It’s one of the most annoying things about living in a vibrant, lively city like Sydney: graffiti. Essentially, graffiti refers to drawings or writing that has been illicitly scribbled, etched or sprayed with a can on a publicly accessible wall.
Even though many local councils have banned random tagging, graffiti still manages to pop more often than most of us would like.
Though it can be artistic and beautiful when done by a professional, most graffiti on buildings is often just crude “tags” featuring the name of the culprit. To make things worse, drawings or scratchings frequently accompany graffiti on a building, creating an eyesore for passers-by and property owners alike.
So what can you do about graffiti or vandalism?
How you can deal with it
There are a number of methods that can be useful for preventing further graffiti or vandalism from taking place at your strata property.
One recent and increasingly popular method is that of ‘approved’ graffiti. In this instance, a professional artist paints a mural on the walls, painting over any blank space that might attract a vandal. However, this is less likely to be accepted in a strata scheme with more conservative owners, and can be hard to have the owners corporation pass.
Painting the walls with dark colours can also deter would-be graffiti artists, and protecting the vital structures of your apartment building can prevent vandals from inflicting damage. Using cast iron for any external pipes instead of plastic, for example, can make them much harder to scratch, draw on or puncture.
Deterrent measures aside, it is also important to know who is responsible for removing graffiti and fixing any damages caused by vandalism.
Who is responsible?
If only minor repair works need to be done, it may be possible to fix the issue without the need for an official meeting. However, if the problem is significant enough, a meeting of the strata committee or owners corporation might have to take place to decide on the best course of action.
Broadly speaking, the owners corporation or the strata committee are responsible for ensuring that repairs are approved and that they are performed to the desired level. The funds for these repairs can come from either the Administrative Fund, the Capital Works Fund, or from a Special Levy if there is insufficient money in the first two funds. The fees that make up these funds are determined by the owners at the Annual General Meeting.
Often, a strata manager can function as a great point of contact for repairs relating to graffiti and vandalism on common property, and can act as an advisor for the owners corporation regarding its choice of qualified tradespeople. The final say, however, always rests with the owners corporation.
For more information on strata inspections, common property and strata living, head on over to our document bank or get in touch with our friendly team.