February 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to The Knight Newsletter

Welcome to 2016 and the latest edition of The Knight news.

In this issue we celebrate The Knight’s Australian of the Year, Les Twentyman, include an article that details how a worm farm is creating a sense of community, provide advice on Strata Insurance courtesy of Resolute Property Protect and we encourage Lot owners to receive fee notices & correspondence by email, encourage the use of the Property Login section on The Knight website and encourage the download of The Knight smartphone application ‘app’.

In the next newsletter we will be providing answers to various Owners Corporation related queries. Should you have a query that you would like answered please email it to scott@theknight.com.au.

Gregor Evans

Our 2016 Australian Knight

Each Australia Day since 2010 staff at The Knight select an organisation or a person that has shown qualities of a ‘Knight’ to be awarded our Australian of the Year, ‘Our Australian Knight’.
This year staff chose Les Twentyman of the Les Twentyman 20th Man Fund for his tireless work in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

Les has been on the frontline of heartbreak and hope for over 35 years. As Australia’s best-known youth advocate and social campaigner, Les developed his expert opinion the hard way – on the street. Les has devoted his life to young people doing it tough.

The 20th Man Youth Fund was founded in 1984 to provide Christmas Lunch and gifts for a handful of local young people who had no family to speak of. The 20th Man Fund is now a much-respected agency delivering crucial support services to young people in and around Melbourne. ( www.20thman.com.au )

This year’s card and previous versions can be read in full here.

Pictured: Scott McCann (The Knight Client Services Manager), Les Twentyman & Gregor Evans (The Knight Director)

Creating a sense of community with a worm farm

It was a desire to create a sense of community among residents and connect them with their surroundings, which first sparked the idea of a worm farm at a residential complex in North Melbourne.

With 140 units, spread over 1.73 hectares, it was hard to get to know neighbours at City Gardens, said resident Alice Coulson. As members of the garden subcommittee, Alice and neighbours Allan Robertson and Trevor Smith contacted the City of Melbourne about their idea and soon found themselves with six worm bins and 24,000 tiger worms, fully funded as part of a pilot program. ‘The people have embraced it no worries,’ said Allan. ‘It has brought people out’.

Alice, Allan and Trevor check on the worms regularly to see how they are going and pick out any unsuitable scraps – ‘worms don’t like citrus,’ said Allan. The wriggly residents have also contributed to a reduction in the amount of organic rubbish which goes to landfill. ‘The amount of stuff they get through is phenomenal,’ said Allan.

The City of Melbourne has also worked with the City Gardens Owners’ Corporation to install extra-large recycling bins, clothes recycling bins and in December, four new bee hives were installed on the roof. ‘It would be great for other resident groups around Melbourne to see what we have set up and give it a go themselves,’ said Alice.

*Article taken from City of Melbourne Magazine December edition.

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Receiving Owners Corporation fee notices and correspondence by e-mail

Rather than receiving your fee notices and correspondence in the post why not register to have them sent to your e-mail inbox instead.

Receiving fee notices and correspondence by e-mail will ensure that you receive them on the day that they are issued and once received you can easily save and file or print the document.

Signing up for email not only helps to reduce your carbon footprint but it may also reduce the disbursement costs for your Owners Corporation.

Providing your email address as well as a contact phone number will also allow The Knight to contact you quicker in an emergency situation.

To register to have fee notices and correspondence sent by email all you have to do is access the Property Login section on The Knight website and update your preferences.

Property Login section on The Knight website

The Property Login section on The Knight website allows you to update your contact details, view your account balance, retrieve your fee notice, view your transaction history and download documents relevant to your property.

The Knight strongly encourages all Lot owners to use the Property Login section as it allows easy and around the clock access.


Download The Knight ‘App’

Downloading The Knight ‘App’ will allow you to easily access the Property Login section as well as the ability to receive push notifications that provide urgent information relating to your property. For instance if the vehicle gate is stuck, your lift is out of order or the power/water to your property has been shut off then The Knight office can send a push notification to all Lot owners and occupiers who have downloaded the ‘App’ advising them of the situation and what action has been taken.

This can save you time and effort of making a phone call to The Knight office to ensure that we are aware of the situation and will help reduce calls received by the Owners Corporation Manager which will allow the Manager more time to ensure that the situation is remedied.

Once you have downloaded the ‘App’ it will ask you to enter your Owners Corporation number and press save. Once this has been done you will receive a push notification when new information is posted to the Notices section for your property.

If you have your smartphone at hand why not try scanning the above image with a QR scanning ‘app’ and it will take you straight to the download page for The Knight ‘App’. If not, then you can click on one of the following links that will also take you to the download page.

iPhone Users here!
Android Users here!


What is Strata Insurance?

What is Strata Insurance and what does it cover you for? We answer the most common questions we get asked about Strata Insurance every day.

1. What is Strata Insurance?

Strata Insurance is designed to protect you and your property as a lot owner. It provides general insurance cover for common property under the management of a strata title or body corporate entity. The premiums for strata insurance are typically shared amongst the lot owners as part of their strata fees and levies.

2. Is Strata Insurance mandatory?

Holding strata insurance is mandatory under each state’s relevant strata legislation. However, each state and territory has different legislative requirements that deal with insurance for strata title properties. You should always check that your insurance meets those legislative requirements. If your property is professionally managed, your Strata Manager will usually arrange this insurance on your behalf.

3. What is covered under a Strata Insurance policy?

Strata Insurance policies cover material damage as a result of an insured peril to structural fixtures including fixed plant, machinery and underground services. These policies also provide cover for owners’ fixtures, fittings and improvements which form part of the building. Some of these items may include built-in ovens, stovetops, kitchen cupboards, hand basins, baths and showers. Common Policy Features include:

  • Public Liability | Covers the legal liability of the Owners Corporation. This does not insure the liability of the unit owner, except where liability relates to the Owners Corporation’s property or common contents.
  • Common Contents | Covers appliances, equipment, furniture, carpets, fittings and works of art in any common area for which the Owners Corporation is responsible.
  • Loss of Rent and/or Alternative Accommodation | If a unit becomes uninhabitable as a result of an insured peril, the unit owner can claim for loss of rent or alternative accommodation during the period that the premises are unfit for occupancy, based on the rental value of a unit, subject to approval by the insurer.
  • Personal Accident for Voluntary Workers | Provides compensation to any person who carries out voluntary works on behalf of the Owners Corporation. The volunteer worker’s name must be recorded in the books of the Owners Corporation. This is a compulsory insurance under NSW Strata Legislation.

4. What is not covered under a Strata Insurance policy?
Strata Insurance specifically excludes contents within individual units such as carpets, curtains, blinds, light fittings and electrical appliances not actually wired into the premises. These items should be insured by your Contents Insurance or Landlord Insurance policy.

5. Does the Owners Corporation need to get a valuation on the building?
The law requires that buildings are insured for their full replacement and reinstatement value. Whitbread recommend that the Owners Corporation obtain a professional property valuation every three years.

6. What if I rent out my strata property?
Strata Property owners who rent out their property need to purchase Landlord Insurance as a separate policy to the Strata Insurance. Landlord Insurance provides insurance protection for your liability as a Landlord. In addition, the insurance provides for Landlord’s contents, loss of rent by an insured peril and various other benefits.

7. What if I live in my property?
As an owner occupier of a property, you should arrange a Contents Insurance policy. This will provide cover for your furniture, personal contents, jewellery, collections and other special items. In addition to this, Contents Insurance policies provide legal liability protection for any damage to third party property or third party injuries that may occur anywhere in Australia.

If you require any information about how you are covered under a Strata Insurance policy, including optional extras that are available, please contact your Owners Corporation Manager or speak with one of our specialist strata insurance brokers by calling us on 1300 424 627.

This insight article is not intended to be advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website. http://www.whitbread.com.au/the-whitbread-channel/an-insight-strata/lias-guide-to-all-things-strata-insurance/