Sandy, our Strata Expert is Here to Answer Your Questions!
SANDY IS HERE
TO ANSWER YOUR
Q. Over winter I have noticed my roof is leaking, what do I do?
A: Roof leaks can cause stress and worry in strata, especially if you’re unsure where the leak is coming from. If the roof leak is an emergency, please call SES immediately. If the leak is severe and causing immediate damage, you may need to arrange for emergency repairs. Let us know if you need help and we’ll guide you through the process. Here are some simple steps to keep in mind and follow when you notice water damage;
1. Document the Issue: Begin by documenting the leak. Take photos or videos of the affected area and note the date and time. This documentation can be valuable when discussing the issue with contractors, insurers, or the strata council.
2. Contact our team: The quickest way to let us know is to lodge a ticket in Town Square. We’ll initiate necessary actions to address the situation promptly. Please provide us with any additional information you may have, such as the location and severity of the leak and include photos.
3. Insurance:Review your strata's insurance policy to determine if the damage caused by the roof leak is covered. If it’s covered, initiate a claim with your insurance provider. We can assist with providing necessary documentation if required.
4. Communicate with Neighbours: A Strata Company must prepare a budget for each financial year and submit for approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The budget is approved by a majority of owners present or represented. Once approved, the levy contributions are set and distributed via a strata companies levy notice.
5. Temporary Measures: While awaiting repairs, take any necessary steps to mitigate further damage. This might include placing buckets to catch water, moving valuable items away from the affected area, or covering furniture to prevent water damage.
6. Contractor Inspection: We’ll coordinate an inspection from a qualified roofing contractor to assess the source and extent of the leak. Based on their assessment, we’ll determine the necessary repairs.
7. Repair Authorization: Once we have a clear understanding of the required repairs, we’ll seek authorisation from the strata council to proceed with the necessary work.
Q. I have recently purchased a strata property and want to know how the budget is set?
A: Every year, before the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Strata Company's Council of Owners (COO) and Strata Manager conduct a review of the previous year's budget to assess whether the funds collected were enough to cover the expenses and make adjustments for any shortfall.
The budget is divided into two categories: the Administration Fund, which covers routine expenses for the next 12 months, such as insurance, maintenance, and gardening. This budget is calculated based on last year's expenses, adjusted for any known increases such as Insurance, electricity etc. and any other planned expenses the Council has proposed.
The Reserve Fund covers contingent or major expenses of the Strata Company often for long-term capital expenses such as repainting the building or replacing plant and machinery for example Lifts, gym equipment, and gates. The Reserve Fund Levy is often calculated by an external consultant or determined by your strata scheme's 10-year maintenance plan.
A good strata manager will do a review of the financial statements and will assist the council members to identify where savings can be made. This can include reviewing ongoing contracts to ensure the scope of work is still appropriate and that rates are competitive.
A Strata Company must prepare a budget for each financial year and submit for approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The budget is approved by a majority of owners present or represented. Once approved, the levy contributions are set and distributed via a strata companies levy notice.
Q. I have recently become an owner in strata, what do my levies pay for ?
A: Firstly, it is important to know that levies are an essential component of strata living to meet the financial obligations of your strata scheme.
The funds are typically billed on a quarterly basis and are used to pay for things like landscaping, building insurance, repairs, and other expenses related to maintaining the common areas of the property.
When you purchase a property in a strata scheme you also own a share of the common property.
A key function of a strata scheme is to repair and maintain the common property, this may include areas such as gardens, foyers, hallways, gymnasiums and pools. Exactly what is needed is unique to each Strata Scheme, this is why your contribution to decision-making in your Strata Company is so beneficial.
A Levy Notice is generated by the Strata Company to all owners to fund the Administration Fund and Reserve Fund. Payment of Levies is not discretionary there is a statutory obligation for lot owners to pay and pay on time. Unpaid levies attract interest for each day they remain unpaid, the interest is calculated at an annual rate of 11% as per the Strata Titles Regulations.
The money collected is deposited in the Strata Scheme Trust Account. Your Strata Manager does not keep the money or decide how it is spent, the Strata Managers role is to simply administer the Funds according to the budget set at your last Annual General Meeting (AGM) and according to the Council of Owners instructions.
To determine what money goes where, the strata schemes bank account is effectively split up in to two funds:
Administration Fund this is used to pay for the day-to-day building expenses that occur on a regular basis such as gardening and landscaping, insurance premiums, smoke alarm and fire testing or repairing a remote-controlled gate into the parking area of an apartment complex.
Reserve Fund this is used to accumulate funds to meet contingent expenses, other than those of a routine nature. Typically funding for Capital Works such as Lift Replacement, Major Roof Repairs or replacement.
The cost of your levies will vary depending on the lot unit of entitlement allocated to your individual lot. These entitlements are based on the registered plan of the Strata Scheme which determine each lot’s share of the approved budget expenses.
To determine what is part of your lot and what is common property, please refer to your certificate of title and the strata plan.
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