Is Building Management proving tricky during this crisis?

Is Building Management proving tricky during this crisis?
Melvie May 27, 2020

There has been speculation whether trades are permitted to work on apartment buildings during the current restrictions. Trades are considered essential services so yes, they are permitted. It is vitally important that repairs and maintenance are still carried out during this period, so buildings remain safe and in good condition for residents. It would be a tragedy if an accident occurred due to cancellation of repairs or maintenance work.

Residents should also feel at ease that trades people have strict protocols and risk assessment and management plans in place to deal with COVID-19 to ensure safety of both the building tenants and their own staff. Postponing essential repairs should not be considered an option. The risk of putting work off could create bigger problems and expense in the long term. Essential services may include fire compliance, lift maintenance, security, plumbing, essential safety lighting plus, keeping the building insurance paid and current.

Ash Gilbert from Balmoral Fire has still been running at full capacity over this period “As an essential service we have been maintaining the scheduled program for fire maintenance for all buildings during this time. To remain legislatively compliant, all Owners Corporations understand the requirements for fire safety and our teams have been visiting buildings as per the contracted scheduled program.”

Scott Robinson from Gallant Plumbing tells a different story, “Our calls are down nearly 50% from the same period last year. We still receive calls for emergency work, but the preventative work has slowed. We are concerned that this lack of maintenance may cause larger and more expensive jobs in the future for Owners Corporations but understand when committees meet, they need to consider all costs and unfortunately make budget decisions they didn’t need to consider previously.    

Owners Corporation Managers, during this unusual time, should strive to provide the best support and service while keeping the safety of their clients and staff at the forefront. They should work closely with committees to not only keep the Owners Corporations financially viable by applying stringent financial modelling but also looking to the long term to ensure there are no further repercussions if building maintenance was not maintained. 

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