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Cutting the cost of living in Strata


We’re all looking for a way to beat the rising cost of living. We use tools to help save on our grocery bills, find the cheapest fuel and compare insurance premiums – but what can be done to save a buck when it comes to maintaining strata property.

Here are a few pointers for the strata owners out there on how you can minimise maintenance and repair costs of apartment living:

Is it your cost? Identify the responsible party

Before getting worried that you’re up for thousands in repair costs, it helps to find out who is responsible for the upkeep of what areas in your property.

For instance, your strata community will normally be responsible for maintaining all common areas in your property such as rooftops, pools, gardens, hallways, gym and so on. As you’re already contributing towards the cost of their upkeep through your fees or levies, you may not have to pay from your own pockets to make repairs or maintain them.

With this knowledge in hand, you can flip the script from simply reacting to repairs and get on the front foot by requesting improvements you want to see.

If there is something in your building that you feel could be improved, repaired or cleaned that sits outside your realm of costs, let your strata manager know so they can organise the necessary quotes and approvals.

Sure, you can save money by not servicing your car – but is it going to cost you more in the long run?

The same logic applies to strata maintenance. For the things within your apartment that you’re responsible for, such as your appliances, flooring and electrics, schedule regular checks and keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear. If you address any issues early on, rather than waiting until something breaks down, it will save you money in the long run.

Your strata community may have a maintenance schedule for things like elevators, air conditioning systems and you can do the same for your in-home tech and tools.

The odd job will cost you the going rate, with things such as plumbing and electrics best carried out by qualified technicians; but there’s no reason you can’t do the more basic jobs yourself.

Taking a DIY approach to painting, by giving a room a fresh coat or landscaping in your courtyard will save you money. As an added bonus, by keeping your property in an excellent state of repair, you will also ensure that it holds its value if you ever decide to sell.

One thing that puts potential buyers off buying an apartment more than anything is the idea that they will have to do a lot of work in the place before it is liveable, so it pays to keep on top of things when it comes to maintenance and repairs.

Keep your eyes peeled for defects

Defects can cripple a strata community, but their impact can be worse years down the track.

With major defects making headlines over the past few years, we understand owners can be nervous about reporting defects – but you should know that there are measures in place to repair and resolves defective strata properties in the current marketplace.

In states like New South Wales, government bodies provide some financial support to resolve defects through a bond scheme.

As part of the NSW 2% bond scheme, developers set aside 2% of the overall building project costs before the construction begins, to cover any defects that may be revealed in inspection reports afterwards.

These kind of schemes encourage owners to address defects as they emerge.

Seeking further advice?

If you wish to discuss any strata community matters further with an Ace Body Corporate manager, please do not hesitate to visit our contact page and locate your nearest Ace manager for a chat.

Please note the information presented in this article is not specific advice and is general in nature.

Ace Body Corporate Management
Disclaimer: This is not advice and should only be referred to for general information purposes. Strata management contracts often vary, so we recommend you contact your local Ace manager for more information, or seek expert legal advice. This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.Ace Body Corporate Management offers this newsletter to clients to assist in updating them on company and industry news. The content within this newsletter is of a generic nature and may not be applicable to all owners corporations. Ace Body Corporate Management attempts to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for our clients, however we strongly recommend that individuals and committees seek further advice before acting on any information in this newsletter.