Delivering Responsibility

By October 12, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

The responsibility of an owners corporation is singular: to manage the common property. All apparently singular responsibilities have many other facets on closer examination.

This is no exception. When broken down, the responsibility of an owners corporation regarding common property is –

Keep it safe

Keep it clean

Keep it repaired and maintained

Keep it insured, and

Keep it used in an orderly way

To do these things of course requires money. An owners corporation funds the costs of communal ownership of common property by setting budgets, striking and collecting levies and keeping books and records. But these are matters incidental to the core responsibility of an owners corporation: to manage the common property.

Left to their own devices however, owners corporations will naturally focus on the incidental matter of finances rather than the core issues of safety, cleanliness, good repair and maintenance, insurance and orderly use and behaviour of the users. These matters will all become subservient to the holy dollar. That’s fine except the laws about strata management, as different as they are around the country, nowhere say, ‘Manage risk, comply with the law and repair and maintain all you like within the confines of your household budgets. If it’s too hard or too expensive, put it off until another day and don’t worry if someone breaks their neck while working with faulty equipment because you are homeowners and the laws about occupational health and safety were never meant to apply to you in the first place’. A convenient approach this may be, but it’s hardly responsible and it’s certainly not consistent with our modern obsession with health and safety.

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