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Pets, Parking, Parties… Body Corporate and Carpets

The in joke in the world of bodies corporate (to be pedantic, the plural of body corporate is bodies corporate, not body corporates) is that 95% of all the business they deal with is in connection with the three ‘P”s – pets, parking and parties. In practice, and in law, their duties go a lot further than that.

A court case in 2010 stated the responsibility of the body corporate to maintain common areas and structures: in Magog (No 15) Pty Ltd v The Body Corporate for the Moroccan [2010] QDC 70 the District Court held that:

(a) As well as having a statutory duty to maintain common property, the body corporate is also liable for any foreseeable losses that arise due to a breach of this statutory duty;
(b) Such loss is not limited to damage to property, but also includes pure economic loss.

For this reason, many joint building owners decide to subcontract out most, if not all of the work entailed in running a body corporate to an outside organisation, sometimes a law firm, but also often a specialist body corporate management company. They do this to make sure that the body corporate duties are carried out in a conspicuously fair way, with no favour being accorded to any particular owners or residents, but also to make sure that all legal compliance issues are addressed and that meetings are held when they are meant to and minutes taken as required by law.

One of the trickiest areas that bodies corporate must address is how much money to set aside for repairs to buildings. Too high and residents and owners start to object to the high fees, too low and when a big maintenance bill comes along, it has to be split amongst all of the owners/residents. This can sometimes come as a bit of a shock, especially when amounts in the thousands and tens of thousands are involved. Striking the right balance is very hard and many owners and members of bodies corporate decide that these decisions are best made by a professional, hence the engagement of law firms or specialist management companies to do this.

As indicated above, bodies corporate are also required by law to adequately maintain common areas, that is any external or internal areas that are not the private property of individual owners. In many buildings there are quite large areas of carpet, in lobbies and vestibules as well as in corridors. The same principles apply to carpet in the building as apply to any other part of the structure or ‘fixed asset’ – if they are well treated and well maintained, their life can be extended significantly, thus pushing back the time when a capital investment in new carpeting is necessary. Good carpet maintenance and a regular cleaning schedule are critical to carpet maintenance and extended carpet life. With storm season upon us now, carpets will take a bit of a pounding – rainwater and dirt together will inflict damage on the carpet that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Your choice of cleaning company will have an impact on the likely life of your common area carpeting, so it’s important to get it right. Check our previous article here on the questions you should be asking any carpet cleaning company you are considering employing.

Elite franchises are engaged by many bodies corporate for carpet cleaning work. They can also advise on your choice of carpet when the time (finally) comes to replace one of your largest, and most visible assets.

 
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