08 Mar Building Maintenance
Every building requires maintenance to ensure safety and prolonging the life of the building in order to maintain an owner’s investment.
A properly maintained building enhances member’s interest in number of ways including:
- it may increase the market value of the building if being offered for sale
- a higher market valuation may assist in obtaining finance
- a well-maintained building may be more attractive to tenants and easier to let thereby lessening vacancy period
- reducing possible damage or loss arising from compromised or failing infrastructure
- extending the life of the building.
An owners corporation has an obligation to repair and maintain the common property and any services which serve more than one lot.
Some of the factors which affect the cost of maintenance include:
- age of the building
- materials used in construction
- construction techniques
- installed infrastructure
- size and height of building
- extent of common property
- heritage classification and features
- service levels desired by members
Preventative maintenance usually reduces the overall running costs of a building. For example, painting of woodwork such as windows provides protection lessening the need to replace timber which will rot if unpainted. Similarly cleaning of gutters will not only reduce the possibility of overflow during rain, it will also decrease the likelihood of rust and other deterioration arising from the accumulation of debris in the gutters.
An owner is responsible for services such as gas, water, drainage, electricity and the like which serve a lot exclusively. This includes those parts of an exclusive service located on common property.
In particular, owner should ensure that water supply, drainage pipes and wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and balconies are watertight. Uncontained flows of water may cause damage to the lot also to other lots or common property. Services which can deteriorate over time such as flexible water supply hoses, should be replaced in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or advice from a plumber.