Despite many complaints about the mould in my bedroom, my strata manager didn't act until it was too late.
I was never considered a sick person. Of course, I endured my fair share of colds and other illnesses, but it came as a shock when I was diagnosed with black mould poisoning.
I first noticed the spots above my bed in early July and mentioned them at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) a few weeks later. Our manager noted my concerns, however, weeks passed without any response.
Whilst attempting to contact my strata manager several times to no avail, I continued to sleep under the spots. Each night they would look down on me, worsening my condition with every breath I took.
When the rashes on my body started to appear, I booked myself in for a doctor's appointment. Black mould poisoning was the diagnosis.
Don't let a disorganised and unprofessional strata manager impact something as important as your wellbeing and accommodation. Take charge and look out for these red flags.
Lacking organisational skills
Your building and its common areas should be the top priority of your strata manager. The organisation of AGM meetings is a vital aspect of your manager's job to ensure all issues are discussed and addressed. If your manager isn't putting enough effort into these meetings and is poorly organising them, it might be time to arrange a meeting with your housing committee to discuss voting for a new strata manager.
There are so many other great options that will guarantee to put your needs first.
Poor financial management
The financial books kept by your manager should be ethical and transparent. All clients should be able to easily track where their money is going and how much they owe. If the numbers don't add up, further investigation may be necessary.
The strata manager is also in charge of the housing budget. The budget is comprised of all fees and levies paid by clients for the maintenance of their accommodation. If you notice that there is an excess of unpaid levies, your manager may not be following-up all payments correctly. As a result, your budget may not reach its target.
Without a suffice budget, maintenance issues may not be addressed. This means that nasty spot of mould won't be removed yet, the pool cleaner may not come as regularly, and other issues may not be resolved as the budget is inadequate. If you have noticed unrepaired problems, it may be a sign that your manager is lacking attention to the state of your accommodation, or is lacking the funds to fix them.
Don't feel like a broken record constantly nagging your strata manager about something. They should have listened the first time!
Your safety and wellbeing of your housing should be the top priority of your strata manager. If your housing committee has noticed some of these problems and the effect it is having on the tenants, it may be time to vote for a new strata corporation.
Put your needs first and stay safe.