Property 101: Apartment owners, strata need to prep for summer season

Property 101: Apartment owners, strata need to prep for summer season
Property 101: Apartment owners, strata need to prep for summer season

The recent state-wide blackout in South Australia has prompted the strata property sector to use the outage as a wake-up call leading into the summer season.

Stephen Raff, chief executive officer of Ace Body Corporate Management said apartment and unit owners need assurances their communities are 'power planned' for wild summer weather, ahead of what forecasters are saying could be a very eventful season.

"Black outs bring all of our lives to a standstill, but perhaps no group is hit harder than strata communities, where tens, even hundreds of residents are simultaneously cut off from the grid," he said.

"Suddenly, elevators not working, garage doors not opening, fridges turning warm and hallways plunged into darkness become an issue for 10, 20, 50, 100 residents and the recent example of South Australia must be a wakeup call for owners corporations in Victoria.

“There’s obviously a cost associated with being ‘power planned’ but when the benefits are stacked up next to it, it’s a no contest.

"Alongside the addition of an alternative power source like a generator, there also must be consideration for a policy around how this is used in times of need.

“It’s going to be pretty tough for owners corporations of a 15 or 50 lot building to find a generator that can power the whole place up, so there’s got to be some planning that goes into this.

“The first thing that springs to mind is a schedule system, whereby over a period of 3, 4, or 10 hours of complete loss of power, owners corporations have a plan for where the generator is most needed.

"What happened in South Australia acts to remind us that the weather in this country is wild and it is not only traditional storm and bushfire affected areas that can be hit with sudden power outages."

Tags: 
Apartments Strata Management

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