Maintenance Warning for Strata Companies in Australia
On the 24th June 2021, the world was rocked by the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Miami, Florida killing 98 people with many others seriously injured. Recent examples from Australia demonstrate this could occur here just as easily as Miami. Cracks at the Opal Tower in Sydney (2018) and Mascot Towers (2019) had residents racing to evacuate.
In a recent article by Strata Community Association WA, President Catherine Lezer reminded the industry “The rule is all buildings of $5 million or more insurance value or with 10 lots or more must have a 10-year maintenance plan and it has to be renewed every five years. That’s your roadmap”.
This is a step in the right direction to ensure the ongoing health and structural adequacy of your building. However, we are seeing many strata companies slow to act, undertaking DIY Reports or strata companies using inspectors that are not Registered Builders or Structural Engineers.
“A lot of strata companies are interested in the financials and the graphs – understanding the money that they need to spend, and when, is important for obvious reasons. But when it comes to the condition report, you want to make sure the proper time and effort has been put into this component.“
There are inspectors in the industry who are not registered builders and strata companies may even choose to do these inspections themselves. However, this is short-sighted and may leave the Council of Owners exposed in the future. The Miami collapse should be a wake-up call, to ensure appropriately qualified professionals undertake these inspections.
Furthermore, the Council of Owners in Australia would potentially be at risk if 10-year maintenance plans highlight significant issues and the recommendations were not followed. Worst case scenario — something catastrophic happens here — then questions would be asked.
This begs the question, how reliable is my strata maintenance report?
A lesson for all Australian strata companies would be to ensure their 10-year maintenance plans are in place, and that all recommendations are followed. Whilst events such as Miami are rare, we must be vigilant in changes of our buildings and seek out the advice of trusted, qualified professionals.
You Can Trust Us
Home Integrity has Registered Builders and a structural engineer on staff who can assist with your condition reports and 10-year maintenance plans. Last month Home Integrity won SCA’s 2020-2021 Australiasian Strata Services Business Award after winning the WA award in the same category last year.
Home Integrity Strata Condition Reports and 10-year Maintenance Plans allow your strata to fully understand the building maintenance requirements, providing confidence to Strata Managers and the Council of Owners alike.
In addition, our Condition Reports and Maintenance Plans have been reviewed and deemed compliant by Sean Macfarlane – Special Council Lavan Legal and co-author of the new Strata Regulation.
The Miami collapse should be a wake-up call across the world, to ensure appropriately qualified professionals undertake regular building inspections and Strata Company owners take their maintenance obligations very seriously.