#9 – Annual Maintenance Plans

The title is self-explanatory but many Strata owners ask why such plans are necessary. As former single family home owners, they did what was required to maintain their property (or not) but there was no need for a formal plan.

Formal plan or not, the single family home owner is consistently involved in his home’s ongoing maintenance and has a good understanding of the requirements and the property’s maintenance history.

The nature of Strata Plan governance, where new “volunteers” are elected annually to manage the Corporation’s affairs, often means that this understanding and sense of history of the Strata Plan is lost as these volunteers replace previous owners on the Council or the Maintenance Committee.

Here we must acknowledge all those long-term “handyman” owners who have taken on the general maintenance duties around their Strata properties, formally or not. To the other owners where this is the case, we encourage you all to avoid taking these people and their efforts for granted.

It must be remembered that it is the Strata Corporation’s responsibility to manage and maintain the common property in the interests of all the owners and, with no disrespect intended, we must caution any Council against relying solely on the services and goodwill of these “handymen”.
An Annual Maintenance Plan ensures that new Council and Committee members fully appreciate the property’s maintenance needs, by clearly laying out programs and schedules for the various Common Property systems that require regular attention. The Plan should also identify other areas which, although not requiring regular maintenance, should be inspected and their condition regularly monitored.

An Annual Plan should also include Reporting requirements such that, during the scheduled maintenance or inspection of any common system, a short written report on its condition is generated by the technician or owner/volunteer, as an ongoing historical record of the Corporation’s operations.

When an Annual Maintenance Plan is formally adopted by a Strata Corporation, it ensures that the Owners’ desired standards, to which the property will be maintained, whether by the “handyman”, a Strata Management company or any other contractor, are clearly stated.

John Grubb is a Property Maintenance Consultant serving Strata Corporations and building owners on Vancouver Island.

To Next Article: Strata Strategies #10 – Long Term Maintenance Planning