The COVID-19 Pandemic is creating fundamental change and upheaval to the way we go about our daily lives. So it’s not surprising that it’s been a catalyst for a myriad of questions about how the Pandemic affects strata communities.
One of the most significant challenges we face at this early stage is that the situation and therefore, the advice we receive is changing rapidly. In many cases, suppliers and service providers have to answer questions that they were unprepared for. It’s why the relationships that we have – with everyone from owners corporations, the residents they represent, contractors, industry bodies and service providers – are critical to ensure that no one gets left behind.
I strongly encourage anyone who is living in a strata community to be in contact with their owners corporation, which should be providing regular updates on how they are managing this evolving crisis. Many of us are spending much extra time at home, and our need for comfort and security has arguably never been greater.
Owners corporations should be in turn working with their strata manager to find solutions applicable to their property. Given the economic uncertainty as a result of COVID-19, it’s a good time to be looking over your property’s finances. It might be that your property is in an excellent financial position with funds in reserve, ask what fees can be deferred. Get a head start on your budgets for the next financial year and investigate what expenditure can be reduced. Consider the energy efficiency of your property, given the cost of these utilities have risen over recent years. Review maintenance on expensive infrastructure like lifts, and if you have gardens, assess how many hours a week really need to be spent on their upkeep.
We all need to work together. Active and engaged owners corporations are essential to keep your property functioning at its best when times are good and bad.