Victorian owners corporation industry updates

Victorian owners corporation industry updates

Find the latest news updates and information on Victorian community living and changes impacting owners corporations

The timeline below provides summaries of relevant industry updates that impact or may interest owners corporation property owners and residents in Victoria.

August 2023: Power Saving Bonus: $250 rebate for Victorian households

To support Victorian households save on electricity bills while encouraging energy-conscious habits, the Power Saving Bonus program offers eligible residents a one-off payment of $250.

To qualify for the Power Saving Bonus, applicants must meet the following requirements set by the program:

  1. You are a residential energy consumer with a residential electricity account.
  2. You must be the account holder, ensuring the benefit reaches the intended recipient.
  3. Applicants have a one-time payment per household.


The application process for the Power Saving Bonus is quick and hassle-free. . Instead, the program also offers valuable information on the best-priced electricity offers available in your area, empowering you to make informed decisions about your energy consumption.

Follow the link to learn more about the eligibility criteria and apply for this bonus today.

August 2023: SCA industry report: unveiling the challenges of integrating electric vehicles into community complexes

As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to rise, schemes face the challenge of integrating EV infrastructure into their buildings.

With millions of residents living in an owners corporation, exploring effective strategies that promote EV adoption and overcoming obstacles related to common facilities, limited space, ageing infrastructure, and shared ownership structures is crucial.


A recent report released by the Strata Community Association has uncovered the following three critical challenges that impact the successful adoption of EVs:

Challenge 1: EV charging costs, cases and strata governance

Challenge 2: EV backbone infrastructure and technical considerations

Challenge 3: Insurance and safety


By recognising and understanding these obstacles, owners, tenants, managers, governments, and infrastructure providers can work together to identify effective strategies and solutions that mitigate these barriers, promote the widespread adoption of EVs, and foster a greener and more sustainable future for strata residents.

Follow the link to read more about the comprehensive report by the Strata Community Association (SCA) delves into key issues, providing policy priorities and actionable solutions for a greener and more sustainable future for all residents.

May 2023: Concerning defects in fire safety systems found across multi-owned properties

A VBA supported research lead by Deakin University was undertaken to understand the prevalence of defects in fire protection features within apartment building structures that are designed to limit the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire

Findings revealed that 80% of Victorian multi-owned properties had fire safety defects. Most defects were related to the structure of fire and smoke-rated walls, which pose a risk to the safety of occupants.

Click the link to read more about the research, potential causes and opportunities to reduce these defects from impacting your property.

May 2023: Cut your heating costs in 2023 with energy-efficient heaters

Electric heaters, gas heaters, and reverse-cycle air conditioning are common types of heaters available. However, heating costs can rise significantly during winter if you’re not using an energy-efficient heater. When preparing your home for the cooler months, it is important to consider:

  • Choosing a model with a high star rating and a timer that can help save you money on energy bills.
  • Ensuring your property has adequate insulation and weather stripping around windows and doors can also help reduce heat loss.

Click on the link for a 2023 guide to energy-efficient heaters to prepare for the upcoming winter.

May 2023: Keep the elements out with rebated weather sealing installation upgrades

As temperatures drop during the winter, many homeowners in Victoria may find a rise in energy bills due to poorly sealed windows, doors, and vents. The state government are now offering rebated weather-sealing installation upgrades for windows, doors, vents and chimneys for better temperature control. Victorian households can now participate in this incentive to improve energy efficiency and save on excessive energy bills during the winter months.

Available upgrades include:

  • Sealing doors
  • Sealing windows
  • Replace or modify ceiling or wall fan
  • Sealing wall vents
  • Sealing temporary/permanent chimneys
  • Sealing evaporative cooler vents

Click on the link for more information on the upgrade and rebates to expect.

December 2022: Combatting the increase in energy costs

Recent global events and economic pressures have led to a rise in energy costs across the country this year. We understand this is likely tough on your personal budget and your owners corporation property’s annual budget.

However, there are some avenues you can explore to bring down these costs.

Click the link below to learn the Strata Community Association’s top four tips for reducing energy costs.

July 2022: Fair Work Commission increases minimum wage

The Fair Work Commission has increased the minimum wage from 4.6%- 5.2%, effective 1st of July 2022.

This means some contractors assisting your property for services such as cleaning, security, gardening, landscaping, pest control, plumbing, and fire services may increase their labour costs.

We encourage committees to take the 4.6%-5.2% rise in the minimum wage into account when budgeting for regular maintenance works as well as repairs and upgrade projects.

If you have any questions regarding budgeting for increased labour costs, please get in touch with your owners corporation manager.

May 2022: Pandemic and natural disasters impact contactor availability 

Australia has experienced significant challenges over the past 2.5 years – from devastating bush fires and the pandemic to the recent significant flooding in South-Eastern Queensland and Northern NSW. This all contributes to a national challenge in securing materials and labour to attend to both emergency works and routine maintenance works required for your strata community.

While PICA Group has access to an extensive list of contractors, there are delays and economic impacts that are unavoidable as a result of the economic climate we face and we ask for your understanding as the suppliers work with us and your community to provide the necessary services.

The broader impact of these shortages, escalating prices and significant insurance losses are the impact to the premiums that could be experienced by owners corporation communities and businesses throughout Australia.

Brokers have indicated an expectation to accommodate an uplift in budgets for insurance renewals. Given this is likely to be based on the existing building sum insured (with minor escalation of costs allowances), it is important to consider how these escalating costs may affect your strata community.

We recommend that your committee considers reviewing the policy limits and, where appropriate, obtains a revised insurance valuation report that considers all costs, including building sum insured, temporary accommodation, demolition etc., to assure that there is sufficient provision in the event of a claim being submitted.

To obtain an appropriate valuation, or for any other assistance you may need for this task, please liaise directly with your owners corporation manager.

June 2022: PICA Group CEO Wayne Walker to take part in Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout

PICA Group’s CEO Wayne Walker will once again be participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, this year on 23 June. Needless to say, we’re incredibly proud of him.

This annual event raises vital funds for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of finding themselves without a safe place to call home. Every dollar we raise goes to Vinnies’ services, which include food, accommodation, education, counselling, employment and health programs.  If you’d like to make a donation to Wayne’s fundraising effort, you can do so below.

2021: New National Construction Code to for safe and secure housing

In a win for all Australians, a majority of state and territory building ministers have agreed to a national minimum standard in the draft of the National Construction Code 2022. These could lead the way for 50% of homes to have minimum accessibility features suitable for the elderly and those living with a disability. They could include seven key design elements:

  • A safe, step-free path from the street entrance or parking areas to the home’s entrance
  • At least one step-free entrance to the home
  • Internal doors and corridors that allow unobstructed movement between spaces
  • An accessible toilet on the ground or entry-level
  • A bathroom with a shower recess
  • Walls around the toilet, shower and bath that allow for the installation of grab rails
  • Stairways that are designed to reduce the likelihood of injury, which can be adapted later if need be.

While upfront costs for these design elements may likely only total around 1% of total building costs, they could cost around 20 times more to be retrofitted.

These new standards are slated to change the way owners corporation property common areas are designed and constructed in the future.

July 2021: Fax number to be retired

While using a fax machine may seem old-fashioned, we’ve been holding onto it for some customers. However, from 30 July 2021, we will be retiring our fax numbers. You can now email with any documents you may have usually faxed through to us.

June 2021: QR Code sign-in compulsory for visitors to owners corporation properties

As a COVID-19 precaution, all owners corporations must use the Victorian Government QR service, or a digital record-keeping service linked to the Victorian Government Application Programming Interface, to keep records of visitors (including contractors and service providers) to common and shared areas.

June 2021: Our Customer Care Centre is here to support you

Our Customer Care Centre was first introduced during COVID-19 to help with accessibility into our branch staff while providing continuity of service when it was needed the most. Due to positive feedback, customers will now have access to this service permanently.

We are currently working on improving the service, so that customers can receive both immediate assistance and fast resolution on a broader range of important strata property matters, including:

  • Levy queries
  • Meeting notices
  • Document requests
  • Setting up direct debits and refunds
  • Providing a certificate of currency via your insurer
  • Change of address and contact details
  • StrataVote access
  • CommunityHub access.

Our Customer Care Centre can be reached on 1300 889 227 or

June 2021: PICA Group CEO to participate in Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout 

Wayne Walker, PICA Group’s CEO, will be joining business, government and community leaders across Australia in participating in the CEO Sleepout on 17 June. The CEO Sleepout is an annual event to raise money for people experiencing homelessness. Every dollar raised will go to Vinnies’ not-for-profit services, including food, accommodation, education, counselling, employment and health programs. So far, Wayne has raised $12,650 for Vinnies. If you would like to support Wayne in his goal of breaking the devastating cycle of homelessness, you can donate via the link below.

May 2021: Katie Kelly sprints closer to Tokyo Paralympics

Katie Kelly and her para-triathlon team, who PICA Group proudly sponsor, have come one step closer to qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympics. She came first in the Yokohama test event held in May. This is a phenomenal achievement, which is a testament to the hard work she has put in over the last few months. Congratulations Katie, we are all so proud of you!

29 March 2021: New renting regulations affecting owners come into effect

More than 100 changes to renting regulations have been introduced, which aim to make renting fairer and safer in Victoria. The legislative update focuses on the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and renters, and the changes are applicable for every rental agreement’s lifespan.

Key changes impacting owners corporation property owners who rent out their lot include:

  • Landlords must inform tenants if the property is on the market for sale or is being repossessed
  • Landlords must provide tenants with at least one fee-free option for paying rent
  • Renters must be given one free set of keys and security passes
  • Landlords can only terminate a rental agreement if they provide a valid reason— they can no longer issue a “no specified reason” notice to vacate
  • Landlords should meet minimum rental standards for their property. If it doesn’t, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement.

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