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News - How to save on your Body Corporate Expenses

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 How to save on your Body Corporate Expenses
  • Mar 8, 2024

How to save on your Body Corporate Expenses

The complex rules for body corporates can appear to work against keeping maintenance costs down. However these rules or legislated changes in Queensland are actually designed around "acting reasonably".
So from the get go laws designed around "acting reasonably" give a guide to how you should act.
Body corporates are not about "gotchas". It is about tolerance and being reasonable.

Statutory Provisions

Section 94 of the BCCMA requires a Body Corporate to "act reasonably" in anything it does in administering the common property and Body Corporate assets, enforcing the community management statement, and carrying out the other functions given to the Body Corporate.

Section 100 of the BCCMA requires a Committee to "act reasonably" in making a decision.

If a Body Corporate or a Committee fails to "act reasonably" in making a decision, the burden falls upon the disappointed owner to demonstrate to an Adjudicator appointed by the Office of the Commissioner of Body Corporate and Community Management that in all the circumstances, the Body Corporate and/or the Committee failed to "act reasonably".

Reducing Maintenance Costs

Tradesmen come at a premium, with congestion and other issues requiring call out fees for many trades.

1 Does that job actually require a tradesman?
What is the process of deciding who to call in your unit block? For example on the Gold Coast rain can cause some doors to become sticky and in some instances not shut. The solution can be a simple lubricant in the right place at the right time. This is far less expensive than calling out a locksmith.

Keep a collection of tools for everyday issues. A drain may simply need a plunger and a hose to clear.

2 Keep a list of reliable tradies
When a serious plumbing issue occurs it rarely chooses a convenient time to happen. Do you have a reliable local plumber familiar with your building? This can save in hours of preparation work.

3 Have someone available and knowledgeable to meet the tradie
If you respect the tradesman's time you will always keep costs to a minimum-:

  • Be available when the tradie arrives
  • Prepare lighting or other prerequisites
  • Offer to clean up if this makes financial sense
  • Let other people in the building know the job is being done
  • Purchase necessary items (rather than the tradie making extra trips)
  • Timeliness - if something is likely to cause other issues, attend to it now
  • Learn from the tradie
  • Give good feedback to the tradie

Tradies will carry the necessary equipment to do a task, however providing adequate lighting and a safe accessible environment may allow the job to be done simpler and quicker.

Simple knowledge can be acquired from the tradie about the warning signs to look out for. For example a timer switch on a light may have the function of being extended rather than replaced.

Diagnosing leaks in a building complex is easier if occupants are aware of the pipe layouts. Even the most experienced plumber is often working from a process of elimination to discover the source of a water leak.

Electrical Work

Electrical work deserves it's own section because "I can do this myself" does not apply. Never attempt electrical work, it has to be done by a qualified professional electrician. Virtually everything electrical has to be done by a qualified electrician.

Body Corporate Disputes

All lot owners have the right to submit motions at general meetings. Motions must be carefully written so that owners can respond with a simple yes or no vote. Tactics to reduce body corporate disputes

There are simple rules as to how much can be authorised for an issue and how much can be approved by the committee. If you own a unit in Queensland, it is important to know the basics on how maintenance can be performed.

ABC Investigate strata managers

"Higher density and more apartment buildings are being touted as critical to solving the housing crisis and the volume of money pouring into these strata firms is set to soar.

But for many years, apartment owners and advocates have raised concerns about hidden fees, conflicts of interests, being over-charged or side-deals struck between strata managers and contractors."

We want to know what's happening with strata across Australia




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