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Strata Schemes – Part 3 of 3

Posted by Ricky Raad on 9 Sep 2016

Assisted by Holly Pitt

In part 1 on this topic, I talked about the responsibilities of the Owners Corporation and the Executive Committee under the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 1996. In part 2, I walked you through some information about what levies and special levies are and when they come into play.

In my third and final blog of this series, I’ll uncover the benefits of preventative maintenance, dispute resolution strategies and strata management solutions that are available to Owners Corporations.

Preventative maintenance

To avoid deterioration of valuable property, you may want to discuss the adoption of a Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP) with your Strata Manager. The PMP can also be referred to as the Sinking Fund Assessment and it provides a schedule of information about everything of value that could break down, wear out or deteriorate.

The benefits of a PMP are numerous and take into account long-term and larger scopes of work, for instance, planning ahead for regular works if you have property that is  located very near the ocean, or a property that has timber stained windows in full sun. Having a preventative plan in place to avoid or account for ‘major works’ in the future, can help you to remove the burden of unforseen costs from the equation.

Dispute resolution strategies

Whether it’s pets on the premises, noisy parties, damage to property or parking problems, an array of disputes can arise between strata owners. The quickest avenues to resolution are always the friendliest. Try talking through the problem ‘face-to-face’ and perhaps the misunderstanding will be easily resolved. Don’t underestimate the power of a kind conversation with a neighbour. Alternatively, a polite letter from the Strata Manager or the Executive Committee may also help your case.

But if things progress and a resolution doesn’t seem like it will easily be reached, a stronger dispute resolution strategy may be required. Mediation by a third party can be organised with the help of the NSW Fair Trading. If this is unsuccessful, parties can seek further relief through an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s Strata Schemes Adjudicator.

Strata management solutions

Having a Strata Management Agent with a lot of experience behind their agency will make for more efficient and structured management. A solution to avoiding excess costs and monitoring time management can be as easy as putting control in the hands of a professional.

Good strata management comes from careful monitoring and carrying-out of all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work such as maintaining records and financial documents, as well as liaising and coordinating with appropriate authorities, lawyers, tradespeople and specialists. Maintaining a strata scheme involves a myriad of management tasks, and a professional with knowledge and experience can make life a whole lot easier for you.

This concludes my three-part series on strata schemes. If you would like any information please contact the Coleman Greig Property Strata experts in Parramatta and Norwest: