In many residential areas of Australia, there can be land which needs to be looked after by the nearby residents in common with one another. Some business communities also have land which needs to be maintained jointly because there is no single owner. The trouble is that all too frequently a leasing organisation or a maintenance firm takes control of the care of all the common land, such as car parks, walkways and gardens, and charges home and premises owners a flat annual fee to do so. However, if the neighbours form their own routine for maintaining common land, the charges that are levied can be slashed. How should you go about ensuring common land and gardens are cared for properly?
Talk to the Interested Parties
Most common land needs to be maintained by the people whose land adjoins it. The articles in your land deeds should make clear which areas are your responsibility solely and which might be joint, with neighbours. Talk to your wider neighbour to see who else has maintenance responsibilities in your area. If you only deal with the small patch that affects you, then so be it, but economies of scale can soon be reached if your neighbours' and your own jobs are done together. For example, if you need to repair a patch on a private road, why not pool your resources with neighbours further down it who also need to conduct repair works?
Maintaining Garden Areas
Common gardens and patches of greenery can all be maintained for landowners by a firm specialising body corporate gardening care without the need for an intermediary business taking a fee. This can over all of the general gardening maintenance issues, such as cutting grass and ensuring shrubs don't block access points, like common pathways and fire escapes. If larger works need to be undertaken, such as removing trees and stump grinding, then it will be advisable to make sure all of the interested parties in the neighbourhood are informed before going ahead.
Most people get on board with a common maintenance regime if they see the benefit of saving money. Form a committee to oversee joint maintenance works at the best price by seeking competitive quotations. When selecting equipment to be installed, opt for the most cost-effective in the long-term, such as LED lighting for common pathways and durable paving slabs for walkways. If there is a jointly owned garden to be maintained, then select shrubs which need little pruning from year to year while still providing a good deal of ground cover. This way, you will need to spend less on having grass cut and borders being weeded.