COVID-19: support services for committee members and owners
One of our PICA Group values is being in it together and it’s needed now more than ever. Here are some ways we are helping to support you and your community, and minimise stress during this time:
A freeze on our strata management fee increases
We have deferred all annual contracted pricing increases with immediate effect for a period of six months. This includes base management fees, additional services and disbursements. We hope this may help to alleviate any added financial burden during this time.
To ensure you have easy access to financial support, we have developed an online payment plan and fact sheet to guide those who are suffering financial hardship through this time, and will assist with the submission to your committee for consideration. Please visit the “For owners” menu tab on the website of your branch and click on “Payment plan for levies and fees”.
In addition, our managers are here to support you and are available for a conversation.
Our banking partner Macquarie Bank is also offering various financial relief options:
- Providing owners corporations the ability to pause repayments on their existing strata improvement loans for 6 months
- Removal of break costs for accessing funds from term deposits (31 day noticed still required)
- Removal of fees on dishonoured transactions. This includes payments initiated through their DEFT payment system.
And, our insurance partner, BCB, has enabled more flexible premium funding arrangements to spread the annual insurance premium into monthly payments. They are also waiving the usual commission and fees for arranging funding.
Continuous investment into technology
Stay in touch anytime, from anywhere. We are continually investing in innovative systems, research and resources so that all owners can stay informed and we can service you better. No matter how our current environment may evolve and change, our full service and business capability can continue.
For committee or general meetings, you have the option to vote on meeting motions online—from a mobile device or your computer at home, at whatever time and location that works for you. Our full online capability and technology infrastructure has been put in place with our customers in mind, so speak to your strata manager for your online support requirements. Any associated third-party costs in providing our online facilities will be held during this period.
Round-the-clock service support, 24/7
We have an established after-hours capability across the majority of our branches where trained staff will answer emergency maintenance calls relating to common property.
We use sophisticated systems to log and track work orders and can contact the appropriate contractor rather than issuing a new emergency callout. What’s more, the team will help resolve the maintenance issue when the problem sits with an owner by guiding them to appropriate contractors and services.
No matter what time of day urgent matters may arise, we can continue to provide our full service and business capability beyond office hours, when you need us most.
We’re here to help
While times are tough, we encourage your committee to continue with all payments, where required. 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.
At PICA Group we care for you and your community. Our strata managers are here to assist you and your committee when you need us during these stressful times.
We recognise COVID-19 won’t be easy for many Australians, so we’re constantly exploring ways to assist you. By being proactive and prepared and if we come together as a community, we can get through this together while protecting and maintaining your investment and home.
Note: We are not in the position to provide health, legal or financial advice and urge you to keep up-to-date with the communication provided by the Australian Government. If you require additional financial assistance, we recommend visiting the Department of Social Services webpage to see if you are eligible for COVID-19 financial relief.