Caretaker Audit Course – Top 5 FAQs
1. Who will initiate a Caretaker Performance Management Audit or Review?
An audit of building management performance will typically arise in circumstances where there has been a noticeable decline in the overall standard or condition of common/shared areas e.g. poor cleaning and gardening standards, poor by-law management, or, in instances where caretaking agreement/caretaking duty related complaints or disputes have gone unresolved. A disgruntled body corporate committee, having reached the very peak of their frustrations, will often engage independent legal counsel or seek the advice of the body corporate manager industry associates. Inevitably, an independent review or close assessment of caretaking performance (with contract “schedule of duties”) will ensue. Caretaking Audits/Reviews may be conducted by “Diverse FMX”, “Danny Little of MRAS Consulting”, “Seymour Consulting” or “Leary & Partners”.
2. What happens during a Caretaker Performance Management Audit?
A comprehensive inspection of the common property including all building infrastructure (e.g. swimming pool area, common riser rooms, utility rooms, hydrants, fire infrastructure, basement car park area) will take place. Assessors may also conduct a “desktop” audit of all building maintenance records (e.g. building certificates, service log books, tagging of app.) in addition to workplace health and safety compliance management plan checks. Detailed photographic evidence of any identified non-compliances will follow and any confirmed breaches of caretaking agreement terms and conditions, may or may not escalate to the issuance of one or a series of RANs (Remedial Action Notices).
3. How can a Building Manager best avoid a Caretaker Performance Management Audit?
It is imperative that building managers acquire an accurate understanding or interpretation of, site specific, caretaking agreement duties, legislative functions and building compliance responsibilities. Acquiring this information/up-skilling, however, may be a lot easier than you might think! 1, 2 and 3 day, site specific, training courses are available for Managers who are either – already on the receiving end of a Caretaker Performance Management Audit Notice/Report and needing to comply OR for Managers wishing to ensure 100% compliance, as a precautionary measure ahead of time! What are the tell-tale warning signs of a disgruntled committee: (1) Repeated and/or ongoing written/verbal complaints that are directed to the building manager; (2) Sudden and abrupt micro-management by voting committee members; (3) Body Corporate meetings being convened with the exclusion of building managers; (4) Committee resolutions/motions being passed authorising the appointment of legal counsel – where heavy discussions concerning the performance of the building manager have previously taken place.
4. What are the consequences of a poor Caretaker Performance Management/Building Audit?
Severe infringement notices and penalties will apply where the body corporate scheme is found to be non-compliant with various fire safety regulations, mechanical systems maintenance requirements, relevant Australian standards and site-specific codes of practices! In short, you do not want to learn this the hard way! Incidences (e.g. injury) arising from any identified non compliances by the building manager and/or the body corporate, carry with it serious consequences. Training courses will assist Managers to mitigate risks on the common property, ensure that building compliance obligations are satisfactorily met, provide clarification on caretaker versus body corporate roles and responsibilities, and help to reduce unnecessary legal or administrative costs for all industry stakeholders (committee members and building managers) who may simply require, site specific, non confrontational, guidance on caretaking contract and state building compliance statutory requirements.
5. What are the legal consequences of receiving a RAN? (Remedial Action Notice)
Building managers are not permitted to transfer/assign/sell management rights where there is an outstanding RAN or “Default Notice” issued upon the Manager. A serious enough breach of the caretaking agreement, may warrant termination and result in a substantial legal battle (most likely supported by the Managers financier). For further information, please visit Strata Mastery’s Service Directory of recommended industry experts/body corporate law firms.