The National Apartments

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City Strata Management Pty Ltd is the Strata Manager for The National Apartments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 



ACT LEGISLATION
Where can I find relevant legislation relating to living in apartments?
The following Acts and Regulations are relevant to Unit Title Management in the Australian Capital Territory:

What are the Rules of an Owners Corporation?
The rules of an owners corporation are set out in schedule 4 (the default rules) under the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 of the ACT and as amended by the Owners Corporation of The National Apartments (the Owners Corporation). Simply put, they are matters (rules) which are agreed between an owners corporation and each of its members, and between each member and each other member, under which the corporation owners agree to be bound.

Where can I find The National Apartments Rules?
The rules of The National can be found by clicking here.

Who is bound by the Rules?
The following rules apply with regard to who is bound by the Rules at The National:
  • The owner of a unit is bound by the Rules of the Owners Corporation.
  • An occupier of a unit (e.g. family members and guests who are not the owner of the unit) is bound by each rule of the Owners Corporation as if the occupier were the owner of the unit.
  • If the unit owner does not occupy the unit, the owner is liable separately and together with an occupier of the unit for any breach of the Rules of the Owners Corporation by the occupier, unless the owner establishes that the owner took reasonable precautions and exercised appropriate care to prevent the breach.
  • A tenant who occupies a unit under a residential tenancy agreement within the meaning of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 must comply with the Owners Corporation Rules, and with any notice served in accordance with the Rules, to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the standard residential tenancy terms (paragraph 66, Schedule 1 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997).
How are the Rules Amended?
The Owners Corporation may, by special resolution, amend its Rules from those prescribed by regulations. Any amendment will take effect on the registration of a copy of the special resolution making the amendment certified under the seal of the Owners Corporation as a true copy, or from a later date as stated in the resolution.

What happens if the Rules are breached?
The Owners Corporation of The National Apartments has to date adopted an approach whereby a person or persons breaching Rules are initially informed of the issue and given a warning. If the Executive Committee reasonably believes that the owner or occupier of a unit has contravened a provision of the Corporation's Rules that it is likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated then the Committee gives the offending person an infringement notice requiring the person to remedy the contravention. There are particularly formal requirements in relation to the content of and processes associated with the issue of an infringement notice, the failure to comply with infringement notices, disputes relating to infringement notices and obligations on the parties involved in breaches of rules. Further information can be found in Section 109 of Part 6 of the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011.



EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
What is the role of the Executive Committee?
The Executive Committee currently comprises five members who must all be owners. The Executive Committee is responsible to the Owners Corporation for the overall management and operation of The National Apartments.

Their role includes:
  • Developing and implementing matters in relation to the common property and the strategic affairs on behalf of the Owners Corporation
  • Monitoring the financial performance of the Owners Corporation
  • Preparing the annual financial statements and budget for presentation to the Owners Corporation at the Corporation's Annual General Meeting, and
  • and
  • Carrying out decisions made by the Owners Corporation.

Committee members are elected at the Annual General Meeting for a period of one year, however, there are no restrictions on how many years members can be elected to the Committee. The Committee can elect owners to fill casual vacancies on the Executive Committee, second persons to assist the Committee or hire persons for specific tasks.


ACCESS
How is access managed?
The National has an integrated security system to control access by residents and guests to all areas of the complex including the courtyard, car park and individual units. The owners of each unit are issued with a set of fobs and keys.

The fob will enable you to:
  • Gain access to the main entry lobby of your particular building from the street or courtyard
  • Operate the roller door at the bottom of the ramp to the car park, thus facilitating entry to or exit from the car park
  • Gain access to/from the basement via the fire escape stairs or courtyard gates
  • Operate the lift to/from the floor level of your apartment (if your unit is in one of two towers in the complex with lifts operating in them - in National Circuit or Macquarie Street).
There are two keys issued for each apartment:
  • One key provides access to your apartment.
  • The other key is for entry through the front door of your building and the fire stairs to your level if your remote is not working or there is a power failure.
Entry by Residents
There are seven entrances into the complex from the surrounding streets. Three of the four towers of the complex have a street-level entry while the apartments along Brisbane Avenue are accessed through the central courtyard, via gates at Brisbane Avenue or Darling Streets.

Access for residents is only through use of swipes on the remote reader-activated doors and gates. Once inside the main entry lobbies in the towers with lifts, the passenger lift can then be called. The lift will not move to your floor without your remote being swiped across the reader in the lift and then pressing the required floor button.

Residents can also enter their building via the carpark. To gain access into the building via the carpark, simply follow the steps below:
  • Enter the carpark via the entry ramp located in Darling Street.
  • Press your garage remote as you approach the garage roller door in the driveway. This will activate the roller shutter door and allow you to enter the carpark.
  • Park your car in your allocated parking space and proceed to you nearest fire door or lift lobby.
  • If using the lift, press the call button, swipe your remote across the reader and then press the required floor button.
Entry by Guests
Guests can enter the building via the main entry lobbies, following the steps listed below:
  • Upon arriving, guests should call your apartment by pressing the appropriate unit number and using the intercom located on the wall adjacent to the entry door.
  • When a guest calls your apartment from the intercom station the security phone in your apartment will ring. Simply answer the call by lifting the handset.
  • To allow entry to the lobby press the 'key' button on the intercom unit. This will deactivate the locking mechanism to the main lobby door allowing your guest to enter. Where appropriate, your guest has 60 seconds to enter the lift and press the button for the floor of your apartment, otherwise the lift will not move from the ground floor, and they will have to return to the intercom and repeat the process.
What happens if I lose my fob or key?
The Strata Manager, City Strata Management Pty Ltd, is responsible for the provision of all fobs. All lost fobs must be reported to City Strata as soon as possible and replacements may be obtained at the prevailing cost, charged to the owner.

You should be aware that the keys are registered and that replacements will not be provided by any commercial key cutters. Authorisation to the relevant locksmith is required via City Strata.


COMMON PROPERTY
What is Common Property?
The rules about what is common property and what is not vary from State to State and history reveals that there have been numerous legal interpretations of the rules within States. What is clear, however, is that owners corporations are responsible to look after common property while owners are responsible for property that belongs to them. The rules about what is common property and what is not therefore assume great importance in the orderly functioning of an owners corporation.

The simple starting point in defining common property is that anything within a unit's entitlement is the property of the unit owner and that anything outside that is common property and therefore the responsibility of the Owners Corporation. It should be noted, however, that an owner's car place and storage cage belong to the owner and are not common property. There is some common sense to this proposition. The Owners Corporation being the organisation concerned with the common good of the complex must take overall responsibility for the outer perimeter and support structures and services of each unit because these things affect everybody. What occurs inside a unit is the responsibility of the unit owner.

There are exceptions, however, for example where an activity inside a unit results in a nuisance or inconvenience to others within the complex then this could become a matter for the Owners Corporation to intervene on. Similarly, damage occasioned to the interior of a unit that results from damage or ineffectiveness of common property, e.g. leaking through the complex roof into a unit, would be a matter for the Owners Corporation to address.

What do I need to know if I wish to make modifications to my apartment?
All proposed structural changes, for example, but not exclusively, window treatments, floor treatments, including wooden floors, awnings, shade sails, external doors/flyscreens/gates, and spas/pools (especially in ground floor or penthouse apartments) require the approval of the Executive Committee before any work is commenced.

However, changes to the internal fit-out of premises do not require approval, except for the installation of hard flooring, which should only be installed after the proposed flooring has been designed and approved by an accredited acoustic consultant to minimise noise in adjoining units. More information can be found in the House Rules.

Who is responsible for repairs and/or maintenance of the Common Property?
The general rules for who is responsible for maintenance and repairs within The National Apartments align with the above guidance on common and private property, i.e., the Owners Corporation is responsible for repairs and maintenance of common property while the unit owner is responsible for the repairs inside their unit.

While the maintenance and repair of common property is the responsibility of the Owners Corporation, owners and tenants have an important role to play in reporting damage to or maintenance required for common property. Maintenance requirements or damage that does not place lives or property at risk should be reported routinely to the Strata Managers whilst damage that places lives or other property at risk should be reported immediately to the Strata Manager, City Strata Management Pty Ltd on 02 6156 3305, including out of business hours.

If you have a contractor/worker who needs to access common areas to repair/install/service owners' installations then a request must go through City Strata Management. Owners are also required to ensure that all contractors hired by them have appropriate Public Liability Insurance.

Owners/residents are responsible for any damage to common property, or to the apartments or the property of other residents, caused either directly or indirectly by themselves, their guests or trades people engaged by them including removalists.

The table below provides some examples as further guidance on who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of property and parts of property in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and The National Apartments Owners Corporation has adopted this approach. The abbreviation OC denotes Owners Corporation and UO the unit owner in the table below:

Item Who has Responsibility
External Boundaries OC responsible from the external point to midway point of floor, walls and ceilings.
UO responsible for inside the midpoint of floors, walls and ceilings
Windows, doors and locks in external boundaries OC responsible for whole of window and door and locks (but not cleaning).
Load bearing parts including balconies, walls, columns, footings, slabs and beams OC responsible for those items that are deemed to comprise structural integrity (even those parts that are located within units).
UO responsible for tiles, finishings and other aesthetics that are not structurally integral to the unit/building (unless part of the original build on balconies).
Shared facilities outside lots e.g. stairwells, corridors, grounds, paths. OC responsible
Utility services e.g. plumbing, water, sewage, electricity. OC responsible for those services that benefit more than one lot. UO responsible for branch lines servicing one lot even if this goes outside the unit into common property.
Tree roots OC responsible, except where a tree is growing within a unit entitlement (i.e. courtyard) then it is UO responsibility.



COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
What facilities are provided for television and cable access?
A centralised television aerial system has been installed in the apartments. Outlets are in the lounge area and master bedrooms. All residential apartments are wired for cable television, telephone and internet services. The National Apartments are not NBN ready, but VDSL2 connections are possible. The patch panel for your unit is generally located in the top of the coat cupboard in your apartment entry.


HOUSEHOLD WASTE
Residents are encouraged to recycle bottles, tins, plastic containers and clean paper and place them in the recycling bins in the basement rubbish room. All large items including cardboard boxes must be flattened before placing in the recycling bins. Shredded paper should be bagged before disposing.
Large items such as furniture and electronic waste must not be placed in the bins, left in the rubbish area or placed in car spaces. The garbage room is covered by CCTV; costs to remove dumped articles will be passed on to the relevant owner/tenant.

Rather than dump unwanted goods consider taking them to the nearest Waste Disposal station in Mugga Lane or if they are still usable consider donating them to charities.

Household waste is collected on Mondays and Thursdays and recyclables are collected on Mondays and Fridays. Please ensure that any tradesmen or removalists you engage do not park in the driveway to the garbage room as the garbage collectors will not collect the rubbish if the driveway is blocked.


INSURANCE
Do I need to take out building insurance?
The Owners Corporation takes out comprehensive insurance annually to cover buildings and also to provide public liability cover on common areas, in much the same way as one would normally take out a buildings insurance policy for a normal residential dwelling. This policy is available for perusal by request to the Strata Managers.

Owners are responsible for taking out their own contents insurance cover, which should also include public liability, noting in this regard that their car parking spaces are owned by them in the same way as their unit and, consequently, liability arising from them would be the responsibility of the owner. There is sometimes confusion as to the extent of the insurance cover under this policy for fixtures, which would NOT be the responsibility of the Owners Corporation to maintain but which are covered by the policy. Examples are: external air conditioning units, water heaters, cook tops and ovens, and parquetry floors (as distinct from wooden floating floors).

The insurance policy taken out by the Owners Corporation covers damage caused to the common property and resultant damage to an individual unit from a fault on common property or a fault in another unit. The cost of the insurance excess may be on-charged to the unit owner where there has been a wilful or negligent act or omission of a member of the corporation.

Claims for damage caused by a fault on common property or from another unit must be reported to the building manager, City Strata, immediately so that the insurance company can be contacted and an assessor called. Unit owners/residents must not seek to have the damage repaired themselves unless it is an emergency or life threatening.


LEVIES
What is the purpose of the Administrative and Sinking Funds?
Part 5, Division 5.2 of the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 requires the Owners Corporation to establish an administrative fund for the administration of the corporation; and a sinking fund.

The purpose of the administrative fund is to meet the general administrative expenditure of the corporation, such as insurance, power and water, and maintenance of the common property of the complex.

The sinking fund is established to meet significant maintenance expenditure that is anticipated to be required in the future on a one off basis, such as renewal, replacement or repair of fixtures and fittings that are part of the common property (eg lifts) and other expenditure that would not normally be carried out annually.

The Owners Corporation is required to establish and maintain a 10 year sinking fund plan and to set levies annually in order to build a fund to meet these expenditures, as they arise, in order to avoid the need to call upon owners for a special levy.

The levies for the administrative and sinking funds are approved by the Owners Corporation at the Annual General Meeting, following the presentation by the Executive Committee of the proposed budget and expenditure for the next twelve months.

How often are levies paid?
The levies agreed by owners at the Annual General Meeting (usually held in August) are payable quarterly, commencing in September. It is essential that all owners pay their levies by the due date so that the necessary expenditure for the maintenance of the complex can be met.

The policy and procedure relating to the non-payment of levies which the Owners Corporation will continue to enforce are as follows:
  • If payment is not received within one month of the due date, administrative charges will be applied by City Strata for the first, second and third reminder letters.
  • If payment is still not received, the Executive Committee may, without further notice, refer the matter for legal proceedings or alternatively a debt collector, and any resultant costs will be added to the balance owing.


PARKING
Residents may park their vehicles only in the car space(s) allocated to their apartment. Car spaces should only be used for the parking of vehicles and or bicycles and not used to for the storage of any other materials, including inflammable materials.

Car spaces must not be used in any way that obstructs or hinders access to another car space or access through the Common Property.

Street parking is available at Darling St, Macquarie St and Brisbane Ave. A designated Loading Zone at Darling Street is available for use by tradesmen and removalists. Parking is not permitted in the driveway leading to the garbage area or on the nature strips


PETS
What do I need to do if I wish to own a pet?
Approval must be obtained from the Executive Committee, through The National's managing agent, City Strata, on behalf of the Owners Corporation before any pet is allowed into the apartments. This requirement applies even if a resident intends to mind a pet for a short period. Please refer to the Pet Policy for the procedure and forms that an applicant must complete in order for the Committee to make a decision.

Permission may be withdrawn if an animal becomes a nuisance. Owners are expected to keep their animal within their premises. Pets are not permitted on the central courtyard lawns and all pet litter must be disposed of properly.


REMOVALISTS
What do I need to do if I am moving in/out of The National?
Residents moving furniture or large objects to or from apartments with lift access must contact City Strata beforehand so protective coverings for the lifts can be organised.

Removalists must not park their vehicles on the driveway leading to the garbage area or the nature strips whilst unloading or loading goods. Instead they must use the Loading Zone in Darling Street, which is available daily from 07:30 am to 11:30 am. It will be necessary for removalists to then move goods by hand trolley to entrances on National Circuit, Macquarie Street and Darling Street, as appropriate for the move.

Owners/residents are responsible for any damage to common property during removals, including the footpaths and nature strips or to the apartments or the property of other residents, caused either directly or indirectly by themselves or by the removalist and will be charged accordingly for the repair of the damage.


SECURITY
High resolution security cameras have been installed in the basement car park, garbage area and entrances to the buildings. However, security is a collective responsibility and all residents should be alert to suspicious activity. The most effective strategy is to remove anything of value that may attract the interest of potential thieves including access cards, money, purses, GPS units, and mobile phones, from their cars. Residents should ensure that all access doors and gates are properly closed behind them and report any faults in the self-closing doors to City Strata Management as this will reduce the possibility of break-ins and vandalism.


STORAGE
What can I store in the basement?
Car parking spaces are not to be used for storing any items other than vehicles or bicycles. Storage lockers are provided for most apartments. They are marked with the same number as your unit door number for ease of recognition. Due to the shortage of lockers the Executive Committee has agreed that those owners who do not have a storage locker can, at their own expense, put a small metal storage cabinet in their parking bay. Please contact City Strata Management to find out the size and type of cabinet allowed. Storing items outside of existing or approved storage facilities is not permitted. This includes items placed on top of storage cabinets and items left in car spaces that are considered to be a fire hazard.


TRADESMEN
What are my responsibilities when engaging tradesmen?
Parking for tradesmen is an issue around Barton and a Loading Zone area has been designated for tradesmen on Darling Street. Any tradesmen you engage may also park in your private car space, but not in any vacant bays in the basement garage or in the Darling Street driveway to the garbage room. You should ensure that they do not dispose of hazardous waste material down the spoon drains or on to planted areas. The cost of freeing blocked drains and/or cleaning the area will be passed on to the owner/tenant that engaged the tradesmen.


CORRESPONDENCE
Who do I contact if there is a fault or maintenance issue?
Any common area faults or maintenance issues should be directed to our Strata Manager, City Strata Management Pty Ltd, telephone 02 6156 3305 or emailed to deb@citystrata.com.au. Should any owner or resident wish to correspond with The National's Executive Committee they can do so by also contacting City Strata Management.


DISCLAIMER
The Executive Committee of Units Plan 2265 accepts no responsibility for decisions made or actions taken by any person who has accessed information from this website.

     
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