Are Strata Managers Regulated in WA?
Are Strata Managers Regulated in Western Australia?
Strata Management is unfortunately an unlicensed, unregulated industry in Western Australia. The industry and consumers have been calling for licensing for many years, however at the current time the state government believes there is not enough information available to warrant the implementation of a licensing regime.
At Strata Life WA, we strongly support the implementation of a licensing regime particularly due to the complexity of the strata management role and the autonomy and control that the strata manager has over their clients' funds. We believe that it should be possible to exclude people from the profession in the event that they mishandle funds or otherwise act inappropriately.
In the absence of licensing, the peak industry body for the strata titles sector, Strata Community Association, has implemented an Accreditation Program that recognises Strata Managers who have a certain level of experience, education, ongoing professional development and compliance with a Code of Conduct. You can find more information on the Accreditation Program here. In the absence of government regulation, we believe it is essential that owners of strata property choose a Strata Manager that is Accredited.
Further, an enormous change implemented by the 2020 amendments to the Strata Titles Act was the ability for owners of strata property to take their Strata Manager to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a breach of contract or a breach of statutory duty. The SAT now has the power to terminate Strata Management contracts if the Strata Manager is found to have breached the contract or has not complied with a statutory duty. This therefore offers some protection to owners of strata property as it provides them with a way out of their contract if their Strata Manager is not operating appropriately. However, it unfortunately will not have the power to prevent Strata Managers from operating in the case of serious breaches, like a licensing regime would be able to do. Therefore, although this may help a particular client with a particular issue, it will not stop the Strata Manager from operating, nor will it warn other potential clients (unless they stay abreast of SAT orders).