Roof Leak Repairs in Strata: Who’s Responsible and Who Pays?


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With recent heavy rainfall, leaks have been a recurring frustration experienced by many of our clients.

In such times, it is important to know, who is responsible for rectification works, and the impact such events may have on the strata scheme and individual lot owners.

Who is responsible for strata roof repairs?

Most strata schemes’ owners corporations are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the roof (common property). In the event of prolonged rainfall, it is recommended to progress temporary or emergency repairs to mitigate ongoing damage and to afford the owners corporation time to progress a long-term solution once the weather allows. Action, such as placing a tarpaulin on the roof, is one such temporary action that can provide immediate relief. It should be noted that such work should always be subject to a safe work assessment prior to any trades accessing the roof.

What is the first step in a roof leak repair?

The first step is to notify your strata committee or strata manager, who should arrange for someone to inspect the issue. If you have a strata manager, they will source quotes and arrange repairs on behalf of the owners corporation.

What if the roof needs replacing?

Major repairs such as a roof replacement will need to be voted in by special resolution, meaning approval from 75% or more of the owners. A larger and more complex roof replacement or roof repairs in Sydney could be covered by the capital works fund if there are enough resources to cover these changes. If there isn’t enMajor repairs, such as a roof replacement, present a significant cost impost on any owners corporation. A change in “roof system” e.g. from tiled roof to colorbond, also needs to include approval via special resolution (as it is a change in common property). Your strata manager will be able to further explain/guide this process.  Major roof works are paid from the capital works fund. If there are insufficient funds, the owners corporation will need to seek alternate funding arrangements. Typically this is by way of raising a special levy.

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What about the damage to my property?

This depends on the source of any water damage. If the fault occurred on a neighbouring property, they may be responsible for the damage to yours. If the fault occurred on common property, this might either be covered by the owners corporation or by the strata insurance policy, depending on the specific cause of damage. You can speak to your strata manager or strata committee if you need to make this type of claim.

What if I’m not sure whose responsibility the leak is?

If the source of water damage isn’t clear, the best bet is to contact your strata manager, building manager or strata committee immediately. The earlier you can address any signs of water damage, the less severe the damage is likely to be. So if you see mould, drips or watermarks – act as soon as possible!

Jamesons Strata Management is here to help with everyday strata matters and reliable strata management services. Contact us today if you’d like to make the change.

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