Common Maintenance Issues of an Owners Corporation
Plumbing:For an emergency, contact your strata manager immediately. Some managers have an after-hours emergency number to contact. Please remember, plumbing issues may be a unit owner's private property, so the expense of a plumber may be borne by the unit owner, not owners corporation. Air-conditioning:
Installing an air-conditioner requires body corporate permission. A letter outlining the type of air-conditioner, installer and a diagram of placement will help as installation requires conformity with other lot installations. Broadband Roll-out:
A nation-wide fibre-optic roll-out is underway between 2010 and 2018. This will effectively boost download speeds from less than 1Mbps to over 100Mbps and close the gap on OECD countries. Some new developments may require new technology compliance. Digital TV:
Analogue signals will be phased out by 2013 while digital signals are transmitted simultaneously. Digital signals provide better sound and picture, more channels and some interactivity. For householders, this means purchasing a new TV or a set-top box for each TV. For more detailed description of the digital TV rollout, please visit www.Australia.gov.au/digitalready or call 1800 20 10 13.
Antenna Installation:You may notice that some strata properties have multiple antennas or share one. Communal antennas can be inexpensive to purchase and install but the wiring may be costly. Installation is typically best organised through the owners corporation rather than done privately as it will involve common property.
Problem:Water hammer typically occurs from a faulty tap or toilet inlet valve. The vibration of loose pipes is only a symptom of the problem and happens when a tap or valve is switched off and creates a surge. The “hammering” noise can take place anywhere along an affected pipe and requires a plumber to locate the cause of the noise, which can be difficult.
Solution:1) Get help from all residents to isolate the noise and experiment which tap, equipment, or valve is creating the problem and whether it is hot or cold water. 2) Determine who is responsible for payment – common property tap or hot water system or unit owners? 3) Get a plumber to attend.
Fencing:Fencing repairs and replacement require consideration of the Plan of Subdivision for ownership of the fence and who will bear the cost. Typically, a quote for repairs will be broken down between neighbours and then divided for private lots and common property facing the fence.
Energy Saving Buildings:The average air-conditioner uses the energy equivalent as two running cars!
- Passive Design Features to Reduce Energy Consumption:
- Northern orientation of living rooms
- Minimise eastern and western facing walls and windows
- Covered deck for outdoor living
- Insulation in the roof space and walls
- Ventilation of roof space
- Natural ventilation with windows
- Treated glazing or external shading
- Light colours on roof and walls
- Shade trees and shrubs around house