Generally speaking, the owner of a property is responsible for all maintenance and repairs within their lot and whatever isn’t common property. What is and isn’t common property should is clearly articulated in the Strata Schemes Management Act and Regulations and within your schemes specific By-Laws.
However, if there is ever any uncertainty whether something is common property or counts as being within your lot – that is, for example, a fixture attached to an outer wall of your apartment – it is best to contact your strata manager to find out who is responsible as quickly as possible.
Frequent repairs the owners corporation is responsible for
The deciding factor over whether or not a repair is the owner’s responsibility isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. Here are some examples of frequent problems that you may not be aware are the responsibility of the owners corporation, as these parts often extend into the owner’s lot:
- Blocked sewers and floor drains: Since this is plumbing located underneath the floor, it counts as common property and is therefore the responsibility of the owners corporations.
- Defects to main stopcocks: These are usually located in an outer wall and thus belong to common property, making them the responsibility of the owner corporation.
- Broken exhaust fans: If it is the original exhaust fan and the exhaust fan is mounted on the ceiling or an outer wall of the apartment, the repair will generally be covered by the strata.
- Broken door locks: If the original door lock has to be repaired or replaced, this falls under common property. However, if you had the lock replaced or a different lock added to the door, the owners corporation does not have to pay for any repairs to it.
- Burst pipes: These are the owners corporation’s responsibility if they are located on external walls or service multiple units, which makes them common property.
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In all of these cases, there are exceptions – generally, if the entirety of the faulty item is in the lot and not connected to an outer wall, it will be the owner’s responsibility. Sometimes, closer inspection is necessary to determine who has to pay for a repair. In the case of a leaky shower, for example, the shower and pipes might have to be looked at firsthand to determine where the leak comes from and whether the source of the problem lies with the showerhead and pipes within the lot or the pipes coming from common walls.
Sometimes, repairs might be straightforward, while other times locating the source of the problem can be more complicated. However, figuring out who pays for what doesn’t have to be stressful for you.
Give Jamesons a call today and enquire about how our quality strata management can improve your strata scheme.