You love your new apartment. It doesn’t matter if it’s brand new or a pre-loved apartment, it’s now yours. You love the quicker commute to work. And you love the freedom of spending weekends brunching instead of mowing the lawn. The move has made life easy.
With community living comes lots of neighbours. Strangers living in close proximity; some friendly, some not so much. And meetings. What, wait? There’s meetings I now need to attend and participate in?
And there it is. You receive your first levies notice together with an invitation to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) for your building’s Owners Corporation.
The AGM is scheduled for 6.00pm on a Wednesday night. It’s now THAT Wednesday, it’s 5.30pm and you’re still at work. You consider not going to the meeting. After all, life is busy enough and time is precious.
But then you remember the reason you bought the apartment in the first place. To be close to work and make life easier, right?
That’s right. Let’s put it in perspective. You work hard to earn your money and this property is your investment. You need to invest in your investment. It’s time to pack up at work and get yourself home for the meeting.
Meetings can be a win-win
You attend the meeting. And fortunately for you, you did. Not only do you meet your neighbours, but you discover most are just as friendly as you. They too love where they live and want to make it a better place.
You realise that together you have a democratic voice as to how you want your property to be managed. It is in your best interest to attend and contribute.
So you participate in the decision-making process of your Owners Corporation’s administration to benefit yourself and your neighbours. Agreed that no one wants to pay higher levies to cover costs to repair and maintain common property if it can be managed proficiently upfront.
And just quietly you now have a greater respect for your neighbours who serve as committee members. You understand they are all busy too and were no doubt seeking a simpler lifestyle when they bought their apartment. Their roles are voluntary, not to mention quite thankless.
No whining and save the wine for later
The strata industry has long since called for increased owner participation at Annual General Meetings as a minimum starting point for improving the community experience of owning and living in strata.
It is not a big ask. As an owner, it is up to you to make the most from your investment.
So if reading this encourages one more owner go to their next AGM to have their say instead of staying home whining about not having had their say, then it has been worth it.