As an owner or occupier within an Owners Corporation property, different situations may arise that are distinct from owning or living in a residence on private title.
In recent times, the events of Opal Tower and Mascot Towers in Sydney NSW, and national discussion regarding flammable cladding have had significant impacts upon the lives of those owning and living at those properties.
Whilst each event and set of circumstances is ultimately unique, the response and actions of your Owners Corporation Manager remains integral in keeping owners and occupiers informed. Major events may include any of the following, or potentially other circumstances;
- Building/structural defects and/or damage;
- Terrorist or security incident;
- Essential services shortage (electricity, water, gas);
- Weather event;
Should one of these events, or another significant event occur, The Knight as your Owners Corporation Manager will take steps to involve and inform all owners and occupiers as required and in particular work with the Owners Corporation Committee to take the necessary, authorised steps. The Owners Corporation Committee will become involved in many processes and decisions needing to be made.
Building damage & defects.
Whether due to an acute incident, or self-discovery by the Owners Corporation of suspected critical damage to the structure of the building requiring urgent attention, The Knight will notify owners of its awareness of the issue and that the matter is being addressed at the level of the Owners Corporation Committee.
The Knight will recommend to the Committee that it resolve to immediately engage suitably qualified experts to diagnose the issue; building surveyor, structural engineer and the involvement of the local Council.
The Knight will also notify the insurer at first opportunity. The insurer may request that specific experts be appointed from its referral panel.
If your property also has a Building Manager engaged, The Knight will work with the Building Manager in order to make sure all occupiers receive the information required. If there is no Building Manager, The Knight will directly deliver hard copy correspondence of all updates to all lots onsite, as required.
Neither The Knight as Owners Corporation Manager nor the Building Manager are suitably qualified or authorised to call for the evacuation of a property and will rely on the advice and authority of either the local Council, an engaged building surveyor or structural engineer or other public authority such as police or the fire brigade.
Whether an evacuation is required or not, The Knight will continue to provide updates as it works alongside the Committee and the appointed experts and contractors. Updates may either be in written form, or by way of Notice of Meeting, for matters to be discussed and voted upon at a meeting of the Owners Corporation.
Terrorist or security incident.
Should a building directly or indirectly be affected by a security risk or terrorist incident, The Knight’s first action upon becoming aware will be to contact police. It is likely that the police have already been notified prior to our office becoming aware, however the police will also provide instruction to The Knight regarding the appropriate communication that may be provided to owners and occupiers. Follow-up communications will be coordinated via the Committee.
Police may instruct a building evacuation. Alternatively, in instances where there is a Building Manager present, the Committee may have instructed that in security related incidents the building be placed on lockdown.
In the event of a fire, all direction onsite will come via the relevant fire brigade (whether MFB or CFA).
The Knight will notify all owners via sms or email, and follow-up communication will be coordinated with the Committee, as well as a Building Manager, if one is contracted.
Should there be a significant disruption to an essential service utility; fire, water or gas, The Knight will notify all owners and occupiers at earliest opportunity, whilst endeavouring to obtain more information from the relevant supplier and/or distributor.
The majority of interruptions to essential services are due to a physical disruption or system failure, such as power shortage due to load in the summer and are beyond the effective control of the Owners Corporation, or The Knight.
Should the interruption be extended and affect the occupancy of the property, The Knight will coordinate with the insurer, on behalf of the Owners Corporation, for the potential approval of financial assistance with alternative accommodation. Should the insurer grant such a claim under the policy, please note that such assistance is only available to Lot Owners, and not to tenants, who should in turn contact their rental agent.
If there is a major gas leak at the property, or nearby to the property, The Knight will seek advice from the MFB as to whether or not an instruction to evacuate should be issued.
Significant weather events often cause disruption to Owners Corporations due to wind damage, severe water ingress or flooding from ground level.
Should damage and/or impact of flooding etc. be significant enough to inhibit access to the property, either emergency services or appropriate contractors, will be contacted and engaged to restore access. The Knight will communicate to owners as soon as being made aware of any restriction of access, as well as when access is restored.
Any insurance claims will be handled individually after the event.
Your Owners Corporation Manager.
When a significant event or incident impacting the majority or all of the property occurs, your Manager will directly liaise with the relevant authorities such as Victoria Police, Council, MFB, SES etc. as required whilst coordinating with the Owners Corporation Committee. Additionally, the Manager will contact the insurer at first opportunity and advise of the matter at hand. The insurer may make specific requests for contractor use or provide instructions for immediate mitigation of risk.
General inquiries regarding the property and the incident in question will be referred to your Owners Corporation Manager’s Assistant, and other staff with The Knight may assist as well, depending on the volume of communication regarding the matter.