Coronavirus Questions: Can an Owner’s Corporation Reduce Maintenance or Cleaning to Reduce Costs?
As we know, COVID-19 has been placing financial pressure on many property residents, owners and tenants. We’re aware that many owners corporations have been considering options that might help to reduce strata levies for their strata scheme. One common question is whether an owner’s corporation can reduce maintenance, gardening or cleaning services in order to minimise future strata levies.
Which services must be provided?
It’s vital to note that the owners corporation has a strict obligation under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 to keep the common property in a good state of operation. This means that a strata scheme is not able to completely pause cleaning and/or maintenance of its common property within New South Wales.
Are there any services that can be postponed or reduced?
If there are projects that are not necessary, then the owners corporation might adjust its maintenance plan to pause these projects or services in the short term. One example might be to reduce gardening or landscaping projects in the interim, or planned works such as renovations to common property that aren’t essential.
Meanwhile, owners corporation should ensure essential repairs and maintenance are kept up to ensure residents have clean and functional surroundings. We have strict guidelines in place for any trades working on site while carrying out maintenance, repairs and necessary works. These policies ensure that safety and wellbeing will be prioritised for both strata residents and tradespeople, and minimise the risk of the virus being brought onto the premises.
What about cleaning?
Cleaning services are important in a time such as this, and we’d strongly advise that cleaning services are upheld to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. In fact, owners corporations might actually choose to increase cleaning services at their strata property to ensure commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and lift buttons can be regularly sanitised.
We know that the situation and responses to the Coronavirus will change as time goes on, and we will continue to provide each owners committee with guidance on areas that can be considered in order to save funds. We also have information for individual property owners who might be facing financial difficulties when it comes to paying strata levies. Strata inspections and key collections will continue, however if you need to attend one of our offices please arrange an appointment which will be limited to one person only. You can visit our COVID-19 page to viewupdates on meetings and our other services.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact your strata manager at Jamesons Strata Management if you have any further questions on COVID-19 or the maintenance plan of your owners corporation.