I am writing this missive while sitting on the balcony of cabin A412 on the Sea Princess somewhere off the east coast of New Zealand.
You are saying to yourself, “Why are you telling me that, you little weasel, while I am stuck here trying to get the trust rec to balance before going down to the shed to work out why the mower won’t start?”
I am telling you that to highlight the fact that in the lives of all on-site managers, there must at times be more important things that trust recs and recalcitrant lawnmowers.
When I was a full time RUM, I, like you, also thought I was indispensable to the smooth running of the complex. Should I go away for more than a weekend, the place would fall apart, the pool would turn green, and the feral tenants in unit 6 would probably kidnap the body corporate chairman and hold him to ransom!
Then I helped my sister find a management rights business and guess what? She and her husband took three weeks’ holiday each and every year. (She was always smarter than me). The place didn’t fall apart, the pool didn’t turn green and the chairman was still safe when they returned.
I speak with many hundreds of managers each year and, among the myriad little niggles that might be a RUM’s lot, one issue always stands out – “it has been ages since I had a real holiday”.
Most caretaking agreements allow for four weeks’ holiday per year but on the proviso that the holidaying manager must make arrangements to cover his or her absence. Some people think that this means you must pay for a suitably licensed relief manager. This is not the case. Any person of good character who is over the age of 18 can look after the place in your absence. This could be your child, your grandchild, your brother, your sister – the list is endless.
It is only if you wish to be absent for more than a month that you must be replaced with a licensed manager. Of course, licensed relief managers are available for a week, or two, or three if that would make you more comfortable. For a three or four week trip, an experienced relief might be preferable to ensure that things are totally ship-shape upon your return. Experienced relief managers often advertise in Resort News. Check them out.
Always keep your committee liaison person informed of your intentions – as much notice as possible – and it is also a good idea to advise the body corporate manager as well.
Whatever you do, don’t be still fixing the mower a year from now and saying to your family, “well, there’s another year gone and I still haven’t found time for a holiday!”