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When Mother Nature messes with life as you knew it

It’s fair to say the wild weather Australia has experienced this summer has been nothing short of shocking. From ferocious bush fires to flash flooding and power outages… these are trying times.

What is also trying is the domino affect whilst waiting for damage to be assessed and repaired.

Not to mention the impact of COVID-19 worldwide sending us into lockdown. Not only are we now confined to our own quarters, but contractors, insurance staff and assessors are also in the same boat.

For those affected and living in strata, we feel your pain.

We understand the frustrations of having your lift shut down due to safety issues. Or water damage in the carpark. Or any of the resultant damage like paint, wall or ceiling damage.

The bigger picture

The impact of such events is very much of a personable nature, it’s you personally that is inconvenienced. But usually it’s not just one that is impacted. It’s the strata community.

If the events of 2020 aren’t proof enough, when it hits the fan in a severe way, it’s the camaraderie from community that helps us to get through the tough times.

Supply and demand

When damage has occurred to property, as an owner you no doubt want any issues fixed quickly. But when an entire state has been smashed with the same disaster, the availability of immediate help will be strained.

Think of the volunteer firefighters who travelled far and wide to help tackle the wild bush fires… without their help and those of community volunteers, the devastation from the fires could have been far more severe.

It’s the same same but different with strata. When damage is done to one building, it has mostly likely occurred to others as well. The Strata Community Managers and Building Managers where relevant go into disaster mode to work hard and fast to fix the damages.

But in most cases, the repair work as just the tip of the iceberg. There is much work to be done behind the scenes by the Strata Community Manager, Building Manager, Insurance Broker and the insurance company, as well as all the various contractors.

Bear in mind these people may too be affected by these events and trades will be in high demand. Priority will need to be given to those affected the worst. That’s just common sense, particularly when resources will be strained due to freakish events.

Please know we are on your side and are working for the best outcomes for your Body Corporate or Owners Corporation, of whom you belong.

The benefits of working with a large service provider is the wider pool of trades and help available.

Damage control

To ensure no Body Corporate is left out of pocket unnecessarily, it is highly recommended that processes are followed, in particular for damage that may be claimed under the building insurance policy.

The first step is to take all reasonable steps to prevent further loss or damage to the affected area.

Advise your Strata Community Manager, and Building Manager if you have one, immediately of any damage to common property.

Take clear photos of any damage where possible to be provided to your Strata Community Manager and/or Building Manager with clear description of the damage and the possible cause. For example, water is leaking through the window in my main bedroom. Not just water is in my bedroom.

It is important to note that any damage to be claimed should be assessed in terms of level of urgency. Those most in need should be provided assistance first.

These are the common levels of urgency for property damage:

Very Low to Low (minor damage)

Refers to damage that poses no threat or damage and will not worsen if left unrepaired.

Low to Medium Damage

Refers to damage that poses no threat or danger but may worsen if left unrepaired.

Medium Damage

Refers to damage that may worsen if left unrepaired.

Medium to High Damage

Refers to damage not causing failure of utility services, but immediate attention and loss adjuster required.

Severe Damage

Refers to damage requiring immediate attention. Loss adjuster required – severe damage, occupants displaced and/or failure of utility service(s).

These processes can unfortunately take time. Results or repairs may not be immediate.

When in doubt, email your Strata Community Manager for further advice.

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