Frequently Asked Questions About Maintenance Planning

In a recent SCA NSW fortnightly webinar, Dakota Panetta (Solutions In Engineering), Jill Walshaw (Pica Group/SCA NSW) and Tony Irvine (SCA NSW) delve into the topic of maintenance planning in strata.

Maintenance planning must not be neglected as this can result in further failures down the road. This includes depreciation of assets, insurance challenges and safety hazards for occupants.

What is an Initial Maintenance Schedule? 

An Initial Maintenance Schedule (IMS) is a document provided by developers to the owners corporation which identifies all common property items that need consistent maintenance and how to carry out such works. The IMS should align with the first Capital Works Fund Plan for the scheme; failing to follow it can void warranties. 


What role does a Maintenance Planning Specialist play? 

A Maintenance Planning Specialist is responsible for determining the remaining useful life of building elements and assets, predicting future repair, maintenance or replacement needs and budgeting for these tasks.  


Which types of work does the Design and Building Practitioners Act impact? 

The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 affects repair work and most replacement work for building elements. Examples include balustrading replacements, facade repairs, waterproofing, door/window replacement, roofing and structural repairs. 


What issues make a building hard to insure? 

Buildings may become hard to insure due to factors such as extensive claims history, evidence of poor maintenance planning, defects, unaddressed Work Health and Safety (WH&S) concerns, failure to act on expert advice and combustible cladding. 


What are the selection requirements for engaging contractors? 

Contractors should be licensed, insured and appropriately qualified. Safe work method statements should be provided for high-risk trades and documents should be regularly reviewed and updated. Third-party monitoring companies can assist in this process and minimum criteria for insurance cover and WH&S compliance should be agreed upon with the scheme. 


How should contractors be appointed? 

Contractors should be engaged with a written work order that includes clear instructions. Spending limits should be documented if acting under delegated authority and standard work order terms and conditions should be established. Essential documents relating to WH&S hazards, including asbestos reporting, should be provided or identified on-site before work commences. 


What should be considered regarding contract requirements and legislation?  

Understanding contract requirements and relevant legislation, such as section 106 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, is essential. This includes reviewing the registered strata plan, obtaining necessary approvals for works and complying with the Design & Building Practitioners Act 2020. 


Maintenance Planning Fact Sheet