Most property needs maintenance as time goes on, whether we’re talking about foyers, hallways, staircases, elevators, roofs or swimming pools. Within a strata property, maintenance for common areas is covered by the owners corporation and paid for through strata levies. Good maintenance makes a strata property a far nicer place to live, and it also helps to protect the value of your investment. So how can you be sure if your common areas are being adequately maintained?
In NSW, Section 106 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 states that “An owners corporation for a strata scheme must properly maintain and keep in a state of good and serviceable repair the common property and any personal property vested in the owners corporation.”
So generally speaking, you have the right to expect that common property will be kept in safe and workable order. The only situation where this may not apply is where the owners corporation has voted by special resolution not to carry out the maintenance, and this can only apply if the decision won’t affect the safety or appearance of the property.
Your common area maintenance charges included in your levies should cover any services required to keep common property looking good and functioning well – these services might include gardeners, cleaners and other contractors. Common area maintenance expenses should be discussed at your Annual General Meetings, and a proactive strata manager will regularly check that these services are delivering value for your strata scheme. As a general rule, well-balanced maintenance management means that costs can be kept to a minimum and that any important issues will be attended to responsively.
How to request maintenance in your strata scheme
If you’ve noticed that shared strata property is in need of common area maintenance services, you can either let your strata managing agent or strata scheme secretary know about the issue. Minor issues may be able to be addressed without the need for a meeting, while more significant problems may need to be discussed at a meeting. Major repairs or maintenance may need to be incorporated in the scheme’s 10-year plan for the capital works fund.
Not sure about what the owners corporation should be maintaining?
The best place to check is your strata title to see exactly where the boundary of your lot is drawn, as well as referring to your strata by-laws to check for any specific rules relating to maintenance. If your strata scheme doesn’t have its own Common Property Memorandum you can also refer to the general Common Property Memorandum, which outlines typical limits to common property. Anything within your own lot will be your responsibility to maintain and repair.
If you’re noticing that your strata common property isn’t well maintained, then it might be time to change strata managers to a more proactive team. You can request a free quote from Jamesons Strata Management at any time, check our resources around COVID-19 and strata, or read more about our services.