Driven to a New Operational Model

COVID-19 has placed demand on strata managers greater than ever before. With more people at home, there is a significant increase in the need for more maintenance with cleaning and disinfecting, garbage disposal, plumbing, water, utilities and other issues which add to expenses.   

Strata managers are now finding themselves not only managing strata schemes but also the social fabric and health obligations with governmentimposed restrictions on residential communities on a scale never imagined.   

Keep on Top of Required Maintenance

SCA asked strata property owners not to cancel maintenance jobs in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to avoid long-term impact and expense if maintenance or any planned work is not carried out.  

With more than two million Australians living in strata, cancelling any maintenance work would have a severe impact on the workflow and budgets of strata ecosystems. With more people self-isolating at home, you have more cases of blocked drains or toilets. You can’t ignore issues like that which only get worse and can create bigger problems – not to mention more expense – if ignored. 

On top of further damage and expense, livelihoods could be affected by the cancellation of work. People who provide services to strata, like painters, electricians, garbage collectors, gardeners, and so on are the people on the front line taking us through this crisis and rely on regular payment for their services. They are making sure we can survive, even risking their health to do it. We can’t let them down.

Clarification on Essential Services

SCA called on the Federal Health Department to clearly define the role of essential services in strata as its close-knit communities deal with COVID-19. The National branch lodged a submission with the Federal Health Department asking for clarification of “essential services” in the strata ecosystem.

The pandemic has made high-density living harder with rising demand on services such as cleaning and maintenance. While the economy is in hibernation, strata managers cannot hibernate.

High-density living has become more complex with Coronavirus. Strata management is not just an essential service – it’s a critical one and will remain so even after this crisis as the economy and communities rebuild. We asked the Federal Health Department to give us clarification of essential services to take into consideration the critical functions of body corporate schemes.

The schemes must remain open to occupiers and service providers such as a caretaking service provider and those whom they supervise. This is essential and the reason why we must have that clarification from the Federal Health Department.

Best Practice Guidelines

A sub-committee in our Victorian office worked tirelessly on best practice guides to help strata managers and strata communities make informed decisions. These documents were reproduced into National documentation. Member businesses have been introducing precautionary policies to defer any non-essential meetings. Our best practice guidelines are based on best practice, proactive advice and preventative policies.

Our sponsors supported the sector to provide insight into new operations, rules or legislation changes that relate to the strata community.

Online Events and Education

With the closure of all face-to-face events, the National office worked closely with all states and chapters to assist them in the transition of all scheduled sessions into live webinars, recorded webinars, or eLearning courses to be available for all members on our new education platform.

Our Strata Management Practice Standard Workshops will be online courses and the former best practice guides produced by SCA over the past 10 years are currently being updated and transitioned into eLearning courses. Topics include Essential Safety Measures, AGMs, Contract of Appointment, Records Transfer, etc.

2020 Australasia Strata Insights Survey

Thank you for assisting us with our data collection as part of the Australasian Strata Insights research project, which was conducted by A/Professor Hazel Easthope at the City Futures Research Centre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with the support of SCA.

The information received helped to produce a comprehensive picture of the strata sector in Australia and New Zealand. The data provided was incorporated with data from land titles offices, in all jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand, on registered strata, survey strata, unit title and community title schemes, as well as Census data on the population living in apartments to create an up-to-date picture of the strata sector.

This information is essential to assist in advocating for the sector and its people, and in informing future government and business decisions. It will also play an important role in supporting future academic research into the strata sector and facilitating international discussions, comparisons and collaborations.

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