COVID-19 Resources, Advice & Services

 

Business as Un-usual. That’s the reality of the COVID-19 challenge to all stakeholders in strata- from strata managers, owners, tenants, service providers and Government. The way we communicate, live and operate in a strata scheme has been turned on its head. In this newsletter, we will keep you updated on the advice, resources and services available during these testing times. 

 
What is Cambridge Management Services doing to help?

The short answer is everything we can. The current conditions and changing landscape are making our role more fluid than ever. Schemes will continue to need to operate as close to normal as possible - without this the social and building fabric threatens to fall apart. 

Owners will need to continue to pay levies as they fall due (see below for options for payment). Levies are the life blood of the building and are paid to the body corporate (not the strata manager) to ensure that basic operational management can continue. The economics of strata still require your building to be serviced, insured and operated with as much normality as possible. Cashflow management may be challenging and we will work with all schemes to defer non-critical works, manage funds and be as accommodating as possible.

The contractors servicing your building are as vulnerable as any other and we are committed to ensuring they remain financially viable. We will endeavour to pay all contractors within 72 hours of receipt of invoicing- this means that approvals from schemes will need to be fast tracked.  We’re training our staff in front line COVID-19 infection control and undertaking short courses on how to best reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.

We are working with our industry association Strata Community Association  and the government to develop consistent protocols for dealing with lock-down and procedures for potential and known cases in buildings. These are challenging and fluid requirements and we are leveraging other learned experiences from the UK and US from cities already in lock down.

Finally we are in daily conversation with strata regulators around ways to lessen the compliance obligations, cut red tape and provide solutions for owners during the time of greatest impact to strata residents.

 

Meetings

Our priority is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and to prioritise the health and safety of our employees, clients and community. All face to face meetings should be held by other means. Some options for convening alternative forms of meetings include:
 

  •  Have the meeting continue via an alternative method such as online or via Skype
  •  Postpone the meeting until a later date - if possible

 

We will continually review the situation and make changes where necessary. Any changes will be communicated. We suggest you discuss the options available to you with your strata manager.

 

Contractors

It is highly recommended that all building managers, caretaker and onsite contacts for repair advise the following to all contractors and trades when attending on-site;

 

  • Practise social distancing
  • Sanitise hands and equipment before attending the building and after conducting their duties.
  • Postpone the works if they have been overseas or are feeling unwell
  • Provide their own pens/pencils
  • Do not shake hands


All contractors will have their own protocol to ensure a safe workplace for their teams - we ask you to assist where required and help keep your building a safe workplace. 

 
Finances

Cambridge Management Services recognise the very real impact the current COVID-19 outbreak may have on an individual’s financial situation. We sympathise with owners during these challenging times and are aware these circumstances may lead to increased financial hardship. If this is the case, please contact our offices via customercare@cambridgems.com.au or to your strata manager as soon as possible to discuss the options available to you.

 

Health & Safety

There is an understandable concern to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community by taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.   It is recommended that strata committees work on the basis that there may be someone infected in the building and take the necessary steps:
 

  • Reminding all residents, workers and guests of the importance of practising appropriate hygiene (such as handwashing) and social distancing. If possible, use elbows or knuckles to press lift buttons.
  • Install signs in the common areas. These can be downloaded direct at: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources#posters
  • Asking residents diagnosed with COVID-19—or who are required to self-isolate—to alert the body corporate so other residents can be informed and take appropriate precautions. You need to balance the requirement for reducing others’ exposure with the individual’s right to privacy. It takes a village and we all need to do our part.
  • Consider restrictions on the use of common areas (including facilities such as pools and gyms), particularly for anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is required to self-isolate. Our recommendation is to limit access to any areas that have a high likelihood of promoting virus transfer - this means gyms, common areas and high traffic areas that are not essential for resident circulation.
  • Bodies Corporate may need to consider additional cleaning of common areas and facilities if required.
  • Establish a cleaning plan with your cleaning contractors and request details on the target areas, number of cleans and products being used.
  • Toilet paper shortages may lead to other items being flushed down toilets - this will create expensive and damaging sewerage issues in buildings. We implore you to please not flush anything other than toilet paper. Resources and finances will be stretched thin and avoidable repairs based on common sense are critical.
  • Cambridge Management Services can coordinate preventative cleaning and decontamination services should this be required - please contact your strata manager for further details.

 

Community Response

This is our collective responsibility. We all have a role to play. We will all be frustrated, unsure, vulnerable and challenged by the times ahead. There will be increased multiple dwelling issues around noise, waste and management of common property that require greater patience and understanding. Residents working from home, increased deliveries, social isolation and increased tensions require greater doses of care and more than ever a sense of community. Look out for your neighbours, particularly the elderly, vulnerable and those in need of help or company. 

 
Keep Informed

Over the coming weeks, it is vital to keep up to date with the precautions taken in your Body Corporate. Please ensure your roll information is up to date. Please email customercare@cambridgems.com.au to up date your details and or advise of self-isolation.

 

Additional Resources