Along with buying any property comes the responsibility to maintain such property to protect and sustain your investment. The maintenance of sectional title schemes requires careful planning to ensure sufficient funds to undertake these costly maintenance projects. This typically needs to happen every 7-10 years. With careful and ongoing maintenance that time frame can be extended and the overall costs contained.
Trustees are responsible for setting up a maintenance plan that cover the common property for which the body corporate is responsible.
Maintenance, Repair & Replacement Plan (MRRP)
In the past, many community schemes found themselves without sufficient funds to perform maintenance projects, forcing them to either delay the project - leading to further deterioration of the building - or to raise a special levy to finance the project.
Prescribed Management Rule 22 of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act basically requires bodies corporate to draw up 10-year plans in which they estimate the total maintenance costs needed and save towards the required amount.
The trustees are obliged to prepare a MRRP for the common property in writing, setting out the following:
- the major capital items expected to require maintenance, repair and replacement within the next 10 years;
- the present condition or state of repair of those items;
- the time when those items or components of those items will need to be maintained, repaired or replaced;
- the estimated cost of the maintenance, repair and replacement;
- the expected life of those items or components once maintained, repaired or replaced;
- any other information the body corporate considers relevant.
When regular maintenance is planned for, it allows for time and finances to be managed more efficiently. Moreover, if it is carried out regularly the maintenance tasks will become less demanding and the costs are distributed more evenly over time. Taking a preventative approach with maintenance tasks tends to be more cost-effective in the long run compared to the cost of emergency repairs.
Reserve Fund Forecast (RFF)
Along with the MRRP, bodies corporate need to maintain a reserve fund that is used to implement the MRRP. Both the MRRP and the RFF have to be presented at the annual general meeting (AGM) for approval by the members. It should also be amended as and when needed, keeping a record of all contributions and expenditure.
There is a statutory minimum annual contribution to the reserve fund, depending on the ratio between the reserve fund balance and the administrative fund contributions.
Operational expenses such as for fixing a leaking tap or a defective gate motor are settled using the administrative fund. For this reason, it is excluded from reserve fund planning.
How we can help bodies corporate
We provide a basic and affordable professional estimate of the maintenance costs that complies with Sectional Title legislation. Our report includes a life-cycle cost analysis, a 10-year forecast of maintenance, repair and replacement costs as well as a corresponding reserve fund forecast and contribution schedule. This service is based on a light inspection of the common property.
For a full-scale building audit which reveals structural defects, rising damp, exposed asbestos, roofing and guttering problems, plumbing and electrical issues and the existence and damage of termites and borers, we recommend the service of a specialist contractor.
Another blog you will enjoy reading: Why a schedule of replacement values is important for bodies corporate.