What steps should you take if your building has an emergency during the holiday season.
With the end of the year approaching, everyone in the Tower offices is looking forward to our annual break over the holiday period.
Even body corporate managers deserve a rest now and then, but we are conscious that when our office is closed, regular lines of support aren’t available to owners.
In particular, this can be a tricky period for any owners who experience an emergency situation. Nothing could be worse than starting to cook your Christmas dinner only to find that the power has gone out across your complex.
With that in mind, we have set up an emergency hotline for owners to call. If something goes seriously wrong over the holidays, please call Tower on 0427 125 656 and someone will get back to you shortly.
That’s an extra avenue for assistance, should you need it, but committees and owners can also think through what they might do if the worst happens and now could be a good time to send out a communication to owners and occupants of your building to help make sure that a drama doesn’t turn into a crisis.
There are no hard and fast rules for what to do, as each building can approach maintenance issues differently, but as a general guide we would suggest the following if you need assistance:
- If your building has a building manager they should be the first person contacted at their listed contact or emergency number.
- Committee members should be aware of the regular contractors who attend the site and should try and contact these in the first instance.
- Individual owners can contact available contractors to attend if there is no other alternative.
- Tenants should contact their property manager as per their tenancy agreement.
Importantly, owners booking a contractor need to be aware that the cost of the call out will not be automatically covered by the body corporate.
If you are making an emergency call, consider the following:
Is it really an emergency?
Sorry, if this sounds a bit school ma’amish, but there is a big difference between a burst pipe and a leaking tap and committees might be reluctant to approve an out of hours call out invoice for a minor issue that could have waited a few days.
Is it common property?
An eternal question in body corporate management, but one that always has to be asked. Of course, it’s not always easy to tell and you might have to use your best judgement, but be aware that if it is not common property the costs will reside with the person who arranged the call out.
How much work should be done?
Again, not always an easy question to answer but generally if an emergency call-out is required it should be to stop an issue and conduct minor on the spot repairs only. Anything more substantial should be quoted and approved through the regular channels. That may take a little longer than normal over the holidays but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Lastly, if you are booking some works, a key step is to document your actions. Take some photos of the issue and write down what you are doing. Demonstrate that you are taking reasonable action and the body corporate should be reasonable in return.
Stay safe, and enjoy the holidays.
If you would like more information about dealing with an emergency over the holiday period, contact your manager:
Tammy Lynch: firstname.lastname@example.org P: 0466 156 765
Samantha Morrison: email@example.com P: 0434 670 058
Kelly Borell: Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org P: 0435 766 852
Will Marquand: email@example.com P: 0427 125 656