A Letter from the CEO | O'Neill Strata Management Pty Ltd

25th March 2024

Following the recent ABC News article alleging unethical business practices by some in the strata management sector, I wanted to contact you personally to outline the values and business practices we adhere to. The article in question sheds a poor light on the strata industry in general, and makes several references to a lack of oversight, conflicts of interest and a lack of regulation in terms of the fees, charges, and commissions received by some strata agents.

As a family-owned business, O’Neill Strata Management Pty Ltd is committed to transparent and open business practice and communication with its clients. To that end, allow me to make it clear that O’Neill Strata Management has not constructed a business model, nor ever entered into any business practice that allows us to derive income from alternate and/or undisclosed sources. All of our income is derived from just two sources:
1. The management and ancillary fees (incl. tax returns) charged to our clients; and
2. Commissions on the insurance premiums.

We do have a subsidiary company – Strata Accounting Services – whose primary function is the management of self-managed strata schemes, as well as the preparation and lodgement of strata plan tax returns. While the payment for tax returns is made to Strata Accounting Services, the amount paid is declared in Schedule D of our management agreements.

Since our inception nearly three decades ago, any insurance commissions have always been declared under Schedule C of our management agreement, and the dollar amount reported in the Notes to the Accounts which is attached to the yearend financial statements each and every year. Our disclosure of the insurance commissions pre-dates the Strata Schemes Management Act which was updated in 2015, which enforced and made compulsory the declaration of the insurance commission amount. In this regard, I can confidently state that O’Neill Strata Management instituted industry best practice, long before it was formally mandated by law.

I would also like to reiterate that we derive no income from any third-party supplier or contractor. We have a stable of trusted suppliers and tradespeople, with whom we work regularly, and have developed constructive relationships built up over the long term and based on a track record of solid expertise and client service. We derive no income from these relationships, nor are we associated with, or in partnership with any contractors or suppliers.

In the spirit of full disclosure, the only item(s) we derive from these relationships are delivered around Christmas time, and usually present themselves in the form of a Christmas hamper or two.

The ABC News article was unfortunate and the accusations it contains reflect poorly on the strata industry. I hope the clarity and transparency I have provided appropriately and adequately answers any questions or concerns you may have. Should you wish to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact me on ben@oneillstrata.com

Benjamin O'Neill - CEO