Are you an Owner in the unknown about Flammable Cladding?

In the City of Sydney alone, there is a list of more than 340 properties that are at potential risk from flammable cladding, but no one is doing anything about it.

 

It is difficult as an owner to know what to do about the issue of flammable cladding because you don’t know what you don’t know or what you can’t find.

 

Take NSW’s recent decision to remove the mandatory fire-risk assessments to determine flammable cladding risks. The government has a register of buildings potentially at risk and is not releasing it to the public. More than 340 buildings are on the register, including residential living, lecture theatres and sports facilities. Only seven have had fire safety orders set. [1]

 

Owners are being left in the dark about the safety of their building and this is not uncommon for owners to experience uncertainty when living in strata. You may be experiencing this too?

 

Your rights to information:

 

As an owner your right to a building’s information is paramount to protect yourself and your assets.  Access to information enables you to be proactive to rectify any foreseeable issues and importantly removes that sense of uncertainty and you know your building better.

 

This comes down to the strata management and the owners corporation and their processes to provide transparent information.

 

For example, an owner was bought in a building when it was in the development stage, she read the draft bylaws and it was originally a pet-friendly building. In the first 18 months, the owners corporation updated the bylaws and banned all pets except for existing pets in residence.

 

The update of the bylaw happened while the owner was overseas and she received no communication about the change until she was at the point of moving into her apartment. Unfortunately, she couldn’t move in with her pets.

 

This case alone shows the importance of information being transparently conveyed to you.

 

There are different bylaws or rules in each building and they are often in draft version when purchasing off the plan but it is imperative as an owner you have access to the information within your building at all times.

 

The same applies not just for bylaws or rules but for every aspect of the building especially it’s safety.

 

Our Advice:

As an Owner you need to know the fundamentals of the building and ask the questions such as:

 

  • Is it a cladding approved building?
  • Does the building comply with all the safety legislation?
  • Do I have access to the bylaws, books and records?
  • How is information being communicated with us? Is it frequent or just once a year?

 

Living in 2019 in our technological enabled society, management can leverage the accessibility to information by implementing a platform that facilitates transparent communication and information.

 

How well does your strata management communicate with you?  If the answer is not good, you may want to encourage them to look at an option such as StrataVault to assist them.

 

“StrataVault is so easy to use and became necessary when we couldn’t obtain access to our records due to our strata managers and building managers multiple ways of handling our buildings information”

– Peter, Owner and Committee Member, Queensland.

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