Friday, May 12, 2006

Changes at the highrise

Guess who's partner is back on our building's body corporate committee? Yep, R was talked into doing another stint. Better that he does it and not me. He is better at such things and probably more agreeable to deal with. I can just snipe in the background.

There are some big changes starting next week. After the departure of the live in building manager and his cleaner wife, our building has basically been run by a sole cleaner between 8am and 4pm, with a couple of hours Saturday and Sunday to do the basics, and as time goes on, it is really starting to show. There are areas being neglected and some residents are really taking liberties, knowing that there is no one around to stop them.

Although most of the trouble comes from tenants, they are much easier to discipline through their renting agents. Owner occupiers are more stubborn and not a lot can be done to correct their behaviour.

The biggest issue is 'illegal moves'. Before moving in or out of the building, the manager must be contacted and a time arranged. No move ins or outs Saturday afternoon or Sunday or peak lift usage times. The manager puts up the protection canvas in one lift, shows the new residents around the building and explains a few basics to them and make sure they understand the building rules and overseas the move. Some people take it upon themselves not to notify the manager and just move whenever they like. It is the manager's task to stop this. Well, with only a cleaner here during the day and barely at all on weekends, there isn't anyone to stop them, although one member of the committee has tried.

So, from Monday, we will have a cleaner from 7 to 11, a caretaker/handyperson from 10 to 6 and a concierge from 5 to midnight. Note the overlap times. A gardener attends once a fortnight. A guard will be on call but not at the building. For only a little more money, the building will have much more service than with a live in manager. It will be interesting to see how well it works.

The building is about to undergo a security upgrade worth $38,000. This is mostly comprised of converting the cctv to digital and tripling the number of cameras. Already all entry, exit and movement within the building is also recorded by logging the use of remote controls and which door they have operated. It is very Big Brother for sure, but it should mean that the building will be much more secure and less prone to vandalism and anti social behaviour.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.