The National Apartments

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Recent News
 

July 8, 2015

Announcement
City Strata Management Pty Ltd appointed as new Strata Manager for The National Apartments.

For contact details click here


 

August 6, 2014

To see a copy of the latest Newsletter click here


 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 



ADMINISTRATIVE FUND
Section 59 of the Unit Titles Act 2010 requires the owners corporation to establish an administrative fund for the administration of the corporation; and section 61 requires the owners corporation to establish 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 levies for the administrative fund are agreed by owners at the Annual General Meeting, following the presentation by the Executive Committee of the proposed budget and expenditure for the next twelve months and the owners agreement to it.


BUILDING MODIFICATIONS
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 must only be installed after an acoustic engineers certificate has been obtained. More detailed information can be found in the Articles and House Rules.

Contractors / Workers hired directly by Unit Owners
If you have a contractor/worker who needs to access common areas to repair/install/service owners' installations then a request must go through Capital Strata Management Services. 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.


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 inside a unit is the property of the unit owner and that anything outside the unit is common property and therefore the responsibility of the owners corporation. 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 impacts on everybody to a lesser extent and therefore is a matter for 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 in. 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.

In being more precise about the definition of common property, strata management legislation throughout Australia refers owners to their strata plans. Anything shown on the plan as a unit will be the owner's responsibility and everything else will be common property.

Common Property Repairs and Maintenance
The general rules for who is responsible for maintenance and repairs within The National 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.

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 Owners Corporation has adopted this approach. The abbreviations OC denotes owners corporation and UO denotes unit owner in the table.

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.
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

Use of Common Property
The following points are made to clarify some other matters relating to common property:
  • Areas outside unit doors such as hallways are common property and owners or tenants are not allowed to store items nor hang artwork or similar artefacts in these areas.
  • Common property areas such as the courtyard are for the use of all owners and their guests and tenants, however, damage to common property resulting from abuse, misuse or negligence will be the responsibility of the owner.
  • The Executive Committee may consent to an application by a member of the corporation to use the common property if the use applied for is minor and the use will not unreasonably interfere with the reasonable use and enjoyment of the common property by other members of the corporation.
  • The owners corporation must take out and maintain public liability insurance in relation to all of the following events happening in relation to the common property as a result of an accident:
      * death, bodily injury or illness of anyone, and
      * loss of, or damage to, the property of anyone.
It should be noted however, that owner's car places belong to owners in the same as their units and are not common property.

Maintenance of Common Property
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 Managers or, if out of hours, to the relevant emergency number.


COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
Television
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 TransACT that allows you to use such services as TransTV (cable television), TransTALK (telephone) and TransWEB (internet services). The patch panel for your unit is generally located in the top of the coat cupboard in the your apartment entry.

Foxtel
Foxtel was installed in 2008. This allows residents to have Foxtel connected to their apartment however to connect there is an extra charge payable by the apartment owner/user and you need to contact Foxtel direct.


CORRESPONDENCE
Should any owner or resident wish to correspond with The National's Executive Committee they can do so by contacting our Strata Manager, City Strata Management Pty Ltd, telephone 02 6156 3305 or email to deb@citystrata.com.au.


ARTICLES
What are the Articles of an Owners Corporation?
The articles of an owners corporation consist of the articles (the articles) prescribed by regulation under the Unit Titles Act 2001 and as amended by the owners corporation. Simply put, they are matters (articles) 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.

The National Apartments Articles
The articles of The National can be found by clicking here.

Who is Bound by Articles?
The following rules apply with regard to who is and is not bound by the articles at The National.
  • The owner of a unit.
  • An occupier of a unit (who is not the owner of the unit) is bound by each article of the 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 articles 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.
  • An occupier of a unit who occupies the unit under a residential tenancy agreement within the meaning of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 is not bound by any article of the owners corporation to the extent that the article is inconsistent with the prescribed terms (or terms to the effect of the prescribed terms) to which the agreement is subject under that Act, section 8.
How are Articles Amended?
An owners corporation may, by special resolution, amend its articles 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 corporation as a true copy, or from a later date as stated in the resolution.

Breaches of Default Articles
The owners corporation of The National has to date adopted an approach whereby a person or persons breaching articles 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 articles that it is likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated then the Committee give 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 articles. It is not intended to detail them in this section, however, they can be accessed in Section 129. Of Part 7 of the ACT Unit Titles Act 2001.


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Role of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is responsible to the owners corporation for the overall management and operation of The National Apartments.

Functions of Executive Committee
The functions of the Executive Committee of the owners corporation are exercised as the corporation directs by resolution at a general meeting or, in the absence of any such resolution, as the Committee considers appropriate.

Broadly these functions include the following:
  • Developing and implementing matters in relation to the common property and the strategic affairs of the owners corporation,
  • Submitting matters developed under the above bullet to the owners corporation for consideration,
  • Monitoring the financial performance of the owners corporation,
  • Approving the annual financial statements and budget for presentation to the owners corporation at the corporation's annual general meeting,
  • Supervising the Treasurer, Secretary, Manager, Communications Officer and Caretaker, and
  • Carrying out decisions made by the owners corporation.
Composition of Executive Committee
The Executive Committee currently comprises five members who must all be owners:
  • Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Member
  • Member
The Committee is empowered to second persons to assist the Committee or to hire people for specific tasks.

Election of Committee Members
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 Committee members to fill casual vacancies on the Committee.

Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee may meet for the conduct of business whenever it decides with agendas normally issued seven days in advance of a meeting.

The Committee currently meets formally about every two months, however, these meetings are aimed at ratifying recommendations and taking decisions with the bulk of the Committee's work undertaken informally between meetings.

Communicating with the Committee
The Committee represents all owners and its ability to effectively communicate with its constituents and vice versa is at the heart of its effectiveness. It is therefore axiomatic that the Committee maintains close links with all owners and owners are encouraged to actively participate in all facets of the operation of the owners corporation.

The National Executive Committee can be contacted by contacting our Strata Manager, City Strata Management Services Pty Ltd, telephone 02 6156 3305 or email to deb@citystrata.com.au.


GARBAGE & HOUSEHOLD WASTE
Residents are encouraged to recycle bottles, tins, plastic containers and clean paper and place them in the recyling bins in the basement rubbish room. All large items including cardboard boxes must be flattened before placing in the recycling bins.

Large items such as furniture and electronic waste must mot be placed in the bins, left in the rubbish area nor placed in car spaces.

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 to charities.


INSURANCE
The Owners Corporation takes out comprehensive insurance annually to cover buildings and also to provide public liability cover, 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).

Where there is doubt, for example where owners have made alterations and additions that were not part of the original structure, such as additional built in cupboards, some insurers are prepared to add a clause to extend the definition of contents under the contents policy to extend cover to any alterations and additions to the unit that are not covered by the Owners Corporation insurance. Cleary the contents sum insured must adequately reflect this.

The insurance policy taken out by the Owners' Corporation covers damage caused to the common property and an individual unit from a fault on common property but not damage caused by a fault in another unit. For example if the roof leaks or blocked drain causes damage to the ceiling of an apartment, the Owners' Corporation will repair the cause and insurance covers the repair. If the leak or blockage occurs as a result of a plumbing problem in the unit above, then the unit owner that causes the problem must rectify the damage resulting which may be covered by their own insurance.

Claims for damage caused by a fault on common property must be reported to Link Corporate service 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
The levies agreed by owners at the Annual General Meeting are payable in two tranches, due on 1 August and 1 March. 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 from the administrative fund and when necessary under the sinking fund.

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, a reminder will be sent out by the strata managers stating that if the payment is not received within the next month, the account will be automatically charged with 20% interest on the outstanding balance as well as a $55 collection fee.
  • If payment is not received within a further month, 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.

MEETINGS
Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee currently meets formally about every two months, however, these meetings are aimed at ratifying recommendations and taking decisions with the bulk of the Committee's work undertaken informally between meetings.

The Committee represents all owners and its ability to effectively communicate with its constituents and vice versa is at the heart of its effectiveness. It is therefore axiomatic that the Committee maintains close links with all owners and owners are encouraged to actively participate in all facets of the operation of the owners corporation.

Should you wish to communicate with The National's Executive Committee they can be contacted by contacting our Strata Manager, City Strata Management Pty Ltd, telephone 02 6156 3305 or email to deb@citystrata.com.au.


PARKING BAYS
Parking Bays - 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 registered 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.


PETS
Pets are welcome at the National but approval must be obtained from the Executive Committee on behalf of the Owners Corporation before the pet is allowed into the apartments. There is specific Pet Policy for the apartments including the procedure and forms that an applicant must complete in order for the Committee to make a decision. Permission may also be withdrawn if an animal becomes a nuisance. Owners are expected to keep their animal within their premises and all pet litter must be disposed of properly.


RELEVANT LEGISLATION/ACTS
The following ACTS and Regulations are relevant to Unit Title Management in the Australian Capital Territory:
REMOVALISTS
Residents moving furniture or large objects to or from apartments must advise Capital Strata Management Services beforehand and obtain protective equipment for the lifts.

Removalist must also not park their vehicles on the nature strip whilst unloading or loading goods. Instead they must use the Loading Zone in Darling Street which is valid 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, as well as Darling Street, whichever applies in each move.

Owners/residents are responsible for any damage to common property including the footpaths and nature strip or to the apartments or the property of other residents, caused either directly or indirectly by themselves or by removalists and will be charged appropriately for the repair of this damage.


SECURITY ISSUES
The Apartments have 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 two types of security remotes as well as two keys.

One remote will enable you to:
  1. Gain access to the main entry lobby of your particular building from the street or courtyard
  2. Gain access into the carpark via the courtyard gates
  3. Operate the lift to the floor level of your apartment should your unit be one of the four towers in the complex with lifts operating in them.
The other remote will only operate the roller door at the bottom of the ramp in the car park thus facilitating entry into or exit out of the car park.

There are two keys issued for each apartment:
  1. One key provides access to and from your unit via the fire escape.
  2. The other key is the key to the front door of your apartment.
You should be aware that the keys are registered keys and that replacements will not be provided by any commercial key cutters but that Canberra Locksmiths is the only company authorised to provide replacement keys. They can be contacted on (02) 62853544.

The Strata Manager, Capital Strata Management Services, is responsible for the provision of all remote security cards. All lost remotes must be reported to Capital Strata Management Services as soon as possible and replacement remotes may be obtained at the current cost to the owner. You should note that residents will only be issued one car park remote for each parking bay they have in the car park.

Security is a collective responsibility and all residents should be alert to suspicious activity. Residents should also ensure that all access doors and access gates are properly closed after use as this will reduce the possibility of illegal access.

High resolution security cameras have been installed in the basement car park but the most effective strategy is to remove anything that may attract the interest of potential thieves including access cards, money, purses, GPS units, cameras, mobile phones, sunglasses from their cars.

Entry by Residents
There are seven entrances into the complex from the surrounding streets. Each of the four towers at the corners of the complex have a main entry while the apartments between the towers fronting onto Brisbane Avenue are accessed via a single entrance and the apartments fronting onto Darling Street have two access points.

Access for residents beyond the front doors of the towers or the gates at entrances from Brisbane Avenue and Darling Streets is only through use of remote swipes on the remote reader-activated doors and gates. Once inside the main entry lobbies in the towers, 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 the building via the carpark. To gain access into the building via the carpark, simply follow the steps below:
  1. Enter the carpark via the entry ramp located in Darling Street
  2. Press your garage remote as you approach the garage roller door in the driveway. This will activate the roller shutter door
  3. Park your car in your allocated parking space and proceed to you nearest lift lobby
  4. Call the lift via the call butons
  5. Swipe your door remote across the reader in the lift and then press the required floor button.
Entry by Guests
Guests can enter the building via the main entry lobby

To enter the building via the main entry lobby, guests should follow the steps listed below:
  1. Upon arriving guests should call your apartment by using the intercom station located on the wall adjacent to the main entry lobby doors
  2. 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 from the unit
  3. Once the handset is lifted an audio connection will be established. Vision of your guest is also available via your TV screen if you wish to have a visual check. Your TV should be tuned to 698MHz on the UHF band to view the front entry door. Most modern TVs have an auto tune facility that will lock in a location for all available signals
  4. To allow your guest to enter the lobby press the 'key' button on the intercom unit. This will deactivate the locking mechanism to the main lobby doors allowing your guest to enter. Your guest have 60 seconds to enter the lift and press the button for your floor of the apartments, otherwise the lift will not move from the ground floor, and they will have to return to the intercom and recall the unit.

SINKING FUND
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 replacement of infrastructure (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 levy for the sinking fund is set at the Annual General Meeting, after approval by the owners of the sinking fund budget plan.


STORAGE LOCKERS
All storage lockers 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.

These lockers must remain with the boundaries of your parking bay and, like all storage lockers, cannot be used to store any inflammable contents. Please contact Capital Strata Management Services to find out the size and type of cabinet allowed.


STORAGE IN CAR PARK
Car Parking spaces are not be used for storing any items other than currently registered motor vehicles or approved lockers (See Storage Lockers above). Any items or material outside of existing or approved storage facilities is not allowed and that items so left will be removed from the car park and disposed of accordingly.


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

     
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