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FAQ: What are disbursements?

Most strata owners have very limited contact with the strata or body corporate manager, with this predominantly being the invoices received each quarter for payment by the owner, the agenda notice for the Annual General Meeting with a copy of the financial statement and then the minutes following that meeting.

From the calls that we receive from prospective clients it seems that not many people receive information from their managers on what varying costs are and they just see the word disbursements on the financial statement with a charge against it.

Disbursements are the costs of carrying out the corporations business, these include items such as:

  • Photocopying

  • Paper

  • Printing

  • Copying

  • Envelopes

  • Postage

  • Purchase and creation of files

  • Document Storage

Many of the items covered by disbursements are not seen by unit owners as they involve sending remittance notices to contractors or work behind the scenes such as file creation and document storage inline with legal requirements and timeframes.

Disbursements can be charged either “at cost” or at an agreed flat rate amount, although we have seen examples of companies charging a combination of the two or adding additional fees to the mix such as key/common seal holding and archiving.

With postage charges increasing significantly in 2016 Strata Management SA has reviewed the impact upon our business and concluded that our flat rate disbursements will stay at the 2015 level of $3.30 inclusive of GST per unit per month.

With electronic communication being more environmentally friendly, cost effective and convenient (especially now that a standard letter takes 5 days to reach its destination) we encourage all owners to allow us to communicate by email, however we let all clients choose their preferred methods with no penalties for receiving hard copies by post if they wish.

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