing for strata managers, millions of dollars in strata contributions could be at risk together with a lack of professional management for the State’s multi-billion-dollar strata industry.

“The introduction of licensing will provide consumer confidence and avenues for redress where strata managers breach minimum requirements, ” president Rachel Cosentino said.

Realmark property services manager Sandy Papalia said there were no formal licensing requirements to act as a strata manager in WA.

“Currently, anyone can become a strata manager or open their own strata management business, ” Ms Papalia said. “This is quite problematic because the responsibilities the job entails are complex and there is a high degree of trust placed in strata managers.

“Strata managers are guided by the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA). However, there is no direct regulatory oversight governing this legislation and there is no avenue by which strata managers can acquire licences.”

Ms Papalia said Realmark strongly advocated more stringent regulation and governance of the strata management industry.

“Greater industry oversight serves to reassure consumers that the person they’re dealing with has completed an industry training course in accordance with the governing body and is acting in their best interests, ” she said.

Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey said he would like to see the strata management profession licensed in the same way as real estate and business agents.

“Licensing would require strata managers to initially complete educational requirements and then to maintain their level of knowledge of the industry by completing mandatory industry training on an annual basis and adherence to a code of conduct, ” Mr Airey said.

He said the main issue of unlicensed strata managers for property owners was the security of money under the strata manager’s control.

The push for licensing reform comes after Landgate released a paper following a three- month consultation period on Strata Titles Act Reform.


© The West Australian

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