If you’re like most Australian’s, you’re no doubt celebrating the continued decline of COVID-19 cases and the relaxing of restrictions that has followed. We’re almost there! And it feels like life is (almost) back to normal. But given what we have learned about highly transmissible viruses such as COVID-19, should some elements of day-to-day life remain the same in a post-coronavirus society? When we consider the overall positive outcomes of improvements to public health and hygiene practices, it’s reasonable to assume some of our newly adapted attitudes will remain. And we believe If you live or work in a strata-owned property, improved cleaning of common areas should be one of them.
Common Areas – The Clue is in the Name
Common areas – areas “commonly” used by residents, tenants, and visitors – take various forms; lifts, escalators, foyers, lobbies, shared bathrooms, leisure areas, food courts… there are many areas that fall into this category when it comes to strata properties. And one thing we’ve learned from COVID-19 is that commonly frequented areas are hot spots for transmission, both from person-to-person and from exposure to high-touch surfaces. Many of us have become all too aware of how many high-touch surfaces we experience every day. And some of us have even found ourselves wondering why we never had the level of cleaning and hygiene in common areas that we do now.
But DO We Really Need to Continue this Level of Caution?
Chances are your buildings pre-coronavirus cleaning schedule for common areas would not be sufficient in meeting the current health and safety legislative requirements during a global pandemic. Presumably this was addressed in your building at the very start of the pandemic – or at least when it reached Australian shores. But now that we’ve seen unprecedented, history-making circumstances and how they’ve affected (and will continue to affect) our economy and communities, can we really consciously go back to the way things were? Can your strata committee genuinely (or legally) agree that relaxing cleaning measures in common areas is in the best interest of all the owners they represent – not to mention their visitors, customers, or employees? If you’re at all uncertain that your commercial cleaning practices are up to scratch, engage a quality professional cleaning company for help. Trained and experienced professional cleaners are able to advise on best practices in high risk environments such as strata common areas and will have protocols in place to ensure compliance with the latest guidelines issued by the Australian Government and the World Health Organisation.
But Who Foots the Bill?
Common areas in strata properties usually fall under a shared-use agreement between owners. This means, that the cost of cleaning for common areas is split between all owners who use (or have the option to use) those areas. The cost is paid by owners or tenants in monthly or quarterly strata levies. Chances are, your building is already paying for a professional cleaning service, and if they’re not, they should be! With the pre-COVID cost of cleaning services already divided amongst owners or tenants and paid in instalments via strata levies, an increase in the frequency or type of cleaning services shouldn’t be too extreme. With the help of your strata manager, your strata committee can consider the benefits of continuing the COVID-level cleaning of common areas and vote to increase the budget for this going forward.
At Keen To Clean, we understand this can be a confusing time for strata committees and owners. Our experienced and dedicated team of professional cleaners can assist in keeping your common areas appropriately sanitized and disinfected, ensuring the health and safety of your building’s residents, tenants and visitors – as well as helping you meet your due diligence as a committee. We currently service residential, commercial and mixed-use strata properties in metro and greater Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.