Strata Living in Australia: It should not be just a complex, it should be a community!
Located in: What the experts say
More people than ever before are choosing to live in apartment blocks and town houses. There is no doubt Government Policy has also shifted to encourage more urban density as the growing costs of urban sprawl mount. As such, it is my firm belief that strata living in Australia should be focused on developing communities, not just complexes!
Living in a strata property comes with its complications. Naturally living close together and often sharing facilities can lead to conflicts arising from time to time. To a large degree, our modern-day lifestyles of long working days and an increased amount of time spent on technology have resulted in us becoming a less sociable society!
So, with higher density and lower empathy, the number of conflicts internally for strata companies has been on the rise. It’s up to strata companies themselves to change this, but why should they?
By bringing occupants together (both owners and tenants), strata complexes can create a more harmonious environment. This in turn increases the likelihood that people will be able to resolve individual differences more easily, reducing the number of issues a strata company and its council of owners will have to deal with. It will also encourage owner participation on important issues within the complex.
I encourage council of owners to take up the challenge turning their strata complex into a community. Here are five tips to get you started:
1) Hold social events. Have a BBQ on the common property, a meet and great night or even a community garden. For larger complexes, consider forming a social committee to keep the residents involved and active!
2) Have an induction information booklet. Let new owners and residents know about the strata complex and how it runs. This provides opportunities to lay out some house rules, introduce your committee, tell them about facilities and encourage their participation.
3) Be informative and communicate. Have a noticeboard or website and use newsletters. Don’t be afraid to let people know what’s going on. Give them a sense of ownership in the complex as a whole and not just their lot.
4) Ask for all occupants to provide suggestions and feedback on what will make their strata living better. This again creates that crucial sense of belonging!
5) Encourage involvement on the important issues. Ask people what they do and use their knowledge to help inform decisions. Most complaints that occur regarding completed works and projects come from those not involved!<