Op­er­a­tions plans keep dam­age costs down

Times Colonist - - Homes - TONY GIOVENTU Condo Smarts Tony Gioventu is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Con­do­minium Home Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Dear Tony: Our strata coun­cil is try­ing to cut cor­ners on cost this year as we have ex­pe­ri­enced dra­matic in­creases in our in­sur­ance costs. As an owner and coun­cil mem­ber, I am con­cerned that we are not meet­ing our basic op­er­a­tions re­quire­ments and ex­pos­ing our­selves to even higher claims that might re­sult in dam­ages to strata lots and com­mon prop­erty that in the end will sim­ply cost us more. A re­cent de­ci­sion to elim­i­nate the land­scape con­trac­tor re­sulted in a ground-floor flood last week, as the ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem was not be­ing main­tained through July, which was a rou­tine part of the sched­ule maintenanc­e and ser­vic­ing. The flood re­sult­ing from chronic leak­ing sprin­kler head that was re­ported to coun­cil in early July was not ad­dressed un­til an owner re­ported their pa­tio fill­ing with wa­ter. The dam­age to the strata lot was noth­ing more than a wet car­pet, but as a strata coun­cil mem­ber, at what point do we the coun­cil and the cor­po­ra­tion start to take on li­a­bil­ity for bad business de­ci­sions? Coun­cil has ba­si­cally taken the po­si­tion that it will ad­dress prob­lems as they arise.

Kyle J., White Rock As a prop­erty owner and coun­cil mem­ber, you have the leg­is­lated obli­ga­tion un­der the Strata Prop­erty Act to main­tain and re­pair com­mon prop­erty and com­mon as­sets. Your own­ers also ap­proved a budget in­clud­ing land­scap­ing ser­vices, which is also a law­ful in­struc­tion to im­ple­ment the con­tracts wher­ever pos­si­ble. Re­gard­less of the size or type of a strata cor­po­ra­tion, an­nual op­er­a­tions plans are the best method to en­sure the obli­ga­tions of in­spec­tion, maintenanc­e and re­pairs are im­ple­mented. An op­er­a­tions plan will sum­ma­rize the com­po­nents and as­sets of your strata cor­po­ra­tion, which can eas­ily be con­verted from your dep­re­ca­tion re­port, and iden­tify what level of ser­vice or in­spec­tion and maintenanc­e are re­quired as part of your an­nual op­er­a­tions, and what com­po­nents or sys­tems are man­aged on a long-term ba­sis.

If your strata cor­po­ra­tion fails to main­tain com­mon prop­erty and com­mon as­sets, and an owner suf­fers a loss, the owner is likely in a po­si­tion to seek dam­ages against the strata cor­po­ra­tion ei­ther through the courts or the civil res­o­lu­tion tri­bunal. If you have fail­ures relating to build­ing sys­tems or as­sets that re­sult in in­sur­ance claims, your in­sur­ance provider is likely go­ing to ad­vise you of this risk, put you on no­tice of in­creased costs for claims or ad­vise you of their in­abil­ity to re­new your in­sur­ance. Com­mon ar­eas of ne­glect for strata cor­po­ra­tions are drainage and san­i­tary sys­tems, roof­ing sys­tems and elec­tri­cal sys­tems. Most items that are out of sight are of­ten not a pri­or­ity, but these key com­po­nents of­ten re­sult in avoid­able claims and dam­ages, and a sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tion to own­ers. San­i­tary lines and drains for ex­am­ple, should be flushed pro­fes­sion­ally at least ev­ery three years if not more fre­quently. Likely due to the in­creased oc­cu­pancy pe­ri­ods this year with the pan­demic re­stric­tions, there has also been an in­crease in sewer back­ups, but the most com­mon at­trib­ut­able factor is sim­ply ag­ing build­ing sys­tems that are ne­glected.

Sewer backup is one of the most se­vere prob­lems, and ac­cess­ing build­ings dur­ing the lock down is a greater prob­lem, as the plumb­ing con­trac­tor will re­quire ac­cess to strata lots as well.

Gen­eral in­spec­tion and maintenanc­e of op­er­a­tional build­ing com­po­nents is the best method to pre­vent losses, claims, un­nec­es­sary dam­ages and, in many cases, of­ten ex­tend the life of build­ing com­po­nents. Roof­ing sys­tems cover 100% of our in­vest­ments, yet most prop­erty own­ers un­der­take in­spec­tion or maintenanc­e on an an­nual ba­sis. A qual­i­fied in­spec­tor or roofer can iden­tify de­fi­cien­cies and dam­ages that can be eas­ily and quickly ad­dressed to en­sure good performanc­e of the roof­ing sys­tem and ex­tend the life of the roof­ing sys­tem if rou­tine ser­vice is con­ducted.

Rou­tine maintenanc­e of hot-wa­ter boil­ers will ex­tend the life of the boil­ers and en­sure they are per­form­ing at their best efficiency lev­els re­duc­ing energy con­sump­tion and cost. If your roof fails, this is now an emer­gency re­pair. Dam­ages have been caused, the cost for after hours re­sponse is sig­nif­i­cant and the re­pair is short term rather than a co-or­di­nated ap­proach to maintenanc­e and re­newals. The attitude of wait­ing un­til a com­po­nent fails be­fore we have to fix it is a false econ­omy.

Cre­ate a sched­ule of all your build­ing com­po­nents and de­ter­mine what ser­vices you re­quire and the fre­quency of ser­vic­ing. For more in­for­ma­tion on op­er­a­tions plans and sam­ples, go to choa.bc.ca and view the we­bi­nar on op­er­a­tions plans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.