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Update for strata committee members on Covid rules

Update for strata committee members on Covid rules

Mandatory masks in indoor common property areas

A reminder, on 13 July 2021, the NSW Government made it mandatory to wear a fitted face mask in indoor areas of common property in strata-titled, community titled, and company titled property in Greater Sydney so make sure you have COVID signage at entry points.

Strata committees are responsible for ensuring that mandatory mask posters are visible at every entry point of the building. The Secretary should arrange to print and place signage at the entry points to the building. The signage is available from the following link.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covidsafe/toolkit?gclid=CjwKCAjwmqKJBhAWEiwAMvGt6J6enHD8lpxvVAwj77QYcCRwKmFFJ6nvESxqtSMqgTqlZSP6DpZ_XxoC7YMQAvD_BwE

You can use the simple pictorial sign about mask wearing but there are other options available for example reminding residents the stay at home orders are in place, personal hygiene measures to stop the spread and that no visitors are permitted. If you need assistance with printing and laminating the signage please just email us.

Prescribed work

Prescribed work is renovation (alterations or additions), repair, maintenance or cleaning work. This includes maintenance services such as gardening, swimming pool, and pest control services.

Repairs and maintenance

In Greater Sydney areas, outside of the 12 LGAs of concern, all work, including “prescribed work” (renovations, repairs, maintenance and cleaning), is allowed to commence or continue provided you follow the rules.

Rules and restrictions

  • Workers must follow mandatory face mask rules and follow capacity limits:
  • no more than 2 people are working inside a unit at the same time
  • a resident should stay in a separate indoor area to where the work is being carried out in their unit
    and
  • no more than 5 people are working in an outdoor area at the same time.
    If contactless arrangements are not possible, work cannot go ahead.
    Fire inspections
    Maintenance, repairs, and routine service work on fire safety systems can be carried out in
    residential premises. Owners corporations still have a legal obligation to ensure their annual fire
    safety inspection is carried out.
  • all work must be carried out using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety
    procedures;
  • base building fire systems should be assessed, but common sense and health considerations
    should be taken concerning servicing single occupancy units (SOUs), and
  • where access cannot be obtained practitioners should work out alternative arrangements in the
    short term to satisfy themselves that systems are performing, and arrange to reinspect at a later
    time.

Cleaning and other works

Some latitude should be given during this time as many cleaning companies are working with restricted staff numbers. There are additional restrictions for workers from LGAs of concern. Local government areas of concern are currently Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith.

Anyone doing “prescribed works” such as cleaning and gardening and living in any of the local government areas of concern, can only work in their LGA. Cleaners are not “authorised workers”. They are not included in the “other services” category under “authorised workers”. They are not allowed to leave their LGA for work.

Should common property facilities remain open during a lockdown?

Owners corporations and community associations should make their own risk assessment to determine if facilities should remain open as, under the current Public Health Order, common property facilities aren’t explicitly forbidden from being open.

If this decision has been made, they need to operate safely, and comply with physical distancing and hygiene measures and ensure these areas are routinely cleaned and disinfected. The additional cleaning costs may outweigh the benefits of keeping facilities open.

Waste Management

It’s a real mess at the moment with so many people working from home, getting food and other deliveries and the waste and recycling bins are overflowing. Additional signage in the bin bays may prompt residents to break down cardboard, not overfill the nearest bin or to deposit waste on the floor and to keep unwanted household items for the periodic or special ordered council collections. If you have space consider extra blue and yellow recycle bins council often provides them free or just charges for the cost of the bin without affecting rate payments.

Open homes for sale and rental properties

Under the current stay at home order for Greater Sydney. Open homes for sale and rental properties cannot take place. In-person auctions are also not permitted. Instead, real estate agents can arrange private inspections for single persons and online auctions. Real estate agents must have a Covid-19 safety plan to protect the health of workers, buyers and tenants. Rental Ingoing/Outgoing Inspections and Pre-Settlement Inspections can be conducted provided the premises are unoccupied.

Workers from LGAs of concern

From Monday 6 September 2021, if you live in or are temporarily staying in a local government area of concern, you must not leave your local government area for work unless you comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Effective 6 September 2021, if you are over the age of 16 and live in or are temporarily staying in a LGA of concern, you must not leave your local government area for work unless you have:

  • had at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or
  • evidence of a medical exemption

Mask exemptions

The NSW Government signed off on a new Public Health Order and as of 23 July. If you cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition, you must carry;

  • A medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner or a registered NDIS
    practitioner or a statutory declaration.
  • Proof of exemption and identity
    If you are in a situation where masks are mandatory, a regulatory officer can ask you to confirm
    the lawful reason you are not wearing a face mask.
    If asked by NSW Police, you must show them proof of exemption or your medical certificate. You
    must also carry and produce evidence of your name and address to a police officer if requested.
    A statutory declaration will require you to identify your disability, physical or mental health illness
    or condition and declare:
  • you have the physical or mental health illness or condition or disability and
  • the physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability makes wearing a fitted facecovering
    unsuitable.
    Officers will issue a penalty notice if you clearly refuse to wear a mask without a lawful reason.
    It is not up to the strata committee or strata managing agent to enforce legislation related to
    Covid rules such as mask wearing. It’s a NSW Police matter and could be referred to the crime
    stoppers hotline if you believe there is a breach occurring.

Electronic voting and meeting

As of 21 July 2021, owners corporations and community land associations are once again able to validly meet and vote electronically without having previously adopted a resolution in this regard. The existing regulations on executing documents without the common seal and serving notice of meetings by email have been retained.

These regulations will be in force until the end of 20 January 2022.

QR Codes

Currently, it is not mandatory for residential premises to have QR Code check-ins. QR Code Checkins are mandatory for commercial strata plans. We are looking into a bulk registration QR code for
our clients to simplify the process.

Any questions don’t hesitate to contact us here at Strata Logic info@stratalogic.com.au

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Strata Logic

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