34 Union Street - a really nice place to call home, close to everything, even the airport, but it could be a lot better

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34 Union Street - wither goest thou

Well may you ask where our properties at 34 Union Street are headed. A recent statement from our management team - the Owners Committee and MIA Property Management says:

  1. The Owners Corporation’s core responsibility is to maintain common property and to administer the Owners Corporation Act (2006) and the Rules of the Owners Corporation.
  2. The functions of the Owners Corporation are to communicate to owners and with the Committee via formal committee meetings, which are uploaded on the portal.

This is a soulless declaration devoid of aspiration for better things. No aim to enhance our enjoyment of life in our homes here at 34 Union St, no suggestion of working for improvement in property values.

Look at these statements: Our Owners Corporation doesn't administer the Owners Corporation Act (2006), it exists due to the provisions of the Act. It goes on to assert that its core responsibility is to maintain common property. We deal with that below where we explain how shabby that common property has become.

Point 2 says that the "Owners Corporation" communicates with owners and the committee via the minutes of committee meetings uploaded to the portal (Stratamax). What a silly proposition that communication should take place through a system unavailable to the half of our residents who are tenants and don't have access to Stratamax, and is one-way; you can read the sparse, tardy minutes but you can't answer back.

You will note in the statement that communication is "from". If an owner or resident needs to communicate "to" the building management they have either the MIA or OC email addresses. There is no way for them to canvass other opinions or to have their views generally known. There is a Facebook Group for 34 Union Street but there has been no encouragement for canvassing ideas on that platform.

As an owner and resident since February 2011 and having served for some years on the Owners Committee I am able to make well informed comments about our current position; because of my past OC experience I accept some of the blame.

Our building has become shabby in the sense that there are poorly repaired defects, dirt and mould in many places and an overall appearance of "being uncared for". At the heart of our problems is "maintenance" and here an explanation may be necessary.

An apartment building has two categories of maintenance; the routine day to day repairs to a broken door lock, a leak somewhere, plant or garden care, an occasional minor paint job and the regular weekly cleaning of all common areas and the building approaches. The second category is the repair or replacement of the major items that will slowly deteriorate as the building ages. Lifts, major entrances such as the garage door, major paint jobs and the roof are typical. 34 Union Street has a third category; the repair of legacy problems, a process that has taken nearly ten years and is still incomplete.

An excuse could be offered that management has been preoccupied with resolving the serious problems that surfaced in our early life. That could explain why there have been no new initiatives of substance but not the steady deterioriation that has occurred, nor should it excuse the poor workmanship revealed in most of the repairs.

Read my document on Maintenance, including an explanation of new legal requirements.

In addition to the article quoted above, I have written several other papers as illustrations of how an Owners Committee could communicate with owners and tenants and because there are real issues not on the committee's agenda.See Engagement.

About half of the residents of 34 Union Street are "owners", the other half are the occupiers of apartments owned by people living elsewhere, even overseas in a couple of cases. If the people who live here are concerned, it should follow that the absent owners are also concerned.

If an owner or resident needs to communicate with the building management they have either the MIA or OC email addresses. There is no way for them to canvass other opinions or to have their views generally known. There is a Faceboook Group for 34 Union Street but there has been no encouragement for canvassing ideas on that platform.

There is almost no dialogue between MIA, the Owners Committee, the owners and residents. Committee minutes and our AGM papers are available on Stratamax, an owners portal, but the material is sparse.

All errors on this page and the related documents are mine. I know it's fairly primitive as websites go, but I produced it with my recollection of HTML from about 1995 and with no software other than Mac Text Edit (I've just discovered Atom). If there is a website developer out there who would like to help please put your hand up.
Tony Blackmore 401.

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