Monthly Archives: March 2014

Carrots and Sticks and Strata

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We learn as parents, care givers and mangers of people in business that people generally behave the way we expect them to. If we expect people to behave badly, they will and if we trust them to do the right thing and guide them to do so with the necessary rewards and punishments, then they will learn to act responsibly and enjoy the freedom that comes from so doing. But in strata management law making, there is no carrot and there is no stick.

Reaching Nirvana in Strata Communities

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For strata communities to grow in the likeness of our modern criteria for social responsibility, there is only so much we can expect of our lawmakers. Ultimately we as a community have made choices about the way we want to live that will see our skylines grow up and our housing become higher in density and we have to make choices about the way we want our strata communities managed. We have to become better at being understood, becoming responsible, focused and all other things advanced here as the secret to living well in strata community. However, to reach nirvana, our strata organisations must become truly self-governed with voluntarily imposed standards and process that are known and respected by its members, where knowledge about common property is cherished as valuable to a well functioning and harmonious body and where the entity itself becomes self-replicating rather than crashing every time a group of volunteers burn out.

The Limited Province of the Committee

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Owners who are not on a committee, and even some who are have no hope of understanding what the province of an owners corporation is and what’s not. They just want the problem to go away. If it’s shoddy workmanship by the developer on their internal finishes you can understand why they would come to a thing called the owners corporation to discuss the problem. ‘We are all owners, aren’t we? We probably have the same issues. Let’s face this together’. Compelling logic though this may be the owners corporation can only deal with common property. That’s the law. That’s the focus and if the owners corporation gets involved in matters outside its focus, and creates an expectation that it will handle the problem, and fails, as it inevitably must to deliver the solution, the troops will be very unhappy.

Chores Phooey

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If the mark of responsibility is doing our chores, then our strata communities are not there yet.

Repairs and maintenance go unattended, occupational health and safety standards are observed only in the breach and building funds are starved for cash in the race to keep levies down. Perhaps this is due to ignorance. Perhaps this is due to the legislative system. Or perhaps it is simply due to human behaviour as people in groups all leave the responsibility to another and eventually the ball drops and rolls away!

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