for everything you need to know about strata...

strataman says
"When you're in need of a licensed, insured tradesperson, it really pays to deal with someone who specialises in strata issues.  The local handyman may sound good and may be a bit cheaper than the specialist but nothing beats the experience of someone who's done it all before.  That experience can save you lots in time, money and frustration in the long run.  The resources below may be able to help you in your search for 'THE' tradesperson for your particular job.  Just so you know - I don't actually endorse or recommend any of these firms - they're just there to give you some viable options and to save you some time."
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The Dilemma

One of the biggest problems most Strata Committee members face is finding tradespeople who are:

  • properly licenced & insured
  • professional
  • efficient
  • reliable
  • experienced
  • not too expensive

Not an easy task getting all of the traits listed above, I'm sure you'll agree.....but they are definitely out there.  Like anything that's worthwhile, you just have to be willing to put in some effort to find them.


Do you have a Strata Manager?

If you have a Strata Manager looking after your scheme, make sure you take heed of their expertise as they have 'done the hard yards' when it comes to selecting tradespeople that fit the above list.  They know the importance of having good, professional trades who can be relied upon to actually do what they say they will do and do it when they say they will do it  They also realise the importance of risk management when it comes to insurance & licensing.  This can be overlooked by those not so experienced.

Most good Strata Managers have a 'preferred list of trades' which satisfy all mandatory requirements.  That list will more than likely be regularly updated as trades can tend to come and go or change the way they operate resulting in either better or worse standards.

Are you self-managing?

When you're self-managing your scheme, things can get a little more interesting.  As you're essentially on your own it becomes even more important to "cross all the T's and dot all the I's".  The Find-a-Trade links at the bottom of this page could help you do just that to ensure you're getting the best you can for your scheme.  Unfortunately, unless you have a strong recommendation for a particular firm, it's still a case of trial-and-error until you find exactly the right one.

You can read all about self-managing a scheme on the Do-it-yourself Strata information page.

TIP - those of you out there on a Record Keeping management contract and anyone self-managing should read this page very carefully


Why Insured and Licenced?

It's imperative the tradesperson you end up using be both properly licenced AND insured.  Using an unlicenced tradesperson to do a job that 'requires' a licence is not only illegal but can be dangerous as well.  There's obviously a good reason for needing a licence to do certain types of work so make sure the person you choose has the correct one and that it's current.

Insurance is an even bigger requirement as using someone who doesn't have the correct (or enough) insurance can result in serious and costly litigious activity if anything happens to go wrong.....and believe me when I tell you that accidents do happen.  If the person happens to be injured while working at your building, and there are no insurances in place, things can get very nasty relatively quickly.  Have a look at the information page covering Ongoing maintenance & repairs - Minor Works to see what can happen when things don't exactly go as planned.

Cost difference

Yes, professional trades are generally more expensive than the 'local' handyman but what you'll more than likely save in frustration, angst and time will more than pay for the extra few dollars they charge.


What does NSW Fair Trading have to say?

Make sure you read NSW Fair Trading's excellent information page on Selecting a tradesperson or builder.  It offers a lot of sound and up-to-date advice along with questions you should ask them to see if you're happy to work with them.
There's also information on Getting Quotes.  All valuable insights...

Also, have a look at this article from Domain Nine tips for hiring reliable tradespeople.  It's always good to know WHAT QUESTIONS to ask...


Finding the right one

These days, thanks to the internet, things are a lot easier for those wanting to find good tradespeople.  There are a couple of sites that can help dramatically in this area and can provide things like:

  • a 3-quote system - meaning you can choose the most suitable tradesperson
  • automatic license and insurance checking - meaning the website owners have already done the necessary 'checking' for you
  • an inbuilt reputation barometer - meaning the website owners can regularly obtain feedback from customers to help them weed out the trades that aren't reliable or that aren't performing to the level they should be


See how you go with these...

Below are a handful of websites where you can search for specific tradespeople happy in the knowledge that a certain amount of 'screening' has already been done for you.  There are others but these were the main ones that stood out in terms of user-friendliness and what they offer.  I can't, however, vouch for the quality of the work done by the tradesmen you end up choosing nor do I endorse any of these firms.

Make sure you're satisfied that you understand what each site actually checks for (e.g. insurances, licenses, etc), what each site offers (and doesn't offer), if there any charges to you (usually there aren't) and how the system actually works.

Happy searching and good luck.....

Find-a-trade sites

TIP - On any website you decide to use, look carefully for exactly what has been checked - it will be there somewhere.  If it's not, then contact the website owner or use another one which does spell it out clearly.

Strata Title Terms and Jargon

If you need to know the meaning of one or more of the common terms mentioned above then have a look at the Strata Terms and Jargon Information page.

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DISCLAIMER:  All information on this website is of a general nature and is intended as a guide only.  Readers should check all information obtained from this website for accuracy from other sources and seek professional legal advice before taking any action based on any information obtained from this website.  Information on this website should not be substituted for proper legal advice.  The owners of this website will not be held responsible for any action taken as a consequence of same.

EXTERNAL SOURCES:  The owners of this website do not make any warranty or representations regarding the information, products, services provided by or qualifications of any external sources listed on this website.  Readers should make their own appropriate enquiries regarding accuracy, qualifications, licences, etc.  The owners of this website will not be responsible or liable in any way for any representations made by any external sources listed on this website.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  This website deals with strata matters in NSW, Australia only.  Legislation varies in different states and territories and in other countries.  For information pertaining to places outside of NSW, Australia please refer to the appropriate legislation for your region.

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