That old familiar sinking feeling

Jimmy Thomson
The future is finally here for older apartment blocks. All owners corporations will soon have to work out a 10-year sinking fund plan, outlining what their maintenance needs will be and setting aside the money to pay for them.
Using your strata plan number – that’s the registration number, not the number of units in the building – the net will be spread gradually over the next few years, with the oldest apartment blocks being brought into line last.
Strata plans with numbers 50,000 and over will be caught by the provisions from July 1 this year, strata plans 30,000 – 49,999 will have to toe the line by July1 2007, strata plans 10,000 – 29,999 kick in on July1 2008 and, if they’re still standing, strata plans 1 – 9,999 will join the rest of us by July 1 2009.
But there’s no need to panic just yet. Even the first group off the rank has until the second AGM after July 1st to get their strata act together. So if they hold their AGM on June 30th, they have two years to get organised.
In fact, there’s no need to get anxious at all. With their usual complete lack of understanding of why they are enacting new strata laws, your chums in Macquarie St have decreed: “Owners corporations are free to use either their own resources or outside experts in devising their 10-year plans.”
Don’t you love it? Unless I’m missing something, you can spend a couple of grand getting someone who knows what they’re talking about to look closely at your building, work out which bits are going to fall down and when, then tell you how much it’s going to cost to stop it happening and to fix it when it does. That way you know how much to put away for that rainy day.
Alternatively, Fred on the EC could have a quick squiz round the block, decide she’ll be right for the next decade, and you’ve fulfilled your legal obligation.
So why bother passing the law? Sensible apartment owners have already set up their sinking fund plans. The cheapskates who needed to be forced to plan ahead now only have to go through the motions.
Flatchat weeps for the trees cut down so this apparently pointless legislation could be printed.

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