In light of the developing COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to inform you of the following decisions we have made to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 effective Monday 16 March 2020.
Our decisions have not come lightly but we trust that our decisions will provide you with some peace of mind knowing how we are handling this matter.
It will otherwise be business-as-usual so far as our team and our clients are concerned. We are confident we have the capacity to deliver to clients in accordance with your needs and expectations, notwithstanding that many of us will be working remotely.
We suggest they contact our office immediately to inform us.
We will then send out a formal letter to all owners and residents alerting them.
We will then recommend to the Strata Committee that we issue a work order for the complex to undergo a deep clean by professional cleaners and keep you updated.
If you are displaying any symptoms, we would recommend that you get tested yourself.
Please ensure you and all residents comply with the hygiene and social distancing guidelines to stop the spread in particular refrain from touching any high-traffic surfaces such as door handles, lift buttons, rubbish bin chutes or lids, handrails and light switches.
While it is open to legal interpretation we encourage all schemes with common amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, saunas etc be closed immediately. We have leveraged off the Governments advice regarding swimming pools and public facilities again to form this opinion. To read the advice of Grace Lawyers on this matter please click HERE
To ensure your building is as safe as possible we have taken the view that common areas should be considered ‘public places’. This being the case we encourage all persons frequenting the property to move swiftly through the common property and not to loiter or gather in groups.
No more than 2 people should be in the common areas at any time (wherever possible).
To read more about the most recent laws regarding public gatherings click HERE **Fines would not apply here like they do in public
In short, yes trades are considered an essential service and at this stage are able to still carry out their work. Please make sure you advise your strata manager or tradesmen direct if you are unwell or know of anyone in quarantine in you building so they can make their own careful decision on whether to visit or not.
Also, please note that we have delivered communications (and continue to) to all our trades asking that they adhere to the strict recommended hygiene practices such as washing hands before and after entering the building, to wear gloves for all jobs, wipe down surfaces with antibacterial wipes or spray after the job is complete, refrain from touching any high traffic surfaces and maintain 1.5m distance from anyone in the building at all times.
We’ve created a poster that you may print and stick up around common property to encourage residents to practice good hygiene and social distancing measures which you may access here.
We have also created a print out as a notice to trades asking them to also practice good hygiene and social distancing measures which you may access here.
Unfortunately the strata legislation does not permit the ‘pausing’ of levies. We can however provide you with the below options to manage your current situation.
You may request the option of a payment plan to lengthen the time allowable for your levies to be paid. Typically a payment plan can extend up to a maximum of 12 months.
A payment plan would have to be agreed by the strata committee (which would then be ratified at the next meeting of the owners)
If you would like to request a payment plan please contact your strata manager to discuss the necessary options.
Waiving/removal of interest
You can request for interest on overdue levies to be paused/waived.
This action would have to be agreed by the strata committee (which would then be ratified at the next meeting of the owners)
If you would like to request waiving/removal of interest on levies please contact your strata manager to discuss the necessary options.
Please note these options can be considered together and are not mutually exclusive from one another.
To assist in the creation of an application for the above it would be wise to detail some basic information about your current situation so that the committee can consider your request.
Your owners’ corporation may also be considering other ways to help reduce costs for the owners corporation currently to further assist with the quantum of future levies. We have provided some guidance on some options to the owners recently here
We are incredibly conscious of the current financial burden that Covid-19 has placed on many owners and are ready to assist you in any way possible.
Unfortunately the scheme is not in a position to completely pause the cleaning and/or maintenance of the common property.
The owner’s corporation has a strict obligation under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 to keep the common property in a good state of operation.
The committee may consider pausing projects that are not currently necessary and reducing the quantum of some services (gardening as an example). It must however continue to attend to matters as they arise as best they can.
We are and will continue to provide your committee guidance wherever possible as to areas they might investigate to save funds for the Owners Corporation.
Finally, we would recommend that cleaning potentially be increased during this time, to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We have provided all trades with strict guidelines for working on site.