Adopting a Common Property Memorandum (CPM) can deliver several benefits for owners corporations and strata managers but what exactly is it and what’s involved in putting one in place?
Gary Adamson, Managing Director, Strata Management Services NSW, and REINSW Strata Management Chapter Committee Chairperson was part of a strata management working group that introduced the CPM.
Adamson says the CPM was created a few years ago in response to the high number of strata scheme disputes that related to who was responsible for common property.
“The majority of strata scheme complaints to the tenancy tribunal at the time related to whether a lot owner or the owners’ corporation was responsible for maintaining, repairing or replacing certain common property,” he says.
Adamson says in response to this the working group created a universal memorandum that outlined who was responsible for what common property.
The resulting CPM was lodged with the Office of the Registrar General and made available to owners’ corporations and strata managers.
“Later we followed up with the tribunal to get an idea of what the memorandum’s response or effect had been on the number of complaints. The tribunal indicated that about two-thirds of the applications [to resolve common property disputes for strata schemes] were no longer coming in.”
Adamson says the memorandum enables owners’ corporations and strata managers to effectively resolve many common property issues without having to apply to the tribunal.
What Is the Common Property Memorandum?
The CPM is a publicly available document that specifies who is responsible for the maintenance, repair or replacement of any common property.
It details responsibilities for everything from balconies, electrical, ceilings and courtyards to flooring, windows, plumbing and parking.
The prescribed common property memorandum can be uniformly applied to any strata scheme. The CPM document cannot be modified except to exclude specified items that are not applicable or present at the property.
Adamson says while the CPM document is only four pages long, it contains enough detail and is specific enough to meet the needs of any strata scheme.
Adamson says the key benefits of adopting a CPM include providing certainty around common property responsibilities and making strata management administration easier.
“A CPM makes everything uniform for the strata schemes where it is adopted. From a strata management point of view, strata managers won’t need to move between different reference documents for each property. By having the CPM in place for all the properties they manage they will save on administration time.”
Adopting a CPM
A CPM can be adopted by passing a by-law for the individual strata scheme. You can download a copy of the CPM from the Fair Trading NSW website.
You can also find out more about adopting the CPM by contacting Strata Management Services NSW.
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