The recent catastrophic collapse of Champlain Towers in Miami, Florida should serve as a tragic reminder to all bodies corporate of the importance of maintaining the elements of the property for which it is responsible.
In an action filed against the condo association (the body corporate equivalent in this instance) it’s alleged the association failed to secure and safeguard the lives and property of residents. An engineers report obtained in 2018 found that waterproofing had failed below a pool deck and parking garage which caused major structural damage to the concrete slab. The report did not warn of immediate risk from the damage, and it is unclear if any of the damage observed was directly responsible for the collapse, it did note, however, the need for extensive and costly repairs to fix the systemic issues with the building.
If you are reading this and some of these terms seem familiar, it may be because failed waterproofing, concrete spalling are some of the more common building faults experienced in South East QLD. Of course Australia has never experienced a tragedy the scale of Champlain Towers, for which we can thank the various pieces of strata legislation that impose obligations to repair on the body corporate, however one common trait sometimes experienced are delays in schemes attending to the rectification of known building issues.
There are often understandable reasons for delays, repairs have to be agreed to by owners, at times with different financial means and motivations. Committees, an elected group of volunteer owners, are often tasked with the process of arranging repairs, reviewing specialist reports and obtaining quotes for rectification, all while ensuring they stay within the parameters of the legislation. Yet Committee members are generally unpaid, untrained, and in most cases unqualified for such responsibilities. Such matters, while entirely valid, are not excuses for not attending to repairs of known building issues.
This is where the value of a well trained and highly competent, professional strata manager becomes apparent. While by no means should a strata manager be expected to be an expert in such complex matters, your strata manager should be able to help support Committees navigate this process through their experience, access to specialist contractors and importantly by ensuring all administrative and legislative matters are professionally dealt within a reasonable time-frame.
Have questions or concerns regarding the maintenance of your scheme? Get in touch and we’ll be able to help.