Whether you’re self-managing your scheme as a strata owner, are engaged as a strata manager or are an individual owner within a strata scheme, keeping up with regular maintenance and unexpected repairs can quickly become a full time job, not to mention an expensive one. It’s not uncommon for strata owners and managers to make a decision which seems like a financially sound choice, but may actually be an expensive mistake: hiring unlicensed handymen and amateur workers.
The Appeal of Unlicensed Workers
Though individual strata owners are only responsible for needed maintenance and repairs within the airspace of their units, and owners corporations are only responsible for providing attention to issues in common areas, home repairs of any sort can be expensive and time consuming. For average strata owners, the appeal of an unlicensed handyman ultimately boils down to saving time and simplifying the process of building repairs. Still, there are some attendant risks to this decision, most of which are related to either unskilled work or the potential for conflict of interest.
In the end, the imagined savings from hiring an unlicensed worker can actually be more expensive, especially if poorly performed work or shoddy maintenance causes a larger problem. While strata owners may be tempted to work with friends and acquaintances who have some practical knowledge, many find themselves in a more difficult place than they started by making the decision not to work with licensed professionals.
How Professional Inspectors Benefit Strata Owners
Hiring a tradesperson, handyman or even a registered contractor to address an obvious issue can result in the necessary repairs or maintenance being completed in a timely, efficient and correct manner. It can also, however, create a conflict of interest when the root cause of a problem isn’t immediately apparent. Unlike professional inspectors who do not carry out repairs or offer maintenance services, tradespeople and informal handymen have a vested interest in the outcome of a diagnostic visit. The greater a problem seems to be, or the more extensive repair claims, the more money they make off the visit. The lure of greater profits for workers can leave strata owners shelling out more money than is necessary, and some issues may still be left unaddressed at the end of the day.
Professional inspectors are neutral parties with extensive training, and as such are capable of spotting even less than obvious signs of damage or depreciation. They don’t offer repair or maintenance services, so they have no motivation to fabricate claims or exaggerate damages. They simply observe the property, then report any areas in which attention is required. Strata owners are left with an accurate, honest inspection report, which they can then use to find the appropriate tradespeople and licensed workers. Strata owners who are also self-managing the entire property and professional strata managers are also able to operate with transparency, with documentation regarding repairs and maintenance which require the attention of the owners corporation.
Obtaining reports from professional inspectors on a regular basis, even when there’s no immediately obvious sign of trouble brewing, can also help strata owners to be prepared and informed about the overall integrity of their properties.
Houspect Building Inspections– Buy, Build, Invest and Sell with Confidence
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