As you may have seen on our website, each Australia Day we nominate an “Australian Knight” and in 2015 we chose Rosie Batty for her campaign to raise awareness of Domestic Violence in Australia. This year’s card and previous versions can be read in full here.
In this edition of The Knight News we have an article from our Managing Director Robert Evans on short stay apartments and who should be responsible if damage is to occur, an insurance article from Whitbread on steps to take if you are thinking of carrying out renovations to your apartment, we introduce one of our managers, Anna Rattana, and answer a question that was recently put to us by an Owner on fluctuating water temperature in an apartment.
If there is a question or topic that you would like discussed in greater detail in this newsletter then please put this in writing via email to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member Log In
Member Log In
Our Member Log In area is a valuable source of information for Owners.
Would you like to receive your Owners Corporation invoices and all correspondence by email?
Not only is this a faster and more effective way to communicate, but it also reduces the cost to your Owners Corporation and saves on paper therefore helping the environment.
When you sign up to our Member Log In area you are able to choose how you receive documentation by selecting the appropriate boxes. You are also able to view AGM documents, account statement, a transaction history for your property and much more. Sign up today by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the hot water temperature fluctuate in my Apartment?
Where there are common hot water systems installed to a property, generally the hot water outlet line feeds all units to the furthermost unit. A line known as a return hot water line then feeds back to the hot water units. A pump is installed on the hot water return line to circulate water around the property. This return line then connects back into the cold water feed pipe to the hot water units via non return valve.
It is when this non – return valve fails that cold water is allowed to flow into the hot water return pipe. This causes the water to cool and create hot and cold pockets of water in the hot water lines.
Another cause is that the re-circulation pump has failed, due to a pump fault or electrical supply problem.
All of the above can be diagnosed with onsite testing.
Why do water pipes burst?
There are many reasons: Old galvanised pipes corrode internally and eventually this corrosion weakens the walls of the pipework causing the pipe to leak.
Ground movement, generally at seasonal changes, can cause pressure to be applied to pipework and also cause pipework to shift. This movement over time weakens the pipework causing pipes and fittings to split or crack causing the pipe to leak.
In many older buildings copper and galvanised pipework was laid in the concrete slabs so that means any building movement can cause pipes and fittings to split and crack.
In some cases the steel reinforcement mesh comes into contact with the pipework causing a corrosive reaction and in turn the eventual degrading of the pipework material and a burst pipe then occurs.
Article from PL Plumbing Newsletter.
Meet a Staff Member
Meet a Staff Member, Anna Rattana
What is your current position, and how long have you worked for The Knight Alliance?
I have been with The Knight Alliance just under 12 months as an Owners Corporation Manager.
What first attracted you to work in Owners Corporations?
The thing I love most about my job is completing a project and having the more difficult Clients at the start of the project thank me at the end. I also love the diverse group of people I interact with daily. Keeps me grounded and thankful.
What does your job entail?
Understanding the dynamics of an Owners Corporation and major service contractors and suppliers, answering customers correspondence in an effective and timely manner, developing an affinity with suppliers and selected Owners Corporation members and building relationships.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
So many Owners when purchasing into a new Owners Corporation are not aware that they live under the Rules of the Owners Corporation Act especially in the Estates that I manage.
What do you like most about your job and working with The Knight?
The thing I like most is helping the thankful and respectful owners through the many issues of what is Owners Corporation and having the support of The Knight Alliance. There is never a dull moment in the Owners Corporation world!!
How would you describe your role in 3 words?
Challenging, Rewarding, Busy
What are your hobbies?
Reading, cooking, outdoor sports and spending time with my family.
What is your ideal holiday destination?
Sandy beaches and clear water.
What is your mantra/motto that you live life by?
Treat others the way you want to be treated!
Whitbread Strata Insurance expert Ann Farrugia dishes out her best advice to ensure your insurance is not compromised when performing renovations to your apartment.
If you are preparing to undertake renovations on your home you need to be aware that renovating a strata property may have a few more complexities to it than your average free standing dwelling.
1. Inform the right people that you are carrying out renovations.
Advise your Strata Manager, Insurance Broker and Contents Insurer of the works being performed, prior to commencing. Key information you need to share:
- Summarised description of works
- Contract value / amount
- Anticipated start & completion dates
If at any time the Essential Services need to be turned off, you must inform your Strata Manager.
Why your insurer needs to know:
When signing an insurance contract it is considered your duty to disclose to the insurer every matter that you know, or could reasonably be expected to know, about your renovations. This is relevant to the insurer’s decision on whether to continue to accept the risk, and if so, on what terms. Basically, you need to inform the insurer when your property conditions change.
Failure to notify could impact how your insurance company would respond to any possible claim under your current Strata insurance or Contents Insurance policy if any damage occurs as a result of your renovation.
For example, as a part of your renovations, you are replacing the roof on your property. The roof replacement works will mean that your premise is left uncovered for three days. With everything going on during the renovations, you understandably forget to advise your Strata Insurer of the nature of works taking place.
Over the three days in which your roof was left uncovered, a large storm came through causing severe damage to the building. As you neglected to notify the insurer of the roof replacement, the insurance company denied the claim based on the fact that the damage caused was directly related to the renovations.
Had the insurer been advised prior to works being carried out, they may have decided to impose a higher excess for the duration of repairs, or informed you of this specific policy exclusion before you chose to commence works.
2: Make sure your contractor has current insurance – and the right insurance!
Before commencing works, confirm that the Contractor has a current Contract Works and Public Liability Insurance policy.
Simply getting a “Yes I do!” from the contractor is not acceptable. You must ask the Contractor to provide you with a Certificate of Currency, which they can obtain from their insurer.
If a Contractor or his employees were to cause, or were alleged to have caused property damage or personal injury whilst carrying out work on the Owners Corporation property, this could result in a claim being brought against the Contractors, the Owners Corporation, and the individual lot owners.
A common assumption is that contractors, and/or tradespeople are covered under the liability section of the Strata Insurance policy; however they are not. They must have their own Public Liability Insurance, in their own name.
Our recommendation is simple. Prior to commencing renovations, don’t hire or engage anyone who doesn’t carry a current Contract Works policy or a current Public Liability policy, and ensure you hold their current Certificate of Currency on file.
3: After your renovations are complete – obtain a property valuation
Once the renovations to your home within the Owners Corporation are complete, it may be necessary to consider obtaining an updated property valuation. Your renovations may significantly increase the value of the building, which may mean the current building sum insured is no longer sufficient.
We suggest you contact your Strata Manager or your Insurance Broker to discuss if an updated valuation is necessary.
This Whitbread article is general advice only. It is not intended to take the place of personal advice. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this advice to your particular objectives, needs and financial situation. Proprietor: Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 AFSL 229 092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers or refer to our website.
Short Term Stays
Founder and Managing Director of The Knight, Robert Evans, discusses the problems Owners face in regards to Short Term Stays in Apartments.
The pending independent review initiated by Consumer Affairs Victoria into the question of and possible restriction to short term stays in residential apartment buildings is problematic to say the least.
Whilst I own an apartment I don’t live in it but can certainly sympathise with long term owner occupiers who, on a very frequent basis, come face to face with unfamiliar residents ‘living’ next door.
This, I believe, is the fundamental concern as most residents whether they be short term or long term are ‘rule’ abiders and wish to live in harmony with their neighbours whether it be for one week or one year. Obviously there are exceptions but from what I hear they are few in number.
In my opinion apart from applying the law of ‘vicarious liability’ where the landlord could be held responsible for the action of their tenant or by introducing rules relating to the use of recreational facilities by ‘short term’ tenants there is little the law makers can do especially given the fact that the apartments are private and on separate title to that which is common property and under the control of the owners corporation.
Click on the link below which will take you to my blog and I will provide you with the outcome of the review once it comes to hand.
By the way when it comes to the occupancy of a residential apartment a more pressing matter, which has yet to be dealt with successfully, is the number of occupants who cohabitate in an apartment.
For example, an apartment in a high-rise tower had its rooms subdivided to the extent which provided for the occupancy of eight tenants, unknown to one another, and all that the Council was able to do was to order that the partitioning, which was to the ceiling, be reduced in height by three feet given that the fire control system was being compromised. http://theknightalliance.blogspot.com.au/ RRE MD