Industry Issues

(October 2021)

Industry Issues takes a look at some of the biggest issues to affect strata communities over the past few months and provides some analysis and commentary for where they are headed next.

Strata Insurance in Australia and New Zealand

September saw the release of SCA’s long-awaited report into the strata insurance industry, A holistic and Data-Driven Analysis of Strata Insurance in Australia and New Zealand.

Completed by Dr Nicole Johnston, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Finance at Deakin Business School, the report outlines issues such as affordability and availability of strata insurance across Australia and New Zealand, as well as the incredibly valuable role played by strata managers in the strata insurance processes, and the value they bring for their owners corporations and bodies corporate.

Building Defects and Cladding

SCA (NSW) and the NSW Building Commissioner have jointly released the results of a survey of 1,400 strata managers in defects in residential buildings four storeys or higher built in the last six years. The report is part of a joint initiative with the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler.

Responses from the survey have indicated that nearly 40 per cent of new apartment buildings in New South Wales are affected by serious defects, costing an average of $331,829 per building to fix.

Waterproofing (23%) was the most common major defect identified in the survey, followed by fire safety (14%), while close to 10 per cent had structural and enclosure defects, which can include anything that protects homeowners from the elements, such as a roof or the façade.

SCA have also been involved in consultations concerning the implementation of the Building Confidence Report undertaken by the Australian Building Code Board (ABCB), completing several submissions concerning building materials, continued professional development (CPD) and other issues.

COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to challenge strata communities across Australia, particularly within New South Wales, Victoria, and the ACT, which have faced extended lockdown periods from July 2021 onwards.

As Australia plans to move past COVID-19 lockdowns and reopen as a result of meeting of vaccination targets, new issues such as access to shared facilities and the ability for sectors of the economy to be able to work contingent upon vaccination status, have emerged, which the strata industry needs to work together proactively to achieve positive outcomes for strata communities.

SCA National and in each state, territory and New Zealand have continued to liaise with respective governments, with the aim if recognising the unique placement of the industry and challenges associated with multi-unit dwellings during the pandemic in the areas of infection prevention and control, and management of facilities.

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