Winter 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the Winter 2017 Newsletter
We’ve jam-packed this newsletter with Owners Corporation news and details on what has been happening at The Knight.
Included is an update on the Parliamentary review of short stay accommodation affecting Owners Corporations, information on why some OC’s will be facing higher insurance costs and details of changes made to the process for dealing with building defects.
We’ve recently updated the ‘My Property’ section on our website as well as updating our smartphone ‘app’. These updates have improved functionality and increased the amount of information available to owners and residents. We encourage everyone to download our ‘app’ and if you have already done so please ensure that you have the latest version and have saved the correct plan number in your device.
To download the App please click the links below:
I hope you enjoy the newsletter and keep warm this winter,
Gregor Evans – Director
Owners Corporation News
Changes to process for dealing with building defects
Since 26 April 2017 there has been a change to the process for Owners Corporations dealing with building defects. If an Owners Corporation wishes to take action against a builder for failing to rectify building defects then rather than making an application to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) an application now must be made to the newly created Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV).
The DBDRV will assess whether the dispute is suitable for conciliation. If conciliation is not suitable or that conciliation takes place however is not successful then and only then can legal proceedings commence in VCAT.
There is debate as to whether the change in the process will reduce the time it takes to resolve building disputes or whether it is adding an additional hoop for Owners Corporations to jump through. The proof will be in the pudding.
For further information on the creation of the DBDRV an article written by Moray & Agnew Lawyers can be downloaded from the following link: DBDRV Article
Short Stay Accommodation
In November 2016, the Victorian Parliament agreed to refer the Owners Corporations Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Bill 2016 to the Environment and Planning Committee for inquiry, consideration and report in relation to –
- Undertaking proper consultation with peer sector economy providers, individuals, owners corporations and short-stay letting providers;
- The impact on individuals, families, apartment owners and owners corporations of short-stay letting in apartment buildings;
- The adequacy of owners corporation rules in managing impacts on amenity, noting also the lack of adequate planning on the part of the building and construction sector to accommodate the impact of high intensity short-term lets;
The Committee called for interested parties to make submissions in relation to the Bill. The Committee then invited a selection of parties to a public hearing. Gregor Evans, Director of The Knight, presented to the Committee on behalf of Strata Community Association (SCA).
On the 8th June, the Committee tabled a report to Parliament which included 9 recommendations. One of the recommendations is for the Victorian Government to consider the appropriateness of giving Owners Corporations the power to regulate short stay accommodation. The Government is required to respond to any recommendations directed to it within 6 months.
The Committee’s report can be downloaded from the following link: Committee Report Article
Increased Insurance Costs
As of 1st July, changes to the Terrorism Insurance Act 2003 (Cth) will become effective which will result in increased insurance costs to some Owners Corporations.
Owners Corporations for buildings listed below will now be required to pay terrorism levies of up to 16% (plus statutory charges).
- A building where at least 20% of floor space is used for commercial purposes.
- A residential building with a building sum insured equal to or greater than $50 million.
For additional information, a fact sheet prepared by Resolute Property Protect can be downloaded from the following link: Resolute Insurance Article
Since the start of 2017 The Knight team has been very busy. We’ve held an information night for Committee Members, opened an additional office in the Docklands, commenced the process of refreshing The Knight’s brand and made changes to the ‘My Property’ section on The Knight’s website to improve functionality and increase the amount of information available to owners and residents. Further information on each of these initiatives as follows:
An evening with The Knight
On 23 May an information night was held at the Woolshed Hotel, Docklands where Committee Members from all Owners Corporations managed by The Knight were invited to attend.
The night was a huge success with guest speakers presenting on the below matters currently affecting Owners Corporations:
- Best practice for dealing with building defects (Mark Lipshutz, Lawyer at CLP Lawyers)
- Security of apartment buildings (Janie Lambert, Crime Prevention Officer at Victoria Police)
- Short stay accommodation in Owners Corporations (Barbara Francis, Owners Corporation Chairperson and Director of ‘We Live Here’ campaign)
Should you wish to receive a copy of any of the speaker’s presentations please contact The Knight’s Client Services Manager, Scott McCann. E:firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening of Docklands Office
The Knight recently opened an additional office in the Docklands located at 1308/401 Docklands Drive. It is The Knight’s second office with the Malvern office remaining as the head office.
The reason behind opening the additional office is so that we can be closer to a number of our Clients. Since the opening The Knight has been appointed as the Manager for a number of Docklands properties including Yarra’s Edge (Tower 1) & Flinders Wharf.
The office contains a boardroom with state of the art video conferencing facilities and an impressive view of Harbour town for the use of Owners Corporation Committees.
Docklands Firelight Festival
To help celebrate the opening of the Docklands office The Knight will be sponsoring the Docklands’ firelight festival scheduled for 30th June – 2nd July. The Knight will have a marquee at the festival manned with team members so if you attend the festival we encourage you to pop in to say hello.
Refresh of The Knight’s brand
The Knight recently engaged the services of SAVI Communications to assist with a brand refresh to ensure that our brand reflects what the business currently stands for. This included reaffirming The Knight’s objectives and beliefs in order to create a new tagline, logo and accompanying visual elements.
We’re excited to announce that our new tagline is ‘Insight, integrity & results’ and show you our new logo.
Over the next month our documentation, marketing collateral and website will be updated to reflect our new brand.
Updated ‘My Property’ webpage & smartphone ‘App’
We’ve recently updated the ‘My Property’ webpage which is accessed via The Knight’s website.
Each Owners Corporation managed by The Knight has a customised ‘My Property’ webpage. The webpage has three areas; an area for Residents, an area for Owners (OC Members) and an area for OC Committee Members.
The Residents’ area displays notices, lists the property’s facilities, shows contact information and has the function for residents to report maintenance issues to the Owners Corporation Manager.
The Owners’ area allows owners to update their personal contact information, download their statement and download various Owners Corporation documents including the Plan of Subdivision, AGM minutes and insurance policy details.
The Committee Members’ area allows Committee Members to view and download documents relevant to the Committee as well as view live Owners Corporation financial information such as the Balance Sheet, Revenue & Expense statement and Creditor’s invoices.
If you are not currently registered to access the Owners’ area please visit our website www.theknight.com.au and click on the ‘Register Now’ button in the ‘My Property’ field.
The Knight would like to welcome on board our new clients and properties that have joined The Knight in the first half of the 2017 calendar year.
The above images are just a handful of new properties that are now under our management.
From large apartment buildings in the Docklands to townhouse estates in Doncaster and boutique developments in Toorak, the below list highlights The Knight’s capability in being able to manage Owners Corporation of all shapes and sizes.
- Flinders Wharf, 60 Siddeley Street, Docklands – 303 Lots
- Yarra’s Edge Tower 1, 50 Lorimer St, Docklands – 179 Lots
- Williamsons Estate, Doncaster – 91 Lots
- Vista Apartments, 32 Adrian St, Chadstone – 53 Lots
- Highbury Townhomes, 41-49 Robbs Road, West Footscray – 49 Lots
- 508 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn – 36 Lots
- 15 Small St, Hampton – 22 Lots
- Monticello, 744 Orrong Road, Toorak – 11 Lots
- 23 Irving Avenue, Prahran – 7 Lots
The Knight encourages all Owners to sign up to receive Owners Corporation correspondence and fee notices by email whether it be to their own email address or to their rental agents.
Most Owners Corporations incur additional costs to send correspondence/fee notices by post. By signing up for email not only are you helping the environment but also likely helping to reduce your Owners Corporation fees.