Can your Body Corporate/Owners Corporation Realistically Reduce Expenses?
Many strata owners have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Bodies Corporate/Owners Corporations should consider the impact of COVID-19 on the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation and what steps may be appropriate to reduce expenses during this time.
One way of classifying expenditure is:
Bodies Corporate/Owners Corporations are restricted by legislation to expenditure only on certain items and most of these would be considered essential.
Bodies Corporate and Owners Corporations have a legal obligation to maintain common property to a reasonable standard.
While all expenditure may be considered essential, there are some expenses that can be postponed.
So, what is non-essential that you can postpone until post COVID-19?
Deferring non-essential maintenance can be tricky, and you will need expert advice on a case by case basis. For instance, you don’t want to defer maintenance on the hot water heater and risk a break down in winter!
- Cracks in the driveway
There are things that will come up that may be rather costly that the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation will need to fix. These expenses will come out of the sinking fund/maintenance fund. For small things, such as small cracks in the driveway, the repair can be postponed for a few months while Bodies Corporate/Owners Corporations may be dealing with financial hardship.
- Window cleaning
This is often a significant annual expense to Bodies Corporate/Owners Corporations and while it is important that the standard of the building is maintained, this is an expense which could be put on hold until later in the year.
- Paint Touch Ups
The Body Corporate/Owners Corporation may have a regular maintenance program in place to attend to items such as painting touch ups in common areas. While aesthetically pleasing, this is also an example of non-essential maintenance which could be deferred.
- Pool Maintenance
Pool maintenance can be scaled back. It may be worth considering enacting your winter maintenance cycle early this year to reduce costs. If the pool at your scheme is heated, see if your heating can be turned off to save on gas.
Pushing back capital expenditure:
- Wait another year to paint
Repainting the building is one of the easiest ways to control expenditure during these times. Deferring painting the building will not cause any structural concerns and can easily be deferred for 6-12 months.
- Don’t replant the gardens this spring
Many Bodies Corporate/Owners Corporation wait until the springtime before replanting the gardens in the common areas of their building. This is another expense that can easily be postponed. However, it is important to remember that it is the Bodies Corporate and Owners Corporations responsibility to maintain the common property to a reasonable standard.
- Don’t re-carpet the foyer until the end of the COVID-19 impact
Many common areas, particularly in hallways, have carpet. While it is not something that will regularly need to be replaced, if it is on the agenda in the next few months, it may be a good idea to postpone until your Body Corporate/Owners Corporation is in a better financial position.
Contact your Community Manger if you would like further information or any additional assistance during this time.
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