Floor Tile Repairs | Hard floors and tough decisions | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Floor Tile Repairs
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Kenuppa
Queensland
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16/08/2015 - 2:16 pm
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Some of our floor tiles popped and cracked.
When I removed the tiles I found several large cracks in the concrete floor.
I have progressively lifted approximately 90 tiles, most of which I was able to lift unbroken by using a large screw driver and a hand tool for grout removal.
I need to remove more that are stuck firm, this will require use of a crow bar and considerable noise.
Also, to remove the tile cement bedding and grout requires scraping with a crow bar or floor scraper which also creates considerable noise.

I was told by my neighbour that he was verbally abused by the owner below him for making noise, which was probably noise that I was making when scraping my floor.
I have stopped the work until I can work out how to proceed without affecting my neighbours.

Our By Law regarding noise states:
"The owner and occupier of a lot must not create noise likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of a person lawfully on another lot or the Common Property.”

Quite simple really, but how do I repair my tiled floor without breeching this by law?

The only way I can determine is to hire a contractor with a pneumatic jack hammer and a concrete grinder, as not being an owner or occupier he is not subject to the by law.

Also, it appears to me that the tiles popped and broke because of the cracked floor slab.
The floor slab is common property but the tiles are mine.

Who should pay for repair of the broken floor tiles?

Regards,
Ken

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isydowner
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17/08/2015 - 12:00 pm
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Hi Ken,

I would suggest performing your repairs during reasonable working hours, as per your local Council Requirements - usually no works to be carried out between 10pm until 7am Monday to Friday!

Again, if an owners tiles have been damaged by a failure in the common property... your OC should pay for common property repairs and any subsequent damage caused to your private property (tiles, grouting, plumbing, membranes etc.).

If damage caused to your tiles was due 'solely' by your tenant / yourself, then I would suggest you cover those costs and maybe seek those monies from your insurance if you have any.

If your neighbour was verbally abused by another owner; tell them to report it to the OC (so that they can issue a notice for the same by-law breach you already mentioned).

Alternatively, they can call the police or your local council so that a warden can attend your scheme if the situation affects the general safety of (all) other residents.

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drshelley
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23/01/2016 - 4:51 pm
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This could be concrete cancer - you should have it investigated further.

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Kenuppa
Queensland
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28/01/2016 - 11:40 am
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I lifted half of the tiles by hand. Most of them were not stuck down and were easy to remove.

I then hired a contractor to remove the remainder using a big electric jack hammer and then a grinding machine to remove the grout and tile cement.
Very noisy and messy job. I warned the occupants adjacent and below my apartment, but the noise must have been terrible. Some complained about the dust. Not sure how else this sort of work can be done. As an owner I cannot create noise likely to disturb, however a contractor can.

With the tiles all removed, three large cracks are visible in the concrete slab. I suspect the cracks in the concrete slab caused the tiles to crack and pop up.
I still do not have a clear answer regarding who is responsible for the cost of repair of my tiles.

Regarding possible concrete cancer, I am going to my Doctor next week to have some skin cancers removed so I will take a sample of the concrete and ask him to check it.

 

Ken

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JimmyT
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28/01/2016 - 12:27 pm
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Kenuppa said

Regarding possible concrete cancer, I am going to my Doctor next week to have some skin cancers removed so I will take a sample of the concrete and ask him to check it.

Very droll. If anyone wants to know what concrete cancer really is, how damaging it can be and how to fix it, look HERE

Meanwhile, a couple of things occur to me, and they stem from the fact that the floor and original tiles on it belong to the Owners Corp, and not the lot owner.  

Ken should not have gone ahead and dug up the tiles unless they were laid by him under the terms of a by-law, giving him responsibility for the tiles and damage caused in their installation.

If he laid the tiles without getting a by-law passed, then it doesn't matter whose fault it is - they shouldn't have been laid in the first place as the floor and any original attached tiles are common property. 

If he removed carpet and laid tiles without permission and proper insulation, he's behind the eight ball on that too.

Secondly, by removing the new tiles, he has removed evidence of whether or not they were broken by movement in the slab or by tenant abuse (although the former seems more likely).

On the question of liability, it all depends on whether the tiles were laid with the written permission of the owners corp, or not.  If not, and I was the EC chair, I would tell Ken to go whistle. Illegal tiles that broke? Take us to NCAT if you like but you don't have a leg (or a tile) to stand on.

On the question of how he can work on his unit without breaching a by-law, the answer is, you go to your EC or strata manager, tell them what you are planning to do and work out a time frame that will cause minimum disruption to other residents.  That means during the day and usually by a professional contractor who will work more quickly and efficiently. 

If everyone is given due warning and consideration, they won't complain because they might want to renovate some day themselves.  

NOTE to all DIY hobby handymen (and women): If you are doing a home renovation in an apartment block, in the evenings and weekends when your neighbours are all at home, you deserve all the abuse, Notices to Comply and fines that you will inevitably get.

Ken seems to have breached so many by-laws and strata conventions in this episode that broken tiles seem to be the least of his problems.

However, concrete cancer is a serious issue that Ken needs to get the owners corp to look at as a matter of urgency. Now would be a good time, when there are no tiles on the floor.  Again, look at this link to see how serious the problem is and what to do about it.

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Kenuppa
Queensland
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29/03/2016 - 2:44 pm
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Some members have a location included in their profile.

I have tried to find where this can be added to my profile, but without success.

If a location was a mandatory part of each member’s profile, miss-directed rants like the one from Admin above may be avoided.

 

I did find, in the “About us” section that this forum “is about strata living in Australia.”  Not just NSW but Australia.

I did contact our legal sponsors, but their response was that they do not deal with matters in Queensland.

 

I then sought legal advice in Queensland and now understand the following:

  

Floor Tiles

I own the floor tiles in my unit, and I am responsible to maintain, repair and replace the floor tiles if required.  Floor tiles are part of the Unit, similar to paint, carpet or other floor coverings.

The Body Corporate owns and is responsible for the concrete slab and any waterproof membrane that provides protection for lots or common property.

See Sections 159 and 170 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Standard Module Regulation 2008.

 

I did discuss the broken tiles with members of our Body Corporate Committee, and also contacted our Body Corporate Manager.

Responses were:

  • Tiles are my own and my responsibility to replace
  • Suggest I advise other owners and occupiers nearby to warn them of possible noisy and dusty work, which I did and had no complaints
  • No special By Law required to lay new tiles
  • No special glue or sound proofing required under the tiles
  • Only cracks 3mm or wider need to be inspected by an engineer

 

By-Laws

I acknowledge that I broke By Law # 1 Noise when attempting to remove tiles, however I do not know what other By Laws I have broken as suggested by admin above.

 

New tiles are now in place and final grout is being applied today.

 

Regards,

Ken

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JimmyT
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29/03/2016 - 5:57 pm
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Kenuppa said
Some members have a location included in their profile. I have tried to find where this can be added to my profile, but without success. 
If a location was a mandatory part of each member’s profile, miss-directed rants like the one from Admin above may be avoided.
 

I always find it amusing that correspondents think that making their opening gambit an insult rather than a question will garner a positive response.

FYI: I have tried in the past to make locations a mandatory field but it just won't work with this software (and others I have employed).  If you have any suggestions, please let us know because i would love to do it.

As far as changing your own location os concerned, click on your name, click on "edit user profile", click on "edit profile", fill in the space next to "location". It's a simple as that.

I did find, in the “About us” section that this forum “is about strata living in Australia.”  Not just NSW but Australia.

Correct. We have regular correspondents based in other states who pick up state-specific issues for us.  By the way, Queensland strata law is complex and strange and, while we do try to offer advice where we can, it's almost another planet as far as strata law is concerned.

Congratulations on having resolved your issue (I think). Did you ever discover why the slab was cracked?

As I said, Queensland strata law is a very different animal,

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