The common areas of a strata property are for the benefit of everyone. Shared facilities such as gyms and pools are designed for the enjoyment of all residents; gardens and the building’s exterior affect the visual appeal and even the value of the property. Plus, there are the ever-present parking issues to deal with. Managing these spaces isn’t always easy, but we’ve got some tips to help you manage common space in the strata scheme.
Read on to take the hassle out of strata common area management.
What are common spaces?
Common spaces in a strata living environment are basically any space outside of each lot. So, it refers to common areas such as walkways, driveways, carparks, foyers, stairwells, elevators and more. Gardens are also common areas, as are shared facilities such as laundries, pools and gyms.
When you buy into a strata scheme, you become responsible for these common areas as part of the Owners Corporation. Shared spaces are there for everybody to enjoy, so maintaining them benefits everybody. Plus, when you consider things like the building’s exterior or gardens, it can affect the overall appeal and value of the property.
Who is responsible for managing shared space in strata?
The Owners Corporation is ultimately responsible for the upkeep of common spaces. However, they may defer these duties to a strata committee or strata manager, depending on how your scheme is administered.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of all residents to look after common spaces to an extent. For example, keeping shared facilities tidy and ensuring parking rules are followed. However, when people don’t do the right thing, it’s up to the strata manager or committee members to take action.
Certain behaviour may result in warnings, a notice to comply with by-laws or even a breach of by-laws which can include penalties.
Tips for managing common spaces
It would be fantastic if every resident and visitor did the right thing all the time. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for most strata managers, so you need to find ways to encourage the correct behaviour. Here are some helpful tips you can use to make common space management a lot easier.
Parking is one of the things that frustrates strata owners more than anything. Each property is different, but there are generally designated visitor parking spots and separate ones for residents. In many apartment complexes, you can’t even get into the car park without an access card or similar, so it becomes less of an issue. But even then, you may have residents parking in spaces other than their own.
For outdoor car parks, visitor parking is often a point of contention. The best way to solve the problem is to display signs very clearly to explain where visitors are designated.
Provide ample waste disposal options
It’s a little hard to get annoyed at fellow residents about the mess in shared spaces if there aren’t enough bins around. Of course, there is an expectation that people are responsible for their own actions and leaving rubbish around a shared-use BBQ area or pool is something most people would never do.
However, these things can and do occur, so you need to ensure you encourage better behaviour. Make sure there are appropriate bins stationed near all common spaces and shared facilities, this makes it much easier for people to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, common spaces in a strata scheme can be a source of frustrating noise. For example, people coming home late and making a noise in shared corridors can be very annoying for residents. If this is an issue in your strata building, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve things.
The easiest option is to ensure reminders are posted on common area walls and access points.
Another area of confusion for many people is the responsibility of maintaining gardens. The process is a little different depending on the type of property. For example, in an apartment building, there may not be many gardens. However, you could always start a community garden that residents might take ownership of. In a strata scheme of units or villas, each one may have its own garden already.
Usually, it’s the responsibility of the strata manager to ensure common gardens are maintained, but the idea of a community garden is a good way to get residents enthused about looking after the space.
Looking for a better way to manage your strata scheme?
More Than Strata provides strata management services for all types of schemes. We can take care of the day-to-day running of your strata property, including hiring gardeners, managing levies and bookkeeping, calling meetings and liaising with residents.
Enforcing by-laws is just part of what we do, so if you’re having trouble managing the behaviour and actions of residents, we’re here to help. Contact us today to find out how we can ease the burden of running your strata scheme.