The complexities of common property boundaries mean that as strata managers, we’re asked a lot of reasonable questions about who does what (and who pays for what). Here, you’ll find answers to some of those most common questions.
Is my backyard or balcony classed as common property?
It’s time to check your strata plan if you’re not sure where your unit begins and ends, as this will also tell you where your rights and responsibilities lie. If you have an overgrown tree in your backyard that’s growing into the neighbour’s lot, for example, you will need to have this cut back if it’s growing from your lot. If the tree is on a shared area then the owners corporation will be responsible. Sometimes, the balcony will be yours but the balcony door will be common property – so check your strata plan.
Another resident has left items in our carpark and they’re cluttering up the space – what can I do?
This depends on your by-laws and the space itself. If the items are in the resident’s allocated space and there is no by-law prohibiting the storing of objects that aren’t vehicles, then they may have every right to keep their things there. If it’s on common property, then you will need to follow Fair Trading’s process for dealing with abandoned goods on common property.
Can I store my extra bike/car/boat/caravan on common property, just for a while?
Not without prior approval, if the vehicle doesn’t fit into your allocated parking space. If you do have a vehicle or other objects stored on common ground, you may well find a disposal notice left on it as per the process for handling abandoned goods, which gives you a maximum of 5 days’ notice before the item/s can be legally removed. If your spare vehicle is blocking an entry or exit to the shared property, the owners corporation can even arrange to have it shifted immediately at your expense. It’s easier for everyone involved to ask for approval or find another place to store it offsite.
Who puts out the rubbish bins on a strata property?
This differs from building to building. Often the buildings cleaner might do this for you, but in many other cases its up to the residents to put the bins out and take them back in.
Something’s broken in our shared corridor – can I fix it myself?
The answer to that one is, no. The first step is definitely to approach your strata manager and let them know, especially if it’s urgent as they’ll often have the ability to have it fixed on behalf of the owners corporation. If it’s not urgent, it may go to the next committee meeting for approval. Repair work is paid for by your levies and there are often trusted contractors who will carry out this work.
Have more questions? Your strata manager at Jamesons Strata Management is available to help.