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Blog Post: Maintenance and Repairs in Strata Properties: Understanding Your Responsibilities as a Strata Manager in Victoria

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Introduction

The Owners Corporations Act 2006 (the Act) outlines specific obligations for the maintenance and repair of common property and lots within strata schemes in Victoria. For strata managers, navigating these responsibilities is crucial to ensuring the longevity and livability of strata properties. This post provides a detailed look at these obligations and offers practical advice for strata managers to fulfill their duties effectively.

The Legal Framework for Maintenance and Repairs

Under the Act, the owners corporation holds the primary responsibility for the upkeep of common property. This includes gardens, hallways, lifts, and other shared facilities. Strata managers, acting on behalf of the owners corporation, play a pivotal role in coordinating these efforts, ensuring compliance with the law, and maintaining the property's value and residents' quality of life.

The Legal Framework for Maintenance and Repairs

  1. Common Property Maintenance: The Act mandates that owners corporations must repair and maintain the common property (Sections 46 and 47). This encompasses regular upkeep and necessary repairs to ensure safety and functionality.
  2. Lot Maintenance: Lot owners are responsible for maintaining their lots in a state that does not deteriorate the overall appearance of the property or impede the use and enjoyment of the common property by others (Section 48).
  3. Maintenance Plans: For prescribed owners corporations, preparing a maintenance plan is a legal requirement. This plan should detail anticipated repair and replacement of major capital items over the next decade, ensuring a proactive approach to property management (Section 37).
  4. Maintenance Fund: An approved maintenance plan necessitates the establishment of a maintenance fund, dedicated to implementing the plan. This ensures that funds are allocated and available for significant future expenditures, promoting financial stability within the strata scheme (Section 40).

Strata Manager's Role in Ensuring Compliance

  • Develop and Update Maintenance Plans: Strata managers should regularly review and update the maintenance plan to reflect the property's current and future needs, ensuring that the plan remains relevant and effective.
  • Effective Communication: Keep lot owners informed about maintenance schedules, plans, and any significant repairs. Transparency fosters a cooperative environment and aids in the smooth execution of maintenance activities.
  • Financial Management: Ensure that the maintenance fund is adequately funded, based on the maintenance plan's projections. This involves setting aside a portion of the owners corporation's fees for future repairs and replacements.
  • Engage with Professionals: For complex maintenance tasks or significant repairs, it's essential to engage with qualified professionals. Strata managers should oversee the tendering process, ensuring that contractors have the necessary skills and qualifications.

Conclusion

Maintenance and repairs in strata properties are not just about fulfilling legal obligations; they are about enhancing the living experience and protecting the property's value. As a strata manager in Victoria, understanding and effectively managing these responsibilities is key to the success of your strata scheme.

Building a Better Future for Strata Living

By adhering to the Owners Corporations Act 2006 and adopting best practices in maintenance and repair management, strata managers can significantly contribute to the sustainability and desirability of strata communities in Victoria.


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