December 2013

Welcome

The Knight Alliance would like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year and all the best for 2014.

In this edition we discuss what your Owners Corporation Fees pay for and how they are calculated, interview Mark Reed who is one of our Owners Corporation Managers, celebrate Australia Day and showcase some of what’s on in and around Melbourne over the next couple of months.

Member Property Portal

This is a reminder to all our members that we have an on-line Member Property Portal on our website which allows Owners Corporation members to access extensive information relating to their Owners Corporation including the ability to view Agendas/Minutes and a real-time transaction history.

Australia Day

2014 Australian ‘Knight’ Award Winner – Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith VC MG

Every Australia Day, The Knight Alliance recognises a worthy recipient for our ‘Australian Knight’ award, who has demonstrated qualities that personify those of a Knight. This year, The Knight has chosen to donate $10,000 to The White Cloud Foundation based on Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith’s role as a Patron of the charity.

Ben is a former Australian soldier, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the Australian honours system.

The Australian Hero Story

At The Knight Alliance we wish to acknowledge Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith VC MG as an Australian Hero for his courage, bravery and heroism whilst serving Australia in the Army Defence Force.

Benjamin “Ben” Roberts-Smith VC MG (born 1st November 1978) is a former Australian soldier, serving his country for 17 years in the Army Defence Force, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia, the highest award in the Australian honours system. At the time, his Victoria Cross, together with his Medal for Gallantry, (awarded during a tour of Afghanistan in 2006), made Ben the most highly decorated current serving member of any of the Commonwealth defence forces.

Ben was on his fifth tour in Afghanistan, 11 June 2010 where he was involved in his Victoria Cross action. During a mission to hunt for a senior Taliban commander, in the Kandahar province, Ben took part in an assault against an enemy fortification, exposing his own position in order to draw fire away from members of his patrol who were pinned down.

Fighting at close range, he stormed two enemy machine-gun posts and silenced them.

Ben joined the Army at 17, and the elite SASR in 2003 after passing the Regiment’s arduous 20-day selection course known as the Cadre. In his 9 years with the Regiment, he has served overseas many times: twice in East Timor, once in Fiji and Iraq, and five times in Afghanistan.

Away from the battlefield, Ben and his wife, Emma, tried for more than 6 years to have children through IVF. Facing financial and emotional burdens, they have been blessed with twin daughters, Eve and Elizabeth.

Going through these tough times on and off the battlefields, Ben shows his support as the Patron of The White Cloud Foundation and also sits on the Board of Directors to help people, families and carers living with depression.

The White Cloud Foundation is a new charity which aims to create early intervention/ prevention treatment centers nation wide so people who live with depression can access early support and strategies to deal with their battle on a day to day basis.

A million Australians suffer depression every year.

Meet a Staff Member

Meet our Staff Member, Mark Reed.

What is your current position, and how long have you worked for The Knight Alliance?
Owners Corporation Manager, 5 years in November 2013. (Ten years in the industry)

What first attracted you to work in Owners Corporations?
Owning an apartment created an interest in how the system works.

What does your job entail?
1. Legal skills (including but not exhaustive), Owners Corporation Act, Subdivision Act, Water Act, Fencing Act, Health Act, Transfer of Land Act, Motor Car Act, Building Act, EPA Act, Nuisance Act, Financial Services Act, Valuers Act, Communications Act),2. Other professional skills such as accounting, taxation, investments, insurance, building defects, engineering, building, plumbing, cleaning, gardening, essential services, Work place safety, emergencies, locksmith, public speaking, record keeping letter writing meetings & 3. Most importantly inter personal skills.

What do you like most about your job?
The camaraderie and support of the colleagues in our work place.

How would you describe your role?
Problem solving to clients’ satisfaction.

What is your hobby?
Exploring Melbourne

Ideal holiday destination?
Melbourne

What is your mantra/motto?
Keep calm & carry on. (Has been prior to the current popularity of this slogan)

Currently reading:
‘Our side of the country’ by Geoffrey Blainey

What’s on in Melbourne

body corporate services
With the Summer temperatures rising into the 40′s, we take a look at what is on in Melbourne in the coming months.
Moonlight Cinema: Open air cinema showing a mix of classic and new movies in the Royal Botanic Gardens, what better way to spend an evening. www.moonlight.com.au
The Sustainable Living Festival: Held between 8-23 February 2014 the Sustainable Living Foundation raises awareness and provides tools for change by showcasing leading solutions to the social challenges that we face. http://www.slf.org.au/festival14/
Melbourne Star: Melbourne Star gives you a unique introduction to the city, it’s more than just a view – it’s a complete experience. www.melbournestar.com
Queen Victoria Night MarketThe original Night Market, Queen Victoria Market’s Night Market is the place to meet every Wednesday night for global street food, vintage fashion, eclectic wares, wine bars and live music.www.qvm.com.au
White Night Melbourne: Melbourne’s city streets will transform in a celebration of music, food, film, art and light, for one night only, from dusk till dawn on the 22nd February. www.whitenightmelbourne.com.au
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: Food and wine lovers in their hundreds and thousands each year indulge in more than 200 events that fill Melbourne’s labyrinthine network of restaurants, laneways, lights-turned-down basements and dizzying rooftops as well as spilling into spectacular regional Victoria. 28th February – 16th Marchwww.melbournefoodandwine.com.au
Designing 007Fifty Years of Bond Style – http://museumvictoria.com.au/007.htm

FAQ’s

How are my Owners Corporation fees calculated and what do they pay for?

Many people are unsure as to what an Owners Corporation (formerly known as a Body Corporate) is and does. An Owners Corporation is established where there are at least two Lots on a Plan of Subdivision.

Each owner of a Lot on a Plan of Subdivision is a member of the related Owners Corporations and in respect to common property that is identified on the Plan all the members are referred to as ‘tenants in common’.

When expenses are incurred in relation to the common property each member is obliged to contribute by way of paying levies to meet the cost of the expenses.

At the time that the Plan of Subdivision is created an independent land surveyor will determine the portion that each member will contribute to those expenses by way of preparing a schedule of ‘units of liability’. Within this schedule each Lot is allocated a total number of ‘units of liability’ based upon a variety of factors which can include location and size of the Lot.

Recent legislation now requires the independent land surveyor to provide the methodology used in determining the relative number of ‘units of liability’ for each Lot. The methodology used is essentially the basis in ensuring the most equitable recovery of costs from each Lot.

Owners Corporation fees contribute to a number of different expenses associated with the common areas within a Plan of Subdivision. These costs include:

  • Building insurance and public liability insurance in respect to building fixtures and common areas
  • Owners Corporation Management fees
  • On-site building management staff
  • Scheduled servicing
  • Cleaning/caretaking
  • Inspection and testing of essential safety measures (including fire system and exit & emergency lighting)
  • Collection of rubbish
  • Servicing of pumps, heating & ventilation systems
  • Servicing of other mechanical infrastructure (Including lifts)
  • Recreational areas (spa, pool & gym)
  • Ad hoc repairs and maintenance of common area infrastructure
  • Utilities – water, electricity & gas
  • Long term maintenance costs

For a member to understand the nature and magnitude of costs a budget detailing the expected expenses for a year is prepared and must be presented yearly at the Annual General Meeting.

If you would like to obtain a copy of your Plan of Subdivision and other relevant information pertaining to your Owners Corporation you can easily download the information from the member login section on The Knight Alliance website www.theknight.com.au.