Step-by-step approach to resolve illegal parking issue

Breach of parking by-laws have been a common issue to almost every apartment building. This issue is becoming worse especially in the areas with new surging developments. Occupiers are using visitor car parks as additional parking spaces or in non-allocated parking areas. Furthermore, there are no car parks available for legitimate visitors of occupiers or repair/maintenance contractors. 
ASM NSW team have developed a step-by-step approach to solve this issue. A 70-lot apartment building in Ryde previously experienced serious illegal parking issues. The strata manager followed this step-by-step procedure to solve the issue within a short period. Step-1 is to serve the breaching lot with a by-law notice and charge them an administration fee for issuing notices. Most breaches will cease once the breaching party starts receiving and paying breaches. 
If the same lot which has previously been served with a notice continues to breach the by-law, the 2nd step will be triggered. By passing a resolution at a formal meeting, the strata manager is authorised to issue a notice to comply to the breaching lot and take legal action if necessary.
In this case the lot continued to breach after receiving the notice to comply, therefore the manager implemented step-3 by applying to NCAT for a monetary penalty. Through NCAT hearings the breaching lot was ordered to pay penalties to the owners corporation by NCAT member. Since the order was issued and the penalty was paid, the illegal parking issue was solved.
The owner corporation and residents were pleased with the outcome of the parking situation being resolved.
Rick Chang, ASM NSW.

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Plumbing defects resolved

“New builds often come with building defects – some severe, some less so, however plumbing defects are always challenging”
Matt Smith, MBCM Strata Specialists.

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When owners insist on using their favourite insurance broker

Some owners instruct Owners Corporation managers to place their insurance with local brokers with whom they are familiar. This places OC Managers in a difficult position, because it can potentially lead to a range of problems, including working outside the legislation.
There are several considerations which both OC Managers as well as owners must be aware of when placing insurance through brokers with whom the OC Manager has no formal arrangement either as Authorised Representative or Distributor.
MBCM franchisees are licensed Representatives of CHU Insurance which means we are able to deal direct with CHU; MBCM franchisees are also a licensed Distributors for Honan Insurance Brokers and Whitbread Insurance Brokers, through whom we have access to every specialist insurance company operating in the strata sector.
MBCM franchisees undertake regular industry training and examinations in order to maintain these business arrangements on behalf of our clients. Part of our job under our relationship with the insurance industry is also to centralise and manage insurance claims on behalf of owners.
It must be noted that owners are free to obtain their own insurance, however in this case there are a number of issues which must be considered:

  • Providing advice: It is only natural that owners will always come to us for information about their insurance policy. Where a policy has been placed through another broker (ie one which we do not have a formal relationship with) we may continue to safely offer factual advice however we may not provide general advice, as we can with CHU, Honan and Whitbread products. In this case we must advise owners to take their questions direct to the broker or the insurance company that they have chosen as we are unable to assist in any way.
  • Is it an effective policy: Strata insurance is a highly specialised industry. Insurance obtained through external brokers may not be appropriate for our owners.
  • Paying for Insurance: In these cases, we recommend that owners must provide s specific direction that enables us to safely use owners corporation funds to pay for their preferred insurance policy.
  • Errors and Omissions: When we are not directly involved with closely managing the insurance policy, our concern is always the potential for late payment or failure to pay, which puts us at great professional risk.
  • Confirming Coverage and Additional Protection: Being a licensed representative or distributor offers a strong layer of protection from the principle insurers. We do not receive this benefit when placing insurance through other brokers, which also adds professional risk.

In the event that owners choose to select their own insurance, it is recommended that MBCM franchisees do not involve ourselves in certain aspects of that insurance policy, particularly including administering claims. Under these circumstances we must advise these owners that they will have to make their own claims.
Where owners resolve at an AGM that we are to obtain competitive quotes, we will always do this through our existing formal relationships, either direct through CHU Insurance, Honan Insurance Brokers Whitbread Insurance Brokers.

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Saying no to the status quo

“It’s a big decision to leave your strata manager but I keep hearing the same reasons why residents get dissatisfied and make the move to work with us instead.” 

Eddie Parada, ASM Dee Why | Manly

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