30 Oct Your body corporate has a 10-year maintenance plan; now what?
Sectional title legislation requires all sectional title schemes to have a 10-year maintenance plan, also referred to as a maintenance repair and replacement plan (MRRP), which estimates the maintenance cost required by year over a period of 10 years. This plan does not generally include day-to-day maintenance items as those are allocated to the administrative budget.
Let’s consider why a 10-year plan is important, how and why it must be kept updated, and how it helps trustees with scheduling maintenance.
Why is the MRRP important?
The MRRP is important because it is a legislative requirement in terms of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act (STSMA). It functions best when it is rational and well-structured so it can provide owners and trustees with a comprehensive long-term plan for the future maintenance expenditure of a major nature, along with guidance on how to finance the maintenance items.
This foresight into future expenditure allows trustees to budget more effectively and allows schemes to accrue sufficient funds over time to cover all critical expenditure without any unexpected surprises.
How and why do you update the MRRP?
The responsibility to prepare the MRRP lies with the trustees. The plan can either be drawn up by the trustees or they can outsource this to a third-party with building experience. The STSMA requires that an updated MRRP is presented at every annual general meeting (AGM) for review by the members and approval.
Although the trustees are responsible for the plan it must still be approved by the members at the AGM. As preparation for the AGM, the trustees should apply their minds to any new maintenance items that may need to be included in the budget as well as those that have been addressed in the past year. This part of the process is quite important as it will determine the levy payable by each owner towards the funds that need to be accumulated for future maintenance items.
When must the MRRP be updated?
An MRRP is a flexible plan where maintenance items can be moved from one year to the next. This does not mean that major capital items must be delayed for no reason or because it will cost the body corporate a lot of money. Existing and new maintenance items can be removed or be added to the plan as required.
The plan should be kept updated so reflect all work completed so the trustees can refer to it regularly as a dynamic and up-to-date document. It is suggested that they include the MRRP as a regular agenda item for their trustee meetings. This way they will have an updated plan to present to the members when the AGM comes around.
How does the MRRP help the trustees?
The trustees are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the common property in their scheme and, as mentioned before, are responsible for preparing the MRRP. If trustees are prudent and incorporate the MRRP into their daily and monthly management, it will allow them to plan for long term maintenance as well as the financial implications thereof.
With a 10-year plan the owners are less likely to be surprised with unexpected increases in maintenance reserve levies, and preventative maintenance can be implemented, reducing costs over time.
The MRRP is an integral part of the management of a scheme. To that end, trustees must ensure that they review their plan regularly and not just at the end of each financial year. Proper planning and adjustments to the MRRP will reduce costs for a scheme in the long term and will ultimately be less of a financial burden on the members of the scheme.