News & Events

Gardening at a Strata Complex

Whilst it is evident that it is a great cost saving to have willing residents carry out the gardening duties at a strata complex, there is potential for it all to go wrong.

Firstly, we need to recognise the importance of having someone doing this task, both now and into the future. It could potentially be a big job and could become a real mess if not attended to properly.

It can be quite common for residents to carry out voluntary tasks on behalf of their strata company. It could be maintenance or renovation inside and outside of the building, or cleaning and gardening of communal areas. It is evident that it is a great cost saving to have willing residents carry out these duties and all is fine until something goes wrong. For example, the person doing the task trips over and breaks his or her ankle. They cannot return to their regular place of work and seek compensation for medical costs or lost income from the strata company.

In a strata insurance policy, the voluntary workers section provides individuals cover for accidental death or injury while working voluntarily as authorised by the strata company without payment, reward, or remuneration. Therefore, if you would like to volunteer on behalf of your strata company to carry out the
duties required, you will need to seek written approval from the strata council. It is also important to advise and confirm with your strata manager that the type of voluntary work is officially recorded with your name and date. If you are injured whilst carrying out this work, this information may be requested by the insurer when lodging a claim.

Each insurer has its own table of benefits for this section, detailing the benefit amount payable for each event. This can include loss of sight and/or the loss of hands/feet, etc. In addition to the table of benefits, it is also important to read through and understand the insurer’s policy conditions and exclusions.

Therefore, should the strata company wish to engage a voluntary worker, they should first check whether the work needs to be performed by a licensed tradesperson (e.g., plumbing and/or electrical works) and ensure that the person allocated to the task is qualified and able to take on the work.

So, what are the options? The strata company can permit voluntary workers and take on the risk, or engage a suitably qualified contractor for the service.

Written by Rick Blampey of SVN | Perth


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