Water on the brain | Common Property | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered
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QUESTION: I have a ground-floor unit and the two units above me have a balcony set back more than a metre from mine. This means that all the water, both rain and tap, comes directly onto my balcony.
Unfortunately my balcony does not have a sufficient gradient to allow the water to run off so it pools and is creating mould. I have reported both issues to strata management who say neither is a strata problem.
I feel that this is a building fault, a mad one at that, as the consequences were obvious to see. Any suggestions, ideas, facts? – Greens, via Forum
ANSWER: This strikes me as a design flaw in the building and therefore a defect which is up to the Owners Corp to rectify but I’ll let a Flatchatter answer this one.
“The strata manager is probably incorrect,” says MattB on the Forum, adding that you will need to check your bylaws but in almost all schemes the balcony area is common property, even though it is intended for exclusive use of the lot owner.
“Therefore, this issue of water penetration from one piece of common property to the other is an Owners Corp problem,” he continues. “The EC can either elect to remove the mould on an ad-hoc basis or address the drainage issue more permanently.
“The latter is usually preferable – water pooling on concrete permanently tends to damage the reinforcing over time and lead to very expensive concrete cancer which can spread throughout the building. Obviously if the balcony is timber, then of course it means the timber is prone to rot.
“I would talk with the EC, if possible, to avoid the Strata manager altogether.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself. As to what you will say to the EC; the Owners Corp has an absolute and unlimited legal responsibility to maintain and repair common property.
So explain that they have a choice – a) devise a plan to fix this or b) waste time, money and energy fighting you through the CTTT and the courts, then devise a plan to fix this. It’s that simple.
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