Q: The security gate at the front of our strata property is damaged, stuck open and anyone can now access the property. The strata manager did not advise when the gate was damaged, is unable to advise when same will be fixed and has not advised the insurer of the building and common property of this event which compromises the insurance. Does the strata manager have an obligation to advise the insurer so as not to jeopardise the position of the Owners Corporation?
The security gate at the front of our strata property is damaged… The strata manager did not advise when the gate was damaged, is unable to advise when same will be fixed and has not advised the insurer… Does the strata manager have an obligation to advise the insurer so as not to jeopardise the position of the Owners Corporation? – Fiona, NSW
A: In the absence of an onsite building manager, the Strata Manager relies on the residents, or any affiliated property managers acting on behalf of tenants, to report any repairs and maintenance at the property. Therefore, trust they appreciate that you had contacted them to report the matter to address accordingly.
Once informed, it is common practice that the Strata Manager approaches the committee to either obtain its instruction to arrange repairs on its behalf, or acknowledge if the committee is to arrange directly. Without such directive, it is difficult for them to act and/or provide an accurate estimation for repair completion.
With respect to your insurance claim enquiry, it is unclear if the cause is due to wear and tear (maintenance) or an insurable incident. To allow the agent to assist in this regard, it would be helpful if you can take any photos of any obvious damage to support a claim and any details (time/date the gate was damaged, witness details) which will allow them to seek the directive from the committee to submit on its behalf if feasible.
Whilst it can be frustrating the apparent delay of repairs, please appreciate that there is a due process the strata manager needs to uphold to ensure any costs spent from the Owners Corporations funds is spent to its preference if there is no clear delegated authority to do so without such consultation.
In the meantime, it might be worth suggesting to the agent to affix notices at the property advising the status of the repairs, and to encourage residents to be mindful of their personal security in the meantime.