Can you build your own LTMP?
Of course you can. And if you can, you should.
It’s your plan anyway - the body corporate’s that is - so even if you engage a PhD in Architecture to create your plan - it’s still your plan, not theirs.
If you engage a contractor to build your plan, it was never going to be their plan. They are just there to advise, do some work you aren't prepared to do - and get paid for it of course.
Also remember that while someone else might have built your plan, it remains a draft until it has been approved by the body corporate. Then once it’s approved, we can assume that the plan builder will have very limited liability - because after all, the body corporate has agreed it’s OK.
The same goes if it's a volunteer-owner who created the plan.
Can an amateur build a LTMP?
The takeaway here is that the body corporate itself can't produce a plan. DIY or otherwise. It has to be a person. So we asked the wrong question.
The question should be "can an amateur build a plan?". Or, "can an inexperienced volunteer-owner produce a plan for their BC?"
Of course the answer is still yes. Most definitely
You should take confidence in the knowledge that many owners have prepared the plan for their development. Typically they use spreadsheets and word processors. Sure, these people are familiar with such things as buildings, maintenance and creating spreadsheets. But the point is that anyone can do it, once they know how. And it’s not really that hard.
You just need to be an good organiser or manager
Actually, the person who builds the plan doesn’t even need to know much about maintenance at all. They just need to be good at getting other qualified people to advise them and presenting a report.
They just need to be a good organiser. A manager.
Let’s be blunt here. You don’t have to be a registered building surveyor to work out that the gutters need to be cleaned out, the building needs to be washed and some painting needs to be carried out in a few years.
Of course you should call for a report from an expert if you are concerned about the integrity, especially weathertightness, of any of your building elements and you will probably have to pay for that. But just about everything else is cleaning, painting and repairing existing items and in each case there will be several contractors lining up to help you with your decisionmaking - for free.
So yes, you can prepare your own LTMP on a DIY basis. You just use other people to give you advice when it is outside your area of expertise. Then use that information to build and update your plan.
But the bottom line is that you don’t need to pay someone else to do the whole thing.
Unless of course you can’t be bothered. But then really you should. That's why one of our upcoming articles will be about embracing your LTMP.
A quick advert for Plan Heaven
Going DIY on your LTMP is easier if you can use a template and Plan Heaven has got just the thing for you. The body corporate will have to pay an annual subscription but you will find that's quite cheap compared to the time involved in setting up your own templates. Take a look at their how to into video here. Find out how much the annual subcription is here.
Updated by: John Bradley. February 2019