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Firelight

Winter 2017 Newsletter

The Knight_Shield_Black
The Knight News

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:

For iPhone: Click Here
For Android: Click Here

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and keep warm this winter,

Gregor Evans – Director

Owners Corporation News

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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 –

  1. Undertaking proper consultation with peer sector economy providers, individuals, owners corporations and short-stay letting providers;
  2. The impact on individuals, families, apartment owners and owners corporations of short-stay letting in apartment buildings;
  3. 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

What’s happening at The Knight?

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

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:scott@theknight.com.au

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.

Firelight

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.

New Properties
New Properties

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

email iconEmail Communication

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.

To sign up for email you can either email theknight@theknight.com.au or do so yourself by logging into your Members Portal via our website (www.theknight.com.au).

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January 2017 Newsletter

The Knight Everything Owners Corporation

Welcome to the January 2017 Newsletter

In this edition we celebrate the awarding of Neale Daniher as our 2017 Australian ‘Knight’ and promote the charity that he is Vice-Chairman of; Cure for MND Foundation.

We provide an update on current Owners Corporation industry matters including the use of non-compliant cladding on residential buildings and short stay accommodation.

We wish to take this opportunity to wish you a happy New Year and trust that you have an enjoyable and successful 2017.

Kind Regards,

Gregor Evans – Director

Owners Corporation News

Following the November 2014 fire at the 21-storey Lacrosse apartment building located in the Docklands the City of Melbourne issued a building notice to the Owners Corporation that required non-compliant aluminium cladding to be removed.

Last year the Owners Corporation issued proceedings to the Building Appeals Board (BAB) to appeal the building order. A hearing took place in September 2016.

Last week the BAB released their determination. The BAB deemed that the non-compliant cladding must be removed and replaced as it poses a “significant and unacceptable” risk to building residents.

For further information on the matter please click on the link to an article written by Aisha Dow of Fairfax Media.

Short Stay Accommodation

Owners Corporations Act 2006 amendment to deal with short term stay accommodation

A bill passed by the Victorian Assembly that makes changes to the Owners Corporations Act 2006 to deal with short stay accommodation has been held up in the Legislative Council.

In November last year it was agreed that the bill is to be referred to the Environment and Planning Committee for further review. The second reading of the bill will take place after the Committee has issued their report which is due by the 7th March 2017.

For a summary of the proposed bill please click the link.

Owners Corporation required to pay legal costs for taking action against short term stay operator

The Victorian Supreme Court ruled in July 2016 that an Owners Corporation does not have the power to make a rule that restricts landlords from renting their properties for short stay accommodation.

Following this ruling the Supreme Court costs court has ordered that an Owners Corporation who took legal proceedings against a short stay operator must pay the operator $133,500 in costs.

For further information on the matter please click on the link to an article published by the Docklands News.

Better Apartments Design Standards

Better Apartments Design Standards will come into effect in March 2017 when they are implemented in the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes. The design standards have been introduced to improve the liveability and sustainability of apartments in Victoria.

For further information on the standards please click here.

What’s happening at The Knight?

Our 2017 Australian Knight

Every Australia Day, Staff at The Knight recognise a worthy recipient for our ‘Australian Knight’ award, someone who has demonstrated the qualities that personify those of a ‘Knight’.

This year we would like to acknowledge Neale Daniher as our Australian of the Year; our Australian Knight.

The picture above is Managing Director, Robert Evans, presenting Neale with a copy of the Card having gifted a $10,000 donation to Cure for MND Foundation.

To read the card in its entirety, please click here.

New Properties

The Knight continues to grow its portfolio of properties by offering a pragmatic approach to Owners Corporation Management with a focus on Client Service. With a number of new properties coming on board in the last quarter of 2016 we thought we would take this opportunity to share some of our highlights with you.

Clockwise from top left, QT Melbourne has been launched as one of Melbourne’s newest rooftop bars on top of the hotel and apartments built on the old Greater Union Cinema site on Russell Street.

Stage 1 of EQ Tower, developed by ICD Property Group, 127-141 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne, was launched on the 1st December 2016 and when completed will have 641 Apartments in total.

Aspect Apartments in James Street, Windsor, welcomed its first residents in October 2016. A quirky and unique building of 58 apartments which fits perfectly into the Chapel Street, Windsor vibe.

16* North, developed by Branson Property Group, located at 397 Murray Road, Preston, a boutique development of 16 townhouses was completed early January.

Stratus, 106 apartments in Lygon Street, Brunswick changed management to The Knight in November 2016 and has already seen huge improvements in their Owners Corporation service.

The buildings above showcase The Knight’s flexibility in being able to manage Owners Corporations of all sizes.

Apartment Living Initiatives

Click and Grow

Click and Grow has revolutionised the art of growing herbs and plants in your own apartment! Click on the image above to watch a video on how it works or check out their website https://www.clickandgrow.com/

PetCube

download

Do you get separation anxiety when you’re away from your pet? If so, check out this product that allows you to watch, talk to and play with your pet whilst you’re away from home.  Click Here

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Are you still receiving your fee notices by post?

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.

To sign up for email you can either email theknight@theknight.com.au or do so yourself by logging into your Members Portal via our website (www.theknight.com.au).

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July 2016 Newsletter

The Knight Everything Owners Corporation

Welcome to the July 2016 Newsletter

This edition provides advice in respect to the Victorian Parliament’s short stay accommodation proposed legislation relating to Owners Corporations as well as what action the City of Melbourne is taking to deal with the installation of non-compliant aluminium cladding on residential buildings.

The newsletter also addresses current problems that Owners Corporations are facing, shares with you an article written by CLP Lawyers in relation to water leaks, reminds Lot owners how they can download a statement of their account from The Knight website and bids a fond farewell to two long serving employees of The Knight.

We hope that you find the content of this newsletter useful and as always if you have any questions or discussion points that you would like addressed in future newsletters please get in touch.

We are also willing to publish articles written by Consultants working in the Owners Corporation industry for the benefit of readers.

Kind Regards,

Gregor Evans – Director

Short stay accommodation legislation relating to Owners Corporations
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With the rise of AirBNB’s popularity this has resulted in many Lots within Owners Corporations being used as short stay accommodation.

In February 2015 the Victorian Government established an independent panel to recommend ways to improve the regulation of residential buildings in order to ensure property is protected from unruly occupiers of short stay accommodation. The findings of this panel were published on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website and are still available to download.

A bill titled ‘Owners Corporations Amendment (Short-stay accommodation) Bill 2016’ was introduced into the Victorian Legislative Assembly on the 24th May 2016 that proposes changes to the Owners Corporations Act 2006 regarding short stay accommodation.

The proposed changes detail what action can be taken by Owners Corporations and individuals where an occupier of short-stay accommodation has been unruly. The changes also detail the jurisdiction of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in dealing with short-stay accommodation disputes.
The bill is yet to be passed. The next sitting of the Victorian Assembly will be held in the middle of August 2016 where it is expected further debate is to occur.

For a summary of the proposed bill please refer the following link:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-have-time-dissect-recent-bill-introduced-victorian-gregor-evans?trk=mp-author-card

Non – compliant use of aluminium composite panels (cladding) on residential buildings

A fire that occurred at ‘Lacrosse’, a Docklands apartment building, in November 2014 caused by a smouldering cigarette highlighted the use of non-compliant aluminium composite panels installed on numerous residential buildings throughout Melbourne.

As a result the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) undertook an audit of 170 residential buildings throughout Melbourne to identify installation of non-compliant aluminium cladding.

Buildings identified by the VBA that potentially have non-compliant cladding installed were referred to the relevant Municipal Building Surveyor for further action to be taken. The City of Melbourne’s Building Surveyor has requested Owners Corporations for these properties to provide validation of the type of aluminium composite panels installed in order to determine whether they comply with the Building Code of Australia or were considered as part of an alternative solution.

Meanwhile City of Melbourne’s Building Surveyor has issued a building notice to the Owners Corporation associated with ‘Lacrosse’ requiring rectification of the non-compliant cladding. Subsequently the Owners Corporation has issued proceedings against the Builder requiring that they return to rectify.

From our experience there are certain Builders who appear receptive to being a party to a solution to this significant issue.

Security in apartment car parks

Recently across Melbourne there has been an alarming increase in the number of thefts from building car parks.

As well as entering open and unsecure car parks, thieves are also entering ‘secure’ car parks (car parks that are contained and have an automatic car park door/gate) either on foot or in stolen vehicles by tailgating other vehicles. Thieves are stealing motor vehicles, bicycles as well as valuable personal belongings by breaking into vehicles and storage cages.

To assist Owners Corporations, The Knight has listed below 6 ways to help reduce thefts occurring in car parks.

6 ways for Owners Corporations to reduce thefts occurring in car parks

  1. Education of car park users

A starting point is to educate car park users as to what they can do to reduce the likelihood of their motor vehicle, bicycle or personal belongings being stolen. Car park users should be made aware of the following:

  • Ensure that vehicles are locked at all times.
  • Ensure any valuable personal belongings are not left in vehicles but if they are then they should not be visible. Valuable belongings include coins, keys/remotes, GPS navigators & mobile phones.
  • Do not store any items of value in storage cages (if applicable).
  • If the car park is a ‘secure’ car park don’t allow other vehicles to tailgate when entering and exiting the car park.
  • Be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to Police.

NB: No car park is 100% secure even though it may be referred to as a ‘secure’ car park.

  1. Install of CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras installed throughout a car park may deter thieves. On occasions where CCTV cameras haven’t worked as a deterrent Police have identified thieves from video footage and managed to retrieve stolen goods.

If CCTV cameras are installed it is suggested that signage is put up throughout the car park to promote the fact that the car park is under surveillance.

Initially CCTV cameras should be installed at the car park access points so that all vehicles and pedestrians entering and exiting can be captured on footage. Police have advised that the optimum position for CCTV cameras is at eye level so that there is a better chance thieves can be identified if they enter the car park on foot.

  1. Install of additional lighting

Thieves want to be inconspicuous and therefore anything that can be done to increase visibility in the car park will assist in reducing the likelihood that a thief will want to enter.

Installing additional lighting throughout the car park, especially at the main entrance, will increase visibility.

  1. Employing security personnel

An effective yet costly approach is for an Owners Corporation to employ a full time security attendant to patrol the car park.

If this option is too costly Owners Corporations may consider employing a part time security attendant to patrol the car park during times when thefts are more likely to occur or engaging the services of a security company that can provide mobile security patrols.

Whilst Melbourne is currently experiencing an increase in thefts from car parks a number of Owners Corporations managed by The Knight have decided to employ part time security attendants.

Depending on a building community’s aspirations some Owners Corporations may be able to encourage residents to volunteer their time to undertake occasional walkthroughs of the car park to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour.

  1. Increase security at car park access points

For open and unsecure car parks installing a boundary fence and vehicle doors/gates will instantly increase security by reducing unauthorised access.

For ‘secure’ car parks carrying out the following works will help to increase security:

  • Remove ‘vehicle door/gate induction loop’ (subject to fire regulations) so that any time a vehicle is to exit the car park the driver has to use their remote to open the vehicle door/gate.
  • Installing an additional vehicle door/gate (if space permits) so that only one vehicle at a time is able to enter and exit the car park.
  • Ensuring that automatic door closers are functioning and appropriate locks are installed to doors at pedestrian entrances.
  1. Increase security of motorcycles/bicycles

Often thieves target expensive motorcycles and bicycles located in car parks. Subject to available space on common property an Owners Corporation may look at installing a lockable storage area for residents to house motorcycles and bicycles.

An Owners Corporation may decide to grant permission for Lot owners to install ground anchor locks within private car spaces so motorcycles can be better secured.

Strata Insurance doesn’t cover your storage cage…

This article discussing strata insurance regarding storage cages for apartments has been supplied by Whitbread Insurance Brokers.

The rapid rise of apartment-style strata living across Australian cities has coincided with a significant increase in the number of people using storage cages to store their belongings. This trend has come about due to the limited space in many modern apartments. Unfortunately, an increase in the use of storage cages has also seen a surge in the rate of storage cage theft.

Personal contents, often those of great value, are kept in storage cages and sadly this makes them an attractive target for criminals. As an insurance broker, we have seen items like televisions, furniture, skis, and racing bikes worth over $5,000 stolen from storage cages. Yet in many cases, owners of these items fail to realise they lack the right insurance to cover the loss and / or replacement of these items.

Make sure all contents kept in your storage cage are covered. Below we have clarified some common myths to help ensure you have the right insurance protection for your valuables.

Myth 1 – Storage Cages are in the common area, therefore contents of storage cages are covered under Strata Insurance.

Incorrect. Despite your storage cage being situated in what may be deemed a common area, it doesn’t mean the contents are covered by Strata Insurance!

Strata Insurance is only designed to cover the building structure including fixtures and fittings, and Public Liability for the common areas.

Contents Insurance policy is required in order to protect against accidental loss or damage to contents within the storage cage.

Myth 2 – All contents insurance policies will cover items kept in my storage cage.

False! Check that your Contents Insurance policy is an Accidental Damage policy, not a Defined Events policy. What’s the difference you ask?

A Defined Events Contents Insurance policy is minimal in coverage, and will only cover you for the series of ‘defined events’ listed in your policy that occur within the home.

Accidental Damage policies are much broader in scope, and are designed to insure all accidental loss or damage to contents, other than events specifically excluded by the insurance policy. Cover provided in an Accidental Damage policy is more comprehensive than a Defined Events policy and in some cases covers contents away from your home e.g. theft of valuables.

As a broker, we always recommend clients take out an Accidental Damage Contents policy if they live in a strata property.

It is important to note however that every Contents Insurance policy differs in coverage conditions. The best way to make sure you are covered, is by doing the following:

  1. Notify your contents insurer that you have contents kept in your storage cage.
  2. Make sure your policy schedule notes in writing that your insurance coverage extends to include contents and personal valuables kept in your storage cage.
  3. List the valuable items you keep in your storage cage e.g. bikes, artwork, instruments, sporting equipment, furniture etc.
  4. Keep your cage locked at all times. If broken into, you will likely need evidence to demonstrate forcible entry in order to be covered.

Myth 3 – Theft or vandalism is the only risk:

False! Property damage to contents held in storage cages is also common.

Recently we saw a claim for water damage as a result of a truck hitting a fire sprinkler in the carpark of a strata complex. This collision set off all sprinklers in the carpark, causing severe water damage to contents inside the storage cages. Sadly, many of the residents were not insured for the damage.

These events are more common than you think, making it all the more important to have the right insurance in place to protect your belongings.

Myth 4 – Liability inside the cage is covered by Strata Insurance.

Not true. Storage cages are deemed to be the property of the strata property owner. If you are an owner occupier, or if you rent out your strata property, it is essential to have a policy in place that includes Liability Insurance for any injuries that could occur inside the storage cage.

Owner occupiers: Accidental Damage Home and Contents Insurance can cover your exposure to this risk.

Landlords: A Landlord Insurance policy can protect you against this risk.

If you live in a strata property and would like for us to arrange a Contents Insurance policy that protects valuables kept in your storage cage, please contact Lidia Siljanoski our Personal Insurance specialist, Ph. 1300 424 627. Alternatively email us info@whitbread.com.au.

This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of personal 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.

Keep Wipes out of Pipes!

This topic has been in various media channels recently and is one that all residents should be made aware of.

The advertising of ‘flushable’ or ‘degradable’ wet wipes is being challenged due to the number of sewerage blockages and ‘fatbergs’ that are being cleared from sewerage pipes in buildings all across the world. The word fatbergs is the name that has been given to the items that are causing blockages in sewers as a congealed lump of fat, sanitary items, wet wipes and similar items which do not break down like toilet paper.

Despite the wet wipes being labelled as flushable or degradable, independent tests undertaken by Choice showed that the wet wipes hadn’t broken down in any way during a 21 hour testing period.

The message coming from water authorities all across the world is ‘Keep wipes out of pipes’.

Water Leaks in Owners Corporations
Mark Lipshutz

Undoubtedly the most common building defect issue that is found within Owners Corporations is water leaks. Problems often arise because water penetrates through either common property or private property causing damage to other Lots.

Defective building works may be located on common property and/or within individual Lot boundaries. However, since the case of Owners Corporation PS508732B v Fisher [2014] VCAT 1358 it has been confirmed that on plans where the boundary definition is interior face or median (as is almost always the case), the tiles and membrane are private property. Accordingly, if there is a defect with the waterproof membrane, it is the Lot owner’s responsibility to rectify the defect and the Lot owner will be liable for any damage caused by the leak (most likely to the Lot below).

Section 129 of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 (“Act”) requires a Lot owner to properly maintain in a state of good and serviceable repair any part of the Lot that affects the outward appearance of the Lot or the use or enjoyment of other Lots or the Common Property.

Notwithstanding that the defect is a private property matter, the Owners Corporation is empowered by the Act to get involved. Where for example a flow of water emanates from private property, section 48(1) of the Act enables the Owners Corporation to serve a notice stating that the Lot is not properly maintained and requiring that the Lot owner carry out the necessary repairs, maintenance or other works. This notice will require the Lot owner to do so within 28 days, failing which the Owners Corporation may carry out the necessary repairs, maintenance or other works to the Lot and recover as a debt from the Lot owner the costs of the repairs, maintenance or other works.

Further, from a legal liability perspective, it is critically important that Lot owners with leaks emanating from their property act quickly to address the issue. Section 16(1) of the Water Act 1989 provides that:

(1) If-

   (a)  there is a flow of water from the land of a person onto any other

        land; and

   (b)  that flow is not reasonable; and

   (c)  the water causes-

   (i)  injury to any other person; or

   (ii) damage to the property (whether real or personal) of any other person; or

   (iii) any other person to suffer economic loss- the person who caused the

        flow is liable to pay damages to that other person in respect of that

        injury, damage or loss…

that other person is liable to pay damages in respect of the injury, damage or

loss.

Effectively, this section means that if water flowing from a Lot causes damage to a Lot below, the owner of the Lot from which the water emanates is strictly liable for the damage caused to the Lot below. It is not relevant whether the Lot owner has been negligent or even aware of the leak.

Having regard to the water damage being caused by the leaks and the legal exposure of the Lot owner from whose Lot the leak is emanating, it is in everyone’s interests for all leaks to be addressed and rectified as soon as possible. To that end, it is encouraged that all parties work together to address the issue. Your Owners Corporation Manager is a great resource and can provide assistance in navigating the intricacies of the building defects process.

Indeed, if the building is less than 10 years old, the waterproofing defect should be covered by the implied warranties contained in the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995. This means that the Lot owner can pursue the Builder to rectify the defects and pay for any consequential damage.

Should you be involved in a water leak matter and wish to explore your legal options, please contact Mark Lipshutz at CLP Lawyers Pty Ltd on 9042 2070 or at mark@clplawyers.com.au.

The information contained in this article is for general guidance and reference purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice.  Please consult CLP Lawyers to obtain legal advice relevant to your personal circumstances before making any decision or taking any action.  CLP Lawyers will not be liable for any loss resulting from any Action taken or reliance made by you on any information contained in this article.

© 2016 CLP Lawyers Pty Ltd

Download a Statement for your Owners Corporation Account

tax-time

Included in the July Owners Corporation fee notices was an instruction document that outlined how you, a Lot owner, can log into your property portal on The Knight website to download a statement of your account that shows transactions for the previous financial year.

This will show how much you have paid in Owners Corporation fees and will be sufficient to provide to your tax agent.

To be able to retrieve this document you need to visit our website www.theknight.com.au  and register for the property log in section. Once you have been verified as the Lot owner you will receive your password, use this to log in and click on your Members Transaction Statement.

You are then able to enter the date range you require and click Submit. A link will appear which once clicked will produce a PDF document for your records.

Staff Changes at The Knight

Elena and Sheena

The Knight bids a fond farewell to two long serving staff members; Elena Goncharov and Sheena De Silva-Jayasekera.

Elena (Accounts Department) and Sheena (Administration Department) have worked for The Knight for a combined 19 years and all staff at The Knight would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and efforts over the years. We wish Elena well in retirement and Sheena all the best for the next stage of her career; they will definitely be missed around the office.

The Knight is in the process of recruiting to fill Elena’s position and has recently employed two administration staff to add to The Knight team. Melissa Reid and Melissa Preston have joined as Administration Assistants and we extend a warm welcome to them both. The Knight now boasts a team of 26 employees.

High density living initiatives

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Designer Line
Don’t have a tumble dryer or want to save on electricity costs? The Designer Line can be installed within your apartment and is an environmentally friendly way of drying your clothes.

The Designer Line comes in a number of different colours that may suit the décor of your home.

Website: http://designerline.com/

Fresh patch

If you own a dog or cat and reside in an apartment, unit or townhouse then this may be the product for you.

Recently featured on Channel 10 program Shark Tank Fresh Patch offers a service where they provide fresh patches of real grass to be placed on balconies and courtyards where your pet can do its business. The grass helps to absorb urine and controls odours.

Website: https://www.freshpatch.com.au/

 

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May 2016 Newsletter

The Knight Everything Owners Corporation

Welcome to the May Newsletter

Welcome to the May 2016 edition of The Knight News. In this edition we include The Knight’s guide to the election of a Committee of Management, include a video which provides some helpful hints on how to approach your neighbours in relation to a dispute and we include an article published by Resolute Property Protect explaining what Owners Corporation insurance covers.

With the latest Owners Corporation fee notices that were sent around we encouraged all Owners to download our Smartphone Application ‘App’ and highlighted the benefits of receiving all information and invoices via email. This has been very successful with downloads of our ‘App’ increasing greatly.

If you haven’t done so yet, we certainly encourage you to do so as the ‘App’ is free, provides information on your property and affords the ability for you to receive push notifications advising of particular Owners Corporation matters.

Gregor Evans,
Director

How to deal with your noisy neighbour

The video above is some helpful information on how to approach your neighbour when there is a noise dispute or other disturbance.

Before you approach your neighbour, plan what you are going to say. If you are pleasant and keep calm then they are more likely to respond positively.

Pick the best moment — try to find a time when you can remain calm and your neighbour will listen to, understand and resolve your concern.

The best approach might be to explain how the noise disturbs your need for peace, relaxation or sleep, and how this makes you feel.

Try to focus on what you are hearing, rather than what your neighbour is doing. You could suggest a reasonable action that may help solve the problem by asking ‘would you be willing to…?’.

If talking to your neighbour does not resolve the problem, or if you feel intimidated and worried they may be aggressive, you do have other options available.

EPA Website

 

The Knight’s guide to Election of an Owners Corporation Committee of Management

Voting in Owners Corporations

Section 103(4) of the OC Act 2006 states that a Lot owner or proxy can nominate for election to the Committee of Management in writing or orally if the Lot owner is present at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  However, to ensure that the AGM is run as efficiently as possible, should a Lot owner or a proxy for a Lot owner wish to nominate for election to the Committee of Management, The Knight requests that the completed Committee of Management Nomination Form is returned to the Owners Corporation Manager no later than 5 business days before the AGM.

Section 103(7) of the OC Act states that if a Lot owner is in arrears for any amount of fees or other amount owed to the Owners Corporation then the Lot owner or a proxy for the Lot owner is not eligible to be elected as a Member of the Committee. Accordingly, if you intend to nominate for election to the Committee of Management, you must ensure that you have paid all outstanding monies owed to the Owners Corporation prior to the AGM.

An OC affecting 13 or more Lots must elect a Committee at each AGM whereas an OC affecting less than 13 lots may elect a Committee at an AGM. A Committee must have at least 3 and not more than 12 members. A motion can however be put forward to reduce the number of Committee Members to a figure less than 12 but not less than 3. For reasons of effectiveness and efficiency it is recommended by Strata Community Australia (VIC) that a Committee of Management has a maximum of 7 members.

As per S.103(6) of the OC Act, the Owners Corporation may at an AGM or SGM resolve to add or remove a Committee member or replace or remove a Committee. 

  • Election of Committee of Management nominees where there is equal or less nominees to the number of positions

The election can be done one of two ways as follows:

  1. Motion to be put forward for all nominees to be elected onto the Committee of Management as a block. Should the vote receive a majority of ‘yes’ votes then all nominees are elected onto the Committee.
  1. Motion to be put forward that each nominee is elected individually onto the Committee of Management. In accordance with S.92(2) of the OC Act a nominee can only be elected if they receive a majority of votes cast at a meeting i.e. if there are 20 people at a meeting and 5 people wish to abstain from the vote then the number of votes cast would be 15 and therefore a nominee would require 8 votes in favour to be elected onto the Committee. 
  • Election of Committee of Management nominees where there are more nominees to the number of positions

There is to be a vote for each nominee and each nominee is to be elected individually as detailed above. Sometimes this can be easier to do by written vote. In accordance with S.92(1) of the OC Act a meeting can resolve to vote in writing rather by show of hands where there is one vote for each Lot.

Alternatively, it is to be noted that in accordance with S.92(3) of the OC Act, if a Lot owner or proxy for a Lot owner requests that a poll be taken then a written vote must be conducted where there is one vote for each unit of Lot entitlement.

If the result of a vote is that more nominees receive a majority vote than there are positions available, then the positions will be filled on a countback by those with the highest percentage of yes votes.

However, if there is more than one person tied for the last available position, with an identical percentage of yes votes, then the meeting will need to decide on one or a combination of the below options as to how to break the deadlock, as the OC Act is silent on what should occur.

  • Ask whether anyone wishes to withdraw their nomination for the Committee.
  • Put forward a motion to vote between the nominees tied for the last available position. The nominee with the most yes votes is to be elected on the proviso that they have received a majority of votes. If the motion results in a tie, the Chairperson will have a casting vote pursuant to S.93 of the OC Act.
  • Suggest that a motion be put forward to reduce the number of Committee Members to a number that would ensure there is no tie for the last position.

By way of comparison, and what may be a final option if none of the above are agreed upon, section 27(12) of the Body Corporate and Community Management Regulation 2008 (Queensland legislation) states the following when it comes to 2 or more persons tying for twelfth spot:

‘If, on a counting of votes, 2 or more persons each receive an identical number of votes and the number of persons to be elected would be exceeded if the 2 or more persons were declared elected, the result of the ballot must be decided between the 2 or more persons by chance in the way the meeting decides.’

Once an Owners Corporation Committee of Management has been elected, unless there has been a specific delegation of powers made, the Committee of Management is automatically delegated all powers and functions of the Owners Corporation that are able to be delegated in accordance with S.11(5) of the OC Act.

Should you have any queries about the process for electing a Committee of Management, we encourage you to contact The Knight prior to the AGM so that any issues may be cleared up in advance.

Residential Strata Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

Resolute Insurance

The Knight office often receives questions from Owners in regards to insurance.

Each newsletter will cover a different aspect of insurance and hopefully this kind of information will be of value to Owners.

What is a building generally covered for under a strata insurance policy?
Strata insurance policies generally cover material damage as a result of an insured peril to structural fixtures including fixed plant, machinery and underground services. The policy also generally extends to provide cover for proprietors’ fixtures, fittings and improvements which form part of the building. Some of these items include built-in ovens, stovetops, kitchen cupboards, hand basins, baths, showers, spas and pools in common areas.

What is not covered under a strata building policy?
This policy 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 household or landlord insurance policy.

What if i rent out my unit?
Unit owners need to purchase landlord insurance as a separate policy to the strata cover. Landlord insurance includes carpets, curtains, blinds, light fittings and electrical appliances not wired into the premises, and any furniture provided. The policy also provides liability insurance protection for any third party property damage which may occur at the premises, and for which the unit owner may be legally liable.

What if i live in my unit?
As an owner occupier of a unit, you should arrange cover for your furniture, personal contents, jewellery, collections and other special items. Contents insurance policies provide liability insurance protection for any third party injuries or damage to third party property that may occur anywhere in Australia.

Cover Features
Building Replacement & Reinstatement
Provides cover for the building structure and any fixtures and fittings in common property areas.

Common Contents
Covers appliances, equipment, furniture, fittings and works of art in any common area for which the Owners Corporation is responsible.

Fidelity Guarantee
Protection for the Owners Corporation against fraudulent embezzlement or fraudulent misappropriation of the Owners Corporation funds.

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 the unit.

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.

Personal Accident for Voluntary Workers
Provides compensation to any person who voluntarily works on behalf of the Owners Corporation. The volunteer worker’s name must be recorded in the books of the Owners Corporation.

Optional Extras
Office Bearers
Protects the members of the committee where liability has arisen from an alleged or wrongful act, omission or breach of duty. Covers the liability and legal costs up to the sum insured.

Machinery Breakdown
Provides cover for sudden or unforeseen physical destruction or damage to machinery.

Catastrophe
Provides an additional sum insured where the building is considered a total loss or partial loss due to a catastrophe where a state of emergency is declared such as an earthquake, bushfire, tsunami or cyclone.

This resolute brochure is not intended to be advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice. Please contact resolute pty ltd abn 53 157 850 827 licence number: 425 966 for further information or refer to our website.

Email Communication & the App

The benefits of Email

With the last quarter’s Owners Corporation fee notices The Knight sent out correspondence explaining how each person can do a little to save their Owners Corporation money. By encouraging all Owners to sign up to receive fee notices and correspondence via email this will reduce the costs of printing and postage.
This has been a success with many Owners changing the method in which they receive invoices and correspondence especially.

There are numerous benefits to receiving communication from The Knight via email including the saving on postage and printing costs, the speed in which you receive information, the reduced harm on the environment and that you always have the record of the email instead of misplacing the paper fee notice.

Also, if you have downloaded the ‘App’ and saved your property you will receive push notifications when there is something of use for you to know. This could be a reminder of when the Annual General Meeting is going to be held or works that are taking place at the property.

If The Knight has your mobile number on file you will also now receive a text message reminder if your Owners Corporation levies are overdue.

New Properties

New Owners Corporations
New Owners Corporations under The Knight Management

With more than a quarter of the year gone The Knight would like to welcome on board all Lot owners who have bought into properties managed by us and to Owners Corporations who have engaged us as their Owners Corporation Manager this year.

The properties shown above equate to just some of the fantastic buildings we have had the pleasure of taking over in 2016. These buildings highlight the range of properties that The Knight manage, ranging from 6 Townhouses in St Kilda to 91 Apartments in South Yarra The Knight provides professional Owners Corporation management to all.

Shown above, clockwise from top left are:

828 Burke Road, Camberwell
‘Yarra House’, 18 Yarra Street, South Yarra
‘Evie’, 63-69 Rouse Street, Port Melbourne
6 Charlotte Place, St Kilda
‘FRD’, 2 Morton Avenue, Carnegie

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
Director

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.

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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!


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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/

website

July Newsletter

Welcome to The Knight Newsletter

In this edition of The Knight Newsletter we launch our new website, discuss and launch our brand new Smartphone App, detail the benefits of receiving your invoices by email and discuss our upcoming change of Banking provider.

You may have already noticed that our website has been re-designed but if not I encourage you to take a look and let us know what you think. This newsletter has also had a makeover to be more user friendly, modern and easier to read.

Robert Evans
The Knight

Website

NEW: New Website Goes Live!!

We are very excited to introduce our new Knight website www.theknight.com.au

The new website is designed to allow the user to easily navigate around the pages and find the information they require at the touch of a button, to be able to interact with The Knight and to request such things as keys, remotes, fobs, OC Certificates, a maintenance request, and access the property log in area.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on our new site. Please email scott@theknight.com.au and let him know!

Macquarie

Change of Bank Provider

The Knight have recently decided to move our Owners Corporation accounts to Macquarie Bank Limited. This will take effect from Monday 17th August 2015.

Our prime motivation for the move is to increase flexibility and convenience for Owners when making levy payments, as Macquarie Bank, through DEFT Payment systems, has a wide range of payment options including the capability to set up a recurring payment.

More information will be sent to all Owners in due course.

Once you receive further correspondence on this matter and you have any queries please feel free to contact our office or email General Manager Joyce Evans on joyce@theknight.com.au.

Understanding how Owners Corporations can make decisions

The Owners Corporations Act 2006, ‘The Act’, stipulates the way in which Owners Corporations can make decisions. Matters of varying importance require different ways for a decision to be reached.
‘The Act’ refers to three different types of resolutions that an Owners Corporation can pass; ordinary, special and unanimous. The most common resolution is an ordinary resolution and unless ‘The Act’ states that a special or unanimous resolution is required then an ordinary resolution is to be passed.

Ordinary resolutions

Ordinary resolutions are required for the making of every day-to-day decisions of the Owners Corporation.

Should an Owners Corporation Committee of Management not be delegated the authority to pass ordinary resolutions then ordinary resolutions of an Owners Corporation must either be reached at a general meeting or by ballot.

At a general meeting an ordinary resolution is passed if there is a quorum (a quorum is at least 50% of total votes or 50% total lot entitlement represented) and a simple majority of votes cast based on one vote per Lot. A representative of a Lot can however request that a poll be taken based on one vote per unit of lot entitlement*.

Should a general meeting not have a quorum then the meeting can still proceed however all matters requiring an ordinary resolution are deemed to be interim resolutions. Interim resolutions become resolutions of the Owners Corporation 29 days after the meeting subject to the meeting minutes and notice of all interim resolutions being issued to all Lot owners within 14 days of the meeting and no notice of a special general meeting given within the 29 day period.

An ordinary resolution can be passed by ballot on the basis that a majority of votes is returned by the closing date of the ballot subject to the number of votes returned not being less that the number needed for a quorum.

If in accordance with S.11 (2) of ‘The Act’ a Committee has been delegated the authority to pass ordinary resolutions then an ordinary resolution can be passed by majority of Committee Members present at a Committee Meeting subject to there being a quorum at the meeting (at least half of Committee Members represented). A Committee can also pass an ordinary resolution by ballot if the majority of Committee Members agree prior to the closing date of the ballot.

Special resolution

A special resolution is required for matters such as an Owners Corporation implementing or amending Owners Corporation rules, an Owners Corporation entering into a lease/license of common property or if an Owners Corporation is to provide a service to Lot owners.

A special resolution is passed if by ballot or poll 75% of the total lot entitlements of all the Lots affected by the Owners Corporation vote in favour otherwise in any other case, 75% of the total votes for all Lots affected by the Owners Corporation.
Should however the vote in favour of a matter requiring a special resolution be at least 50% of the total votes for all Lots affected by the Owners Corporation and the vote against the resolution not more than 25% of those votes then the resolution is deemed to be an interim special resolution.

Should an interim special resolution being reached then all Lot owners must be notified within 14 days. 29 days after the interim special resolution is passed it becomes a special resolution unless Lot owners who hold more than 25% of the total votes for all the Lots affected by the Owners Corporation petition the secretary against the resolution.

Unanimous resolution

A unanimous resolution is required to dispose of all or part of common property.

A unanimous resolution of an Owners Corporation is passed if by ballot or poll 100% of the total Lot entitlements of all Lots affected by the Owners Corporation agree or in any other case, the total votes for all the lots affected by the Owners Corporation agree.

*Unit of Lot entitlement – Each Lot is assigned a total number of units of Lot entitlement. The Plan of Subdivision lists the total units of Lot entitlement for each Lot.

Email

The benefits of Email to your Owners Corporation

If you choose to receive your Fee Notices and Correspondence via email you will receive the notice in your inbox on the day it is issued and can save, file or print from there.
The benefits of The Knight having your correct and most up to date contact details are fairly obvious. Firstly, it allows us the ability to contact you in an emergency, allows us to send correspondence and levies directly, and reduces postage costs when sending large documents like Annual General Meeting Agendas and Minutes.
Apart from these benefits, there is also the significant reduction on the amount of paper waste which contributes to the sustainability of the planet.

If you and your fellow Owners at the property all sign up to receive correspondence and invoices via email then there will be very few disbursement costs at the end of the year which is saving you money as an Owner. The other side to this is that if an Owner still receives their correspondence via the post and a large document is sent out then effectively all Owners that receive documents by email are paying for that Owner who receives it by post. Encourage your neighbours to sign up for email now!!

TKA APP

NEW: TKA APP GOES LIVE

Download it now!

iPhone Users here!
Android Users here!

Once you have downloaded the App it will ask you to enter your Owners Corporation number and press save. Once this has saved to your phone, you will receive a notification once new information is posted to the Notices section.

This allows your Manager to advise you immediately of any urgent works being carried out at the property. If your car gate is stuck closed, your lift is out of order, the power has been cut off, the water has been switched off or anything of an emergency nature we are able to send a notice to the App and notify all residents that have downloaded the App. The benefits of Owners/Residents knowing this information as it happens is crucial and can save you a phone call and allow the Manager to get on with fixing the problem instead of fielding multiple calls about the same issue.
This new initiative is another example of The Knight being at the forefront of the Owners Corporation Management industry and exploring more ways to communicate with Owners and residents.

Owners are also able to use this App just like our website portal by logging in: this allows you to view property documents, check your account statements, view your transaction history, change personal details and read Annual General Meeting Agendas and Minutes.

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Short Term Apartment Stays

belo-200x200-4d851c5b28f61931bf1df28dd15e60efThe 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. (Websites like ‘Airbnb’ are growing in stature.)

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.

Return to this 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 whom co-habitate 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.

RRE Managing Director
The Knight Alliance
theknight.com.au

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March 2015

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Welcome

Aus-Day-Card-2015_Draft_V4.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 theknight@theknight.com.au.

Member Log In

sign-upMember 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

shower_2035920bWhy 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

IMG_0256Meet 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!

Renovations Article

Print 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

IMG_03934Founder 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

beach-huts

December 2014

body corporate services

Welcome

melbourne owners corporations

In this edition our Frequently Asked Question comes from an Owner who would like to know what a Maintenance Plan is and why their Owners Corporation should have one, we introduce Claire Tranquille one of our Managers Assistants, encourage you to sign up for and use our Member Log In area, provide an article from Whitbread Insurance Brokers on Flood Insurance, and ask for your feedback in relation to our performance at your property over the last 12 months.

2014 Thanks
Staff at The Knight Alliance would like to take this opportunity to thank all Owners for their support throughout the year, especially the Committee members who give up their time on a voluntary basis to help with the smooth running of all matters at the building.

Christmas Closing Hours
The Knight Alliance office will close on Tuesday 23rd December at 3pm and re-open at 9am on Monday 12th January 2015.

Member Log In

property manager melbourne

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 also.
When you sign up to our Member Log In area you are able to choose how you receive documentation by selecting these boxes:

inside-login-area

Sign up today by clicking here.

FAQ: What is a Maintenance Plan?

property manager melbourne

Maintenance Plans: What are they?

A maintenance plan is a long term forecast (of at least 10 years) which identifies major repairs, replacement of common property and related services. Based upon the approved maintenance plan, a regular levy will be raised and will be ongoing over the life of the plan.

The benefits of a maintenance plan certainly far exceed the cost of them. Some properties don’t want to spend the money but the reality is that without a maintenance funding plan some owners can be hit very hard in the event of an unforseen event and it usually happens at a “bad time”. Sometimes the unforseen cost can put an owner into crisis.

Under the Owners Corporation Act 2006, your owner’s corporation must repair and maintain:

  • The common property
  • Chattels, fixtures, fittings and services related to the common property
  • Equipment and services that benefit some or all of the lots and common property
  • Property that is its responsibility.

All owners corporations, committees and delegates must exercise due care and diligence in carrying out functions and powers, including maintenance and repairs.

As buildings age, they require ongoing maintenance. Over time, the building envelope will require repairs and in some instances replacement of major components. Good maintenance helps retain the value of the building and makes the property more enjoyable to live in. Poor maintenance or neglect can lead to serious damage and safety hazards. A maintenance plan is a long-range financial planning process that identifies the current status of an owners corporation common building elements and provides a funding plan to offset the anticipated future major common property replacement obligations. It can also increase the resale value of your property. A property that minimizes the risk or potential of an unforseen special levy to cover the cost of an expensive repair or replacement will be much more attractive to the informed consumer (purchaser).

The purpose of a maintenance plan is to have Lot owners within the Owners Corporation pay their proportionate share of common strata component replacement costs based on their period of ownership and on their units of liability. Fairness to current and future owners is assured as irregular non-annual expenses are offset by ongoing regular contributions. This sustains the long term financial health of any maintenance and repair costs through a funding strategy designed to cover future expenditures.

Owners Corporation Committee Members and Owners Corporation Managers can also potentially face increasing liability with respect to fiduciary responsibilities associated with the ongoing maintenance of common property. They can therefore minimize their risk by commissioning a maintenance plan and acting upon the recommendations within the report.

One should also consider that the lack of a maintenance plan can potentially open the door to legal action from any unit owners who suffer an increased financial burden due to a lack of maintenance and repair by the Owners Corporation. This in turn can also potentially affect the committee member’s liability coverage within the OC’s insurance policy. In order to be covered by the insurer all Owner’s Corporations, committees and delegates must exercise due care and diligence in carrying out functions and powers, including maintenance and repairs.

In the event that an owner pursues legal action to seek compensation for their losses, the Owner’s Corporation may be able to use the existence of a maintenance plan to mitigate the damages. By deferring to the maintenance plan, the committee of management is exercising their due diligence and care in ensuring that their building is adequately maintained as they are now relying on the documented advice of the building envelope professionals.

Andrea Pluckhahn
OC Manager

Meet a Staff Member

property manager melbourne

Work Related

1. What is your current position, and how long have you worked for The Knight Alliance?
O.C. Managers Assistant since Dec 2012

2. What first attracted you to work in Owners Corporations?
I like working with people and property. I have had other roles in related fields and this job looked appealing.

3. What does your job entail?
Customer Service, arranging property maintenance and obtaining quotes for projects/upgrades, assisting with AGM documentation including budgets, writing and distributing letters/circulars, liaising with owners and agents and supporting the Owners Corporation Manager in all tasks.

4. What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
Time management and organising all jobs into my working week.

5. What do you like most about your job?
The level of responsibility and the variation of tasks.

6. How would you describe your role in 3 words?
Involved, rewarding and educational.

7. Do you have any amusing stories from your time at The Knight?
We received a few reports from residents that an apartment had a very bad decaying smell. Residents feared for the worst as the property was not tenanted and the Owners would rarely stay at the apartment. We could not get a hold of the Owner and so their agent was called who provided access into their apartment. We found a collection of meat on the kitchen bench which was the cause of the terrible smell.
When we finally got a hold of the Owners, they advised that they had removed all of the frozen items from their freezer upon vacating. They thought they had disposed of them into the bin but obviously they were mistaken!!

Personal

8. What are your hobbies?
Going to the gym and walking

9. What is your ideal holiday destination?
Somewhere in the country with lots of outdoor activities and wineries!!

10. What is your mantra/motto?
Good things comes to those who persist

Insurance and Flood Cover

Confusion still reigns in the market place as to what constitutes a flood and how Strata Insurance policies respond.
After the floods of 2011, the insurance council of Australia introduced a statutory definition of flood for insurance contracts in an effort to standardise the scope of cover and reduce consumer confusion. As of 19 June 2014, all insurers were required to apply the statuary definition of ‘flood’.

Flood Definition:
The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any of the following:

  • A lake
  • A river
  • A creek
  • Another natural watercourse
  • A reservoir
  • A canal
  • A dam

What is the difference between floodwater, rainwater and run off?

Whitbread recommend you refer to the definitions in the specific Strata Insurance policy wording, but generally:

    • Floodwater means the covering of normally dry land by water escaping or released from rivers, lakes, channels, dams or canals.
    • Rainwater means water falling from the skies that runs off over the surface of the land(and may include water overflowing from stormwater drains).
    • Run off means rainwater that has collected on or has flowed across normally dry ground or has overflowed from swimming pools or spas.

How does an insurer decide whether the damage has been caused by a flood, rainwater or run off?
The insurer will appoint a loss adjuster to inspect and provide their opinion on the cause. However, where there is doubt, the expertise of a hydrologist is employed to determine whether the water damage to a property has been caused by flood, rainwater or run off.
The hydrologists look at where the water originated from ie a river or storm water run-off, the direction the water flowed and when and how the water entered the property.
In the event that the property has been damaged by rainwater and flood water, the hydrologists have to determine what happened first.

How do insurers rate eligibility for flood cover?
Insurers are utilising a combination of the Insurance Council Australia’s National Flood Identification Database and their own modelling to rate flood at a property address level. This enables insurers to assess the specific level of flood risk to each individual property and apply a risk based premium.
CHU is no providing flood cover as a mandatory inclusion where the property has been rated as negligible to low risk.
Whitbread will highlight this inclusion when we provide you with the Owners Corporation insurance terms.

If a strata insurance policy EXCLUDES flood, what does it cover?
Most Strata Insurance Policies will cover the OC for ‘storm’, ‘rainwater’, and ‘run-off’, but the exact definition of each of these words will depend on the relevant Strata Insurance policy wording. These policies commonly include damage resulting from rain and rainwater run off resulting from storms.

If a strata insurance policy includes flood, what does it cover?
In addition to storm, rainwater and run off, a strata insurance policy that provides flood cover will also respond to any water that escapes or overflows when a river, creek, lake, reservoir, canal or dam bursts its banks.

The Knight in the News

dockland-news

Owners’ corporations across Melbourne are joining forces, with three different groups formed over the past year.

While not all of the group are officially registered associations, they all involve networks of owners’ corporation members, including representation from Docklands, Southbank and the CBD.
The Owners Corporation Network of Victoria (OCNV), which is headed up by Docklands Community Association president Roger Gardner, was formally registered in July and, according to Mr Gardner, has 10 committee members.

The group is modelled on similar bodies interstate and Mr Gardner said he was liaising with these groups and, in the long-term, it was hoped a national network would be developed.
“The OCNV is intended to do a lot of good, as has been done interstate,” Mr Gardner said. Apart from the OCNV, a separate group, the Metropolitan Owners Corporation Committee Association (MOCCA) started meeting in September.

Group co-ordinator Helina Marshall said, the group was not currently a formal, registered association and said this may or may not happen depending on how the group developed.
She said the group was formed to allow OCs to share information and knowledge and learn from each other and did not currently have a political agenda.

Currently 11 buildings are involved with the group, with representation from the CBD, Yarra’s Edge, New Quay and St Kilda Rd. All but one Yarra’s Edge tower is represented in the group.

The third OC group to recently form is the Chairman’s Council, a network of owners’ corporation chairs from building managed by strata management group The Knight Alliance.

The group is not currently an official association, with only preliminary discussions having taken place so far.

Discussions about developing an OC network were initiated by The Knight Alliance’s Robert Evans after holding a “Chairman’s Supper” attended by 65 chairs from within The Knight Alliance’s property portfolio.

The three groups are currently operating independently, although there has been some communication between the groups.

It’s understood the Chairman’s Council has had representation from Mr Gardner and has been contacted by MOCCA about collaboration.

Mr Gardner confirmed he had presented to the Chairman’s Council and said some members had expressed interest in joining the OCNV.

He described the Chairman’s Council as a “subsidiary group” and said it was “in no way a rival body”.
“I was invited to address their group to explain the OCNV. As a result some of their clients are joining the OCNV and one is on the committee.”

Mr Gardner said he had not heard of MOCCA until asked about the group by Docklands News.
He said: “It is not hard to guess that a few disaffected chairs in Docklands have formed their own group which, again, hardly competes with the OCNV.”
“Unfortunately egos can get in the way and whilst any divisiveness occurring is a shame it is unlikely to make any significant difference.”
It’s understood some of the individuals involved with MOCCA had initially been involved with the OCNV before forming the alternate group.
Mr Gardner said both MOCCA and the Chairman’s Council were different to the OCNV and did not see them as competing groups.
“There is no competition, there may be other groups but they are not the official association which will be liaising with government.”

According to Mr Evans, in order to have an effective voice for owner’s corporations there needs to be one representative body.

“This is now the task of all interested parties to make it happen,” Mr Evans said.

Committee-Photo

August 2014

Welcome

strata body corporate

Only last week Melbourne was voted both the most liveable and the friendliest City in the World, including receiving 100% in areas of healthcare, education, sport and infrastructure!

So get out and explore what Melbourne has to offer this Spring!

Even more exciting than an award is that with a new season, comes the next instalment of The Knight Alliance Newsletter!

In this edition we discuss recycling of plastics, introduce a staff member, discuss our newly designed Member Log In Area, and how to join the committee of your Owners Corporation.

Feedback

We love hearing feedback on our services and what you think of this newsletter so click here and take the latest TKA survey.

Blog

We have recently begun posting a small blog to our website at least twice a month, Take a look for some tips and knowledge on living in an Owners Corporation. Click here for the blog.

NEW: Member Log In Upgrade

sign-upIf you have visited our Member Log In area recently, you will have seen that it has a new design! So don’t delay, have a look and sign up today by clicking here.

The Member Log In allows you to access extensive information relating to your Owners Corporation including the ability to view Agendas / Minutes, a real time transaction history, a statement of your account, insurance documents and rules for your property along with updating your personal details and choosing how you would like to receive documents.

We would encourage you to utilise this service and sign up for correspondence to be sent via email to reduce the cost to your Owners Corporation.

FAQ

owners corporationHow do I become involved in making decisions that relate to my Owners

Corporation?

An Owners Corporation Committee of Management (Committee) typically makes the majority of decisions that affect an Owners Corporation.

This is because the Committee is often delegated all of the powers and functions that may be exercised by the Owners Corporation with the exception of a power or function that requires a unanimous resolution, a special resolution or a resolution at a general meeting. Certain powers and functions can be delegated to others including the Manager, Chairperson and Lot Owners. Section 11 of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 (‘Act’) attends to this matter of delegation.

If you want to become involved in making decisions relating to your Owners Corporation you should therefore look to join the Owners Corporation Committee. It is a requirement of the ‘Act’ that an Owners Corporation that has more than 12 Lots on its Plan of Subdivision must elect a Committee, represented by at least 3 and not more than 12 members, at every Annual General Meeting. Notwithstanding it is The Knight Alliance’s recommendation that every Owners Corporation should elect a Committee of Management.

To be eligible to nominate for election as a member of the Committee you must be a Lot owner or a proxy for a Lot owner. To nominate for the Committee you can do so in writing prior to the Annual General Meeting or in person at the meeting. To be elected onto the Committee you must receive a majority of votes of those lot owners represented at the meeting.

A Committee can make decisions (a.k.a. ‘resolutions’) either by ballot or at formal committee meetings. There is no requirement for a Committee to meet however should there be ongoing issues that need to be dealt with a Committee meeting is usually the best method to get these issues resolved. The Committee determines how often they wish to meet and ballots are generally conducted via email in accordance with the Electronic Transactions (Vic) Act 2000.

If you are considering joining the Committee it is recommended that you ensure you have the availability to attend meetings, take part in ballots and communicate with other Committee Members.

If you choose not to become a Committee Member however still want to be involved you may wish to become a member of a sub-committee should the Committee choose to appoint a sub-committee to deal with a particular matter.

If you are not interested in wanting to be involved in the decision making process but would like to raise a matter to be considered by the Committee or Owners Corporation then this can be done by either issuing correspondence to the Committee via the Owners Corporation Manager or raising a matter under other business at the Annual General Meeting.

Recycling Plastic

victoria body corporateWhat plastics can be recycled and where?

One easy and quick test you can perform is the “scrunch test”, this immediately tells you which bin to put that plastic in.
If you can scrunch your plastic product and completely destroy its structure, like a plastic bag, it belongs in the general waste bin. However if the product maintains its structural integrity, like a plastic bottle, you can recycle it.

All of the following items and more can go in the usual City of Melbourne recycle bin:

  • Shampoo Bottles
  • Take-away food containers
  • Yoghurt Tubs
  • Butter and ice-cream containers
  • Lids from take-away coffee cups
  • Biscuit trays
  • Juice and milk Cartons
  • Cleaning and detergent bottles.

To keep scrunchable plastic bags and soft plastic packaging out of landfill, you can avoid collecting them, reuse them and also now take them to major supermarkets to be recycled too.

What’s On In Melbourne

victoria body corporateMelbourne has so much to offer in Spring, see some of the best events on the calendar below.

For more details visit (Whats on in melbourne)

Arts

1st-12th September: Annual and Awards Sculpture Exhibition @ 120 Collins Street.
The annual exhibition of the Association of Sculptors returns to the city with an exciting display of recent sculptures.

3rd – 27th September: Tom Evangelidis Façade Exhibition @ Edmund Pearce Gallery.
See an architectural photography exhibition of work shot over a period of 10 years by renowned interior and architecture photographer Tom Evangelidis.

4th – 12th September: Attend the Environmental Film Festival at the Kino Cinema for groundbreaking films that challenge the way you think about the natural world.

1st September – 26th October: Dreamworks Animation – The Exhibition. Visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to discover the creativity behind 20 years of beloved DreamWorks animated films in the studio’s first ever international exhibition.

Sport

27th September: AFL Grand Final MCG.
The AFL grand final offers sheer atmosphere and excitement and is a truly unique Australian experience.

19th October: Bupa Around the Bay
Bupa Around the Bay – Ride for a Child in Need is Australia’s largest one-day bike ride.

1st – 8th November: Melbourne Cup Carnival
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a world-class event that encompasses the finest racing, entertainment, fashion, culture, food and wine at Flemington.

Expos & Trade Shows

6th September: Educational Photo Expo at Victoria University.
Eleven seminars, four workshops and exhibitors will cover both the art of photography and how to enhance and display your photos.

3rd – 5th October: Cake Bake & Sweets Show @ Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Whether you are a foodie, home baker or cake decorator, this show is Australia’s biggest event dedicated to everything baking!

11th & 12th October: Gluten Free Expo and Conference @ Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
At the Gluten Free Expo you can discover, taste, sample and buy with more than 80 exhibitors showcasing the latest gluten free foods.

Food & Wine Festivals

20th & 21st September: Oktoberfest @ Hophaus Bier Bar Grill
Oktoberfest in Melbourne will never be the same again, as Hophaus brings a splash of German beer and culture to Southbank.

4th – 5th September: Flavour Exchange @ Federation Square.
Celebrate the flavours of each incoming season at Fed Square’s quarterly tasting event.

Music

3rd September: Boy & Bear at The Palais

4th October: Listen Out 2014 at Observatory Precinct