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trees on common property
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bjthomas
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22/11/2017 - 11:34 am
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if roots of a tree on common property cause damage to a unit are repairs from the sinking fund

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Tess McGill
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28/11/2017 - 11:48 am
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As a first step, have you spoken to your insurer? The damage may be covered by your Body Corporate insurance policy.

Are you in NSW? The Fair Trading website indicates that

The capital works fund (previously called a 'sinking fund') is to ensure there is enough money to pay for capital expenses when the job needs doing.

This can include funds to pay for the following works:

  • painting or repainting the common property
  • acquiring, renewing or replacing personal property for the scheme
  • renewing or replacing fixtures and fittings that are part of the common property, and
  • to replace or repair the common property.

A page specifically on repairs and maintenance within Strata Schemes in NSW indicates that where the issue starts on common property (the example used is water run off - close to the bottom of the page) but damages a lot, it is the Owners' Corporation responsibility to repair.

Where it gets tricky is whether anyone is going to split hairs and say that repairs within a lot even though caused by a happening on common property, don't constitute "repair [of] the common property". How quarrelsome are your owners? How much is in the sinking fund? How up-to-date are your repairs / maintenance / repainting paid for by the sinking fund? Is there money to spare in the fund once all necessary maintenance is undertaken?

Either way the Owners' Corporation will have to pay - hopefully as an insurance claim, from monies already saved (in the sinking fund), or raised by a special levy.

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