Who is involved in looking after your apartment building?
If your building is well-managed, it will retain its value and make it easier for you to rent it out or find a buyer when the time comes to sell. There are three people who play a crucial role in maintaining the quality and, therefore, value of your building:
1. Body corporate manager
A body corporate manager is responsible for ensuring your building is managed efficiently.
They’re instructed by the body corporate committee which may, sometimes, delegate some of its authority to the manager.
The body corporate manager seeks quotes from building maintenance firms when work is required and advises them regarding when they can start work. Ensuring that work is performed properly falls to the body corporate committee.
2. Service contractor
A service contractor provides services other than administrative services to the body corporate. This can include lift and pool maintenance, or caretaker services. A caretaker, or resident unit manager, looks after the common property and body corporate assets. They need to liaise with the committee or body corporate manager, keep the premises clean and tidy, maintain equipment and facilities, carry out minor repairs under a certain dollar value, monitor compliance with by-laws and parking, and be available at certain times during the day.
3. Letting agent
A letting agent needs to be authorised by the body corporate. They can act as the agent of owners and can also carry on ancillary businesses such as video hire, linen hire, or be an agency for
a tour operator. Providing these ancillary services can make your property more attractive to renters, especially if it’s in a holiday destination.
There is a difference between improvement and maintenance and they need to be dealt with differently. It can be hard to distinguish between the two sometimes but, as a general rule, maintenance leaves the item largely unchanged or replaces an item that can’t be repaired. Improvement refers to additions or alterations that create a new item altogether.Who authorises maintenance?
The committee can make decisions about what requires maintenance up to an agreed dollar value. More expensive maintenance must be authorised by the body corporate at a meeting. For expensive maintenance, two written quotes should be obtained.