Why set up building items?
The Unit Titles Regulations Section 30(1)(a) states that "A long-term maintenance plan must cover the common property, building elements and infrastructure of the unit title development".
While we can interpret this as meaning each item should be considered, we accept that it is debatable whether or not you need to actually list all of those items in your plan.
However, to ensure that you are fully compliant, it is our recommendation that you include in your LTMP a list of all building items in your development, including those that that are unlikely to feature in the jobs section. This way not only will you be more confident that your LTMP is compliant, it will be clear to any person who studies your LTMP that the body corporate has considered the maintenance requirements of all building items in the development.
We have a full summary of compliance related matters on this help page.
Identifying separate or unique items.
Sometimes you might have to create more than one item for a building element. For example, your development might have different roofs. There might one area of roof coated with butynol and another area clad in galvanised steel and each of these would typically need to be considered separately. In this case we recommend that you set up two items named "Roof - Butynol Secton" and "Roof - Steel Section" or something similar.
The same might apply if you have more than one building and the roof on each building needs to be considered separately.
On the other hand if your development is in the form of a village or row of townhouses and each unit's roof is equal in age and condition, one roof item will probably be adequate for all roofs in the development.
How much detail should you include?
When it comes to setting up your items, we have attempted to keep the process as simple and speedy as possible while also allowing for flexibility. So when you set up your items you can choose to be very brief - by simply listing the items - or you can include a complete description of each item, including its current condition.
If you choose to include the current condition, it does mean that you will have to return to edit some items each year if and when their condition changes. However, this is only a once-a-year job and the edit process is quick and simple.
Using the items section as a record.
We also suggest that the items section is a good place to keep a record of such things as the manufacturer, model and/or specification of various building components for future reference. For example your roof could be coated with either 1mm or 1.5mm butynol. Alternativley if it is made from coated steel, it could be clad with any one of dozens of combinations of brands, styles, guages, substrates and colours. A steel roof can also be clipped in place or pierce fixed using a range of different fasteners.
If you know these specifications now, why not record them here in this section so that at some time in the future when someone else would like to know, they can just refer to this document.
We acknowledge that this might take you a little more time to initially set up your LTMP but you only need to set it up once. And you can always add information later as it becomes available or when you have more time.
Why include the Age, Life and Cost of Replacement of items?
The Unit Titles Regulations S30 also requires that your LTMP includes the age and life expectancy of each item along with its cost of maintenance and replacement. We have provided the age, life and cost of replacement table to completely satisfy this requirement.
The cost of maintenance is covered in the jobs and funding sections but in the majority of cases the other information will be largely irrelevant. The only time it will be relevant is when you have recorded the estimated remaining life of any item as being less than the period covered by your plan. We have written a bit more in this here.
Is there a link between items and jobs?
In the Plan Heaven planning application, there is no link between items and jobs. So if you prefer, you can get started on your plan by going straight to the jobs section and bypassing the items section.
You will need to complete the items section before your plan can be regarded as complete - because setting up items also creates the age, life and cost of replacement table. But it is the jobs and funding tables that are core to any LTMP and the sections your owners will be most interested in.
So if time is short, you can complete the job and funding sections first and go back to the items section later.
The benefits of a complete and comprehensive LTMP
We acknowledge that the initial setup will take a little more effort than the annual reviews and updates that you will undertake in future years but if you do take the time to initially set up your plan so that it is a complete document, anyone who looks at your LTMP will hopefully gain some confidence that the body corporate is well run and on top of its maintenance.
After that your annual updates should be a breeze taking only a few minutes for small developments and not much longer for big ones.
If you have any feedback or questions please use the feedback form.
The Plan Heaven team.
Disclaimer. Plan Heaven is not qualified in law and any comments made on this website should not be regarded as legal advice. Our comments are merely providing some thoughts on how the legislation might be interpreted and how we went about attempting to meet its requirements. You should not rely on this information in isolation and do you own homework and at all times if you wish to be sure of your position relating to legal matters you should seek advice from a suitably qualified lawyer.