Legal Ease

Let’s Get Positive

I have written articles recently for other publications about a discussion paper released recently by the state government aimed at yet another review of our industry.

ARAMA’s intervention in the release has at least added some balance to the discussion paper’s content but once again the industry must head off the attack.

The extreme interest groups falsely claiming to represent unit owners in Queensland can be easily discredited (as they have before) for their often misleading and biased claims. Rather than take that negative approach in this article, it is instead worthwhile highlighting some of the many positives that the management rights industry has to offer. It is these positives that I am sure will be relevant to the inevitable debate about to take place.

Those of us that work in the industry regularly come across complexes where there is a great working relationship between onsite management and the committee. We get to see first hand how well a building like that runs. These buildings highlight how the management rights model works so well for owners, for tenants and guests and for the manager.

It should not be surprising that when the world’s biggest travel website TripAdvisor, recently released its annual Travellers Choice awards, of the top 15 places to stay in Australia, five are complexes operating under a management rights structure.

I am familiar with, and act for the managers in, a number of those five complexes and I can personally vouch for the professional job the managers do in their complexes and the extremely good relationship the managers enjoy with their owners generally and their committee in particular.

Perhaps again not surprisingly, the list rates Queensland as the most desirable state and cites the onsite resident managers as the single biggest reason why. This again highlights that management rights, as history has shown, where the resident manager has a vested interest in the complex and the business, is the most efficient and effective form of management, providing sound onsite management, stability, harmony and good returns for letting owners.

Although conducted some years ago, the results of a survey into onsite management versus offsite management for complexes in Brisbane showed that onsite managers achieved higher rentals (by around 5%) and were able to let out units much more quickly than offsite agents.

Other advantages that an onsite manager offers over an offsite manager are well documented including the higher quality of tenant the onsite manager attracts given that the manager has the tenants as neighbours. It’s not surprising that developers selling units off-the-plan and real estate agents marketing second hand units, highlight in sales advertising material that a complex has onsite management.

Management rights can justifiably lay claim to being a major factor in the development of apartment complexes up and down the Queensland coast. They have been a part of, and a driving force behind, our tourism industry for almost half a century. Hopefully the bureaucrats and politicians that partake in the latest review recognise the huge economic impact management rights have and continue to have in Queensland.

I am quietly confident that when, during the course of the review of our industry that will take place in coming months, these and the many other positives our industry offers are highlighted, common sense will once again prevail and the rights of resident managers will continue to receive the recognition and support they deserve.

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