COVID-19: helpful information for owners and residents

To help support you and your loved ones during this time we have created a summary of some of the most up-to-date information to help you stay informed. As a community, let’s continue to do our part in caring for each other.

 

Should I attend the annual general meeting (AGM) or other meetings relating to my property?

  • All meetings have moved to a non-face to face environment. Your committee or strata manager can provide alternatives to stay involved.
  • If you have previously attended meetings at a branch or office, all visitations to our sites are restricted as our staff are working remotely and are supported by a remote working solution.

 

Do I need to continue to pay my levies or fees?

We understand that these are challenging times, and we are here to support you as best as we can. This includes helping you with information and options.

  • While times are tough, it is important you continue with your payments. It is essential your property remains financially healthy to ensure general maintenance, insurance, and costs associated with statutory work and contractual agreements can be upheld. Paying your levies or fees is a legal requirement which ensures protection of your investment and home.
  • Have a conversation with a committee member or your strata manager if you are struggling to pay your levies on time. Be proactive when it comes to your finances and payments, and talk to the relevant people before receiving reminder notices.

Under legislation, committees do not have the power to stop, reduce or defer levies. At the discretion of the committee, alternative options may be available on a case-by-case basis, such as a payment plan.

  • Additional financial support may be available through the government.

 

What action do I take if I have tested positive for COVID-19?

  • Please follow the advice and guidance from the Australian Government Department of Health.
  • If you live with others and you, or one of your housemates, test positive or show symptoms for COVID-19, all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house shows symptoms or has reason to believe they have come into contact with COVID-19.
  • Ensure that you do not use common areas or shared facilities while in self-isolation. If you touch any door handles, rails, lift buttons, or shared assets, ensure to wipe them down with a disinfectant immediately. The disinfectant should have an alcohol content of 70% or above.

 

Should I postpone any non-essential renovation work?

All statutory work that meets various legislative and compliance requirements, such as fire safety, should continue.

As an owner, if you are not under pressure of a renovation timeline, you should consider your neighbours who—at the moment—are likely to be working from home, in self-isolation, or might be ill, and consider putting non-crucial works on hold.

When it comes to going ahead with renovations, there are a few other things worth considering, such as:

  • Ensure your contractors have the necessary COVID-19 protocols in place.
  • Contractors may be prevented from finishing the job if they have labour and staffing issues due to self-isolation and quarantine periods.
  • The building industry is being impacted by shortages of materials and products which are mostly sourced from overseas, and some materials may be hard to source.
  • Material costs may become more expensive because of scarcity and unusually high demand.

 

Can I still use the common areas and shared amenities?

  • Avoid the use of common areas or shared facilities as recommended by local health authorities. Be conscious of how the virus spreads and practice good hygiene
  • Pools and gyms should be closely aligned with the directive from the state government.
  • When using a shared laundry room, wash your hands before and after using the facility. Ensure you use detergent and a hot water wash, using the dryer is recommended. Remember to maintain social distancing, and when you are finished, wipe down the buttons of the washing amenities with disinfectant before leaving
  • Social distancing requirements extend to lift usage too. Please limit the number of people to no more than two per lift at a single time. This, of course, will change if your lift is particularly small.
  • Arrange for deliveries to be left at the front door of your apartment or the lobby area, where necessary. Use gloves to take receipts and packages and dispose of the packaging immediately. If a signature is required, use your own pen.
  • The current key management arrangement for your strata property will remain unchanged. However, in some cases where keys were made directly available via the strata manager, it may now be arranged via a third party or via appointment through your strata manager.
  • If you are aware of other residents who may benefit from information relating to COVID-19 in a language other than English, SBS have information available in 63 languages.

 

Where can I find more information?

For the latest information, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Health, or contact your state or territory public health agency:

It is important, no matter where we live, to stay up to date with information regarding the management of COVID-19. This is particularly true for those in strata and community living, as protocols to manage the spread are changing rapidly. Please stay safe. We care for your wellbeing and are here for you should you need further guidance or advice during this time. As the situation progresses, we will continue to stay in touch and communicate with you. Let’s work together to #FlattenTheCurve.

If you are not an existing customer, sign up here to receive regular COVID-19 updates and tips for managing community living. Alternatively, if you have a strata property related question, post your question to StrataFAQ.com.au.

Note: We are not in the position to provide health advice and urge you to keep up-to-date with guidance provided by the Australian Government.