Building Manager Review Issue 10 2014- Dealing with WHS legislation in Australia

Issue 10 – April 2014

Welcome to the April edition of the Building Manager’s Review (apologies in the delay in sending, but there were technical issues with the newsletter media software)

In this edition I will be dealing with WHS issues.
Work health and safety (WHS) legislation in Australia aims to prevent injury and disease to persons in the workplace. Safe Work Australia has reported that “as at 17 April 2014, 55 Australian workers have been killed while at work”. In 2011/12 there were 128,050 workers compensation claims reported for serious injuries in the workplace.
We all go to work expecting to come home in the same physical and mental state as we were when we left for work – i.e. not physically or mentally broken or abused. Owners corporations, executive committees, strata and building managers have a duty of care to ensure the buildings we manage are safe and secure for contractors, residents and guests.

What is WHS?

Work health and safety (WHS) legislation in Australia aims to prevent injury and disease to persons in the workplace.Importantly, a number of Australian jurisdictions have ‘harmonised’ their legislation from 2012. Harmonised legislation means that each jurisdiction enacts its own legislation, but the legislation is as much alike as possible in its provisions.Common to all WHS legislation in Australia are the following features:
  • support for WHS in the workplace
  • provision of systems of work that are safe and without risk to health
  • prevention of injury and disease through the elimination or minimisation of risks
  • protection of the general public’s safety and health
  • workplace representation, consultation, co-operation and issue resolution
  • inspectors
  • regulations
  • enforcement.
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Building Manager Review Issue 9 2014- The True Cost of Cleaning

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Issue 9 – February 2014
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Welcome to the February edition of the Building Manager’s Review.

In this edition I am focusing on cleaning and the true cost of cleaners.
Cleaners are the backbone of every building. Bad cleaners or cleaning can devalue and add costs to your building whilst good cleaners can add value and save you money.
You have invested heavily in your asset so why would you skimp on cleaning and maintenance? Regular and good cleaning can prolong the life of many facilities in the building so it makes sense to have them cleaned and maintained regularly and properly.
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Building Manager Review Issue 8 2014- Celebrating 30 years

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Welcome to the first edition of the Building Manager’s Review for 2014.

It is great to be back and we hope everyone has a fantastic year.
This year K&S Building Management Services is celebrating 30 years of service to the strata industry. What a milestone! During our 30 years service we have seen and meet some great people, watched the strata industry expand and successfully deal with the ever-changing lifestyles of community living.
As a gift to the strata community, and for helping us reach this momentous occasion, we are offering all new strata plans a building managing contract at cost price plus $2 per day for the first 12 months (based on a minimum 2 year agreement)
For more details regarding this special offer please get in touch via email at: info@k-sbms.com.au or give us a call on 1800 55 99 89.
Jamie Killorn – Director, K&S Building Management Services
In the upcoming reviews we will be covering new topics such as:

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Building Manager Review Issue 5 2013- Noise

Welcome to the September edition of the Building Manager’s Review. In this issue we deal with noise.

“an owner or occupier of a lot must not create any noise on the parcel likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the owner or occupier of another lot or of any person lawfully using common property”

Noise comes from all areas and walks of life, owners and tenants. Regardless of where the noise comes from the building and strata mangers are the people expected to deal with it.

Is the noise offensive or intrusive? Noise to some may be relaxing or entertaining to others. Noise can be linked to sleep deprivation, stress and can also affect your general well-being. The time at which the noise is heard also plays a major part in a complaint. Music during the day may be heard at the same volume at night yet the night time sounds seem to be enhanced.

 

Strata Community Australia states “In Australia protection against noise when it becomes a nuisance is covered under Common Law”. By-laws may not always be sufficient in dealing with noise issues so it is a good idea to inform the affected party/ies that the problem may be also dealt with under common law. Pigott Stinson lawyers state “The onus of proof (of noise) will lie on the complainant to establish a breach. Once the breach is proven, the defendant must satisfy the court that the steps he/she is taking or will take will be successful in preventing transmission of noise”

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Building Manager Review Issue 4 2013

Issue 4 August 2013

Welcome to the August edition of the Building Manager’s Review. In this issue we deal with the real costs in running and maintaining a residential strata complex.

Too often I hear “my levies are too high”. Levies range depending on the building design, building size and amount of facilities in the building. Obviously, the more facilities in the complex the higher the running and maintenance costs.

Many buildings have full-time building managers, 24/7 concierge services, large gardens, heated pool, gym and saunas.

Some buildings are older than others, therefore, the older the building (and facilities) the more maintenance required.

I also see, far too often, many new developments being sold with very low levies. Strata agents are at the mercy of the developer when setting levies for new developments. The developer wants to make the sale of apartments more appealing by setting the levies artificially low.
Strata managers produce a budget for a new building then the developer may interfere by stating the fees need to be lower. Whilst low levies may seem appealing you may have a false economy in your strata plan. A recent article in Domain by Sue Williams “Misleading strata levies prompt calls to protect home buyers” 26 August 2013 writes about levies that are set too low.

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Building Manager Review Issue 3 2013

Welcome to the July edition of the Building Manager’s Review. In this issue we deal with fire, essential services and safety tips.

 

The consequences of fire in an apartment complex can be devastating! Over 100 lives are lost every year due to fires in dwellings. Each year, Fire and Rescue NSW attends approximately 4,500 residential fires in NSW with approximately 30% of them occurring in winter months.

Building managers, strata managers and owners corporations have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure all fire systems work appropriately, are tested regularly (as to code) and there is a safe environment for all residents.

The risk of fires in complexes is elevated simply due to the larger amounts of residents.

The most common causes of fire are:

  • cooking

  • heating equipment

  • smoking

  • electrical appliances

  • children playing with matches or lighters

Essential services and maintenance

What are Essential Services?

Essential Services are safety installations in a building that assist in reducing risk to life and property in the event of an emergency or fire. These measures may include but are not limited to: Continue reading “Building Manager Review Issue 3 2013” »

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Building Manager Review Issue 2 2013

Welcome to the second issue of the Building Manager’s Review. In this issue we deal with the sociology of living in strata (community living.)
  • “Why choose community living?”

  • “I don’t like my neighbours.”

  • “My neighbours are great!”

  • “I will park where I like!”

  • “Nothing ever gets done…”

  • “Who’s running this place?”

The Psychology and Sociology of strata-living

Australians have been living in units/flats/apartments since the early 1900s, prompted by the high price of land in the metro regions, and the lack of available land in sought-after areas. I asked a friend if he would consider living in an apartment and his response was, “When they discovered Australia they built houses, not flats. We’re not meant to live in apartments!” Although his attitude might be shared by others, community-style living has certainly grown exponentially and is widely excepted throughout the world. Here we look into some of the sociological factors that can impact on the smooth running of a strata community.

Personality mix

Personalities can make or break a complex. With an estimated 3 million Australians living in strata-titled complexes, and around 1.2 million in NSW, there are bound to be arguments, misunderstandings, and lawsuits – and on the happier side, great friendships created. Continue reading “Building Manager Review Issue 2 2013” »

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Building Manager Review Issue 1 2013

Welcome to the first issue of Building Manager’s Review, a monthly newsletter keeping you updated on the ever-changing world of strata.At K&S Building Management Services (K&S BMS) we believe keeping our owners and clients well informed about issues that impact on the management of buildings makes resolving issues easier for everyone concerned.K&S BMS has been working in the strata sector for almost 30 years. Our services are designed to assist owners corporations with the smooth running of their buildings. Duties we undertake include: by-law enforcement, coordinating repairs and maintenance, assisting with building defects issues and claims, coordinating fire and essential service compliance, managing various maintenance contracts, liaising with owners and tenants in the day-to-day operation of their building, and waste management.

Defects – what are they & what to do

In this first review, we’ll be addressing one of the hot topics in strata – building defects.

During our time in the strata industry we have dealt with a number of multi-million dollar Home Owners Warranty defects claims (none of these claims resulted from work carried out by contractors engaged by K&S BMS). These defect claims related to the original contractor or builder’s works. Continue reading “Building Manager Review Issue 1 2013” »

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Can a Strata Scheme Sue for Negligence?

negligance “A recent case before the Supreme Court in NSW has highlighted the problems experienced by Owners Corporations (in NSW and potentially across all of Australia) in pursuing claims against builders and developers in the area of negligence (as opposed to any statutory right under the relevant legislation in each State or Territory)”…..

Click here for the full article of facts, results and what action you as the Owners Corporation should take.

Full Article: http://www.stratacommunity.org.au/featured-articles/can-strata-scheme-sue-negligence

Source: Strata Community Australia

 

 

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