leaking balcony repairs | The Professionals | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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leaking balcony repairs
Sarah_1
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16/08/2012 - 1:05 pm
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The balcony on my unit (i'm a tenant not an owner) needs to be ripped up, re-waterrpoofed and retiled. There are a lot of very heave and large pot plants and oudoor furniture on the balcony (some were there when we moved in) and they all need to be moved for the repairs to take place.

 

The strata manager has given us permission to store these things on the common roof terrace during the repairs, but due to the fact that there is a lot to move, most of it heavy and awkward, we are considering getting removalists to help with moving it all.

 

My question is, who should be responible for the costs of moving all this stuff? the repairs are due to the building not being built properly in the first place, but it isn't  covered under the builders insurance (not sure why), so the building management comittee raised the funds through a special levy. Should they be responsible for moving all the stuff or reimburse us for the moving costs?

IT seems unfair that we should have to bear the cost/inconveniece of all this.

 

Cheers

Les Dansonne
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16/08/2012 - 2:10 pm
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Sarah 1, I think I can confidently say this and if I'm not right I know JimmyT or someone else will correct me: All the stuff should be relocated for you and returned at the strata's expense, not yours.

I suggest, without delay, you ask your agent or landlord, if no agent, in writing (email) to ask the strata manager in writing and CC you, to have the stuff moved and returned at their expense.

I'm sure you will be able to word your request more eloquently and politely than this post. Go to it!

IBC
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16/08/2012 - 9:03 pm

Hi Sarah_1'

Normally the Builder would remove any furniture, pots etc needed to do the work. However maybe the Builder on viewing the site wrote in the quote that all furniture etc needed to be removed?

The bottom line is that the OC would have the right to request that you temporally remove the furniture, pots etc that you may own. The rest which I assume belongs to the unit Owner is up to them to remove.

Keep a balance approach on this as its to your benefit to have the repairs done. Give the Agent a call or talk to your EC committee members, a team approach would seem to be the answer to me.

rthorburn
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16/08/2012 - 10:32 pm
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Hi Sarah,

I assume that you are a tenant under a lease agreement with the landlord perhaps via an agent.  The lease agreement is very likley not to involve the Owners Corporation, except for the fact that you will need to abide with the By Laws.

 

I suggest that you read the lease thoroughly.  Do not be afraid to read it. If it does not say that you need to remove furniture at your cost in such situations, then ask the landlord/agent where in the lease it requires you to do this.  If they can show clearly that it is your responsibility, then you will need to comply.  If it does not, then you should challenge it and refuse to comply with their request unless they can demonstrate it is in the lease.

 

Please remember, the lease (or the contract governs), not comment or hearsay.  If it is unclear, ask for clarification from the landlord, not the OC as you have no contractual relationship with them.

 

I would suspect, although not certain without reading the lease, that you would be required to provide access only, but not to incur cost of furniture relocations.

 

Good Luck,

 

Rob

Les Dansonne
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17/08/2012 - 12:42 pm
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I find it had to accept IBC's assertion that Sarah should have to move the stuff herself (or pay a reomvalist to have it moved) and I note he doesn't quote any part of the NSW Strata Titles Act.

I find it just as hard to accept as his recent assertions that inadequate cleaning of Common Property was not, 'not maintaining the common property' as it should be maintained. Interesting how 'the big end of town' sees things.

JimmyT
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17/08/2012 - 2:03 pm
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This is what Chris from IBC actually said:

The bottom line is that the OC would have the right to request that you temporally remove the furniture, pots etc that you may own. The rest which I assume belongs to the unit Owner is up to them to remove.

Keep a balance approach on this as its to your benefit to have the repairs done. Give the Agent a call or talk to your EC committee members, a team approach would seem to be the answer to me.

 ... and this is what Les Dansonne said:

Interesting how ‘the big end of town’ sees things.

For what it's worth, when we've had work done on our balcony - OC work on common property - we've been instructed to remove planters etc at our own expense, the logic being that the balcony isn't actually ours (it's common property) so having planters or anything else there is allowed at the OC's discretion but is our responsibility.

And really, what has the "big end of town" got to do with anything? All this "them and us" stuff gets us nowhere. Nothing wrong with a balanced approach, is there?

Les Dansonne
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17/08/2012 - 2:38 pm
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But Jimmy, Sarah 1 is a tenant, poor thing. 

WIth regard to my reference to the 'big end of town', IBC with all his ivory tower credentials listed, in my humble opinion, has made a couple of err... adjudications... I'll call them... which seem just plain illogical and they haven't been backed up. He has also recently advised people (Struggs, I think) to 'get a strata lawyer'. Oh yeah, we can all afford to to that just to get he proper thing done!

JimmyT
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17/08/2012 - 2:53 pm
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"Ivory Tower credentials", Les? Really? He's a bloke who is qualified more than most to give advice that you happen not to agree with. He may be wrong (I doubt it) but there's no need to sneer at someone just because they have earned the right to express an opinion (for which we would otherwise pay). There's no conspiracy here.
As for his advice to Struggler - have a look at what Struggs said HERE.
That whole issue of your EC insurance being contingent on you having fulfilled your duty of care and due diligence is so obvious when you read it but will be a real slap in the face to those cowboy EC members who think they have immunity from any responsibility.
And hey, if I was building an Ivory Tower, Chris Mo'ane would be the first person I'd consult (and he would tell me not to be such a bloody idiot).
On the question of consulting a lawyer, I often say that too and here's why - it's a reality check for everyone who's bashed their head off the brick wall of an incompetent executive committee or whatever. The question it raises is, how much are you prepared to pay to resolve this issue? And if you're not prepared to pay anything or very much at all, the next best piece of advice is often  "so learn to live with it."
But what I'm doing less frequently these days is telling people that the best or only thing to do is rock up to Fair Trading with $78 in your hot little hand and spend the next few months of your life trying to get a decision over a petty issue.

Most lawyers will give you a free initial consultation (often by email) to tell you what your chances are of winning and how much it will cost to do so. I really can't see the harm in that.

Les Dansonne
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17/08/2012 - 3:28 pm
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But what of the tenant poor, unsuspecting of Sarah 1? Does she really have to move all her stuff or fork out to have it moved? As IBC says? I still say no way.

JimmyT
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17/08/2012 - 5:11 pm
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As Chris says, if it's her stuff she has to move it - regardless of whether or not she's a tenant. If it's the landord's stuff - ie permanent planters etc, then the landlord should pay for it to be moved. And if the planters happen to be common property (unlikely) then the Owners Corp has to pay for them to be moved.

scotlandx
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17/08/2012 - 6:55 pm
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If it's her stuff, perhaps Sarah should consider moving it and approaching her landlord about a reduction in rent to take account of the costs and the fact that she won't be able to use the balcony while the repairs are being effected.

Anything that isn't hers I wouldn't be moving, get whomever owns it to move it.

IBC
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17/08/2012 - 7:36 pm

Hi Les,

I have no problem with anyone expressing their view and I don't expect that everyone is going to to agree with my contributions and that's OK. But it would be nice if you didn't misquote me, I never said Sarah had to get a removalist, we are talking about a few items on a patio.

In regards to the Top End of Town, seems like a bit of tall popy syndrome. But your comment could not be further from the truth, I have built the business from the dining room table like so many successful Australian Businesses and yes I have built the business around Strata, so every day we are out there helping the mums, dads and kids to get the best out of Strata Living.

The great thing about this forum is that we can all have a say and as a collective help each other, so welcome to you and thanks for your constructive input. Regards Chris Mo'ane

Les Dansonne said

I find it had to accept IBC's assertion that Sarah should have to move the stuff herself (or pay a reomvalist to have it moved) and I note he doesn't quote any part of the NSW Strata Titles Act.

I find it just as hard to accept as his recent assertions that inadequate cleaning of Common Property was not, 'not maintaining the common property' as it should be maintained. Interesting how 'the big end of town' sees things.

FlatChatFan
Sydney NSW
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17/08/2012 - 9:04 pm
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IBC said
Hi Les,

I have no problem with anyone expressing their view and I don't expect that everyone is going to to agree with my contributions and that's OK. But it would be nice if you didn't misquote me, ...

... I have built the business around Strata, so every day we are out there helping the mums, dads and kids to get the best out of Strata Living.

The great thing about this forum is that we can all have a say and as a collective help each other, so welcome to you and thanks for your constructive input. Regards Chris Mo'ane

Chris you are a real gentleman.  I really appreciate your input to the forum and know you would be someone to go to if I needed specialised advice about where I live. Laugh

Les Dansonne
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18/08/2012 - 12:20 pm
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Hi again Sarah 1.

I definitely think that, despite what the experts may say here, there's no need for you to simply accept the 'rough end of the pineapple'.

Ask nicely and eloquently that all the stuff on you balcony is relocated for you at anyone else's but except yours and you could also ask for a rent reduction for any inconvenience in not being able to use your your balcony as well as having workmen traipsing through your flat.

That is obviously the right and fair thing which should occur.

JimmyT
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18/08/2012 - 3:22 pm
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Les Dansonne said
Hi again Sarah 1.

I definitely think that, despite what the experts may say here, there's no need for you to simply accept the 'rough end of the pineapple'.

Ask nicely and eloquently that all the stuff on you balcony is relocated for you at anyone else's but except yours and you could also ask for a rent reduction for any inconvenience in not being able to use your your balcony as well as having workmen traipsing through your flat.

That is obviously the right and fair thing which should occur.

Nothing obvious here. And as for what the much-derided "experts" say

From ScotlandX:

If it’s her stuff, perhaps Sarah should consider moving it and approaching her landlord about a reduction in rent to take account of the costs and the fact that she won’t be able to use the balcony while the repairs are being effected.

Chris Mo'ane suggested a balanced approach and I suggested taking responsibility for your own stuff but not anyone else's.

Les's approach is to ignore "experts" and follow the wishful thinking approach.  Good luck with that - it's usually SO effective.  But before you go too far down that road, check out your actual rights and obligations because sooner or later someone is going to point them out to you, possibly quite forcefully.

It doesn't matter if you are a tenant or an owner, if your personal property is on common property you have to move it if repairs are required.  You also have to give the Owners Corp access to the unit so repairs can be effected.

Yes, talk about a rent reduction to make up for the disruption, but as for sitting back and demanding that someone moves your stuff off their property at their expense, you'll be whistling in the wind.

Les Dansonne
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18/08/2012 - 3:38 pm
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You guys rock!!! After all, she IS only a TENANT. With all her stuff all over COMMON PROPERTY too. She should definitely have to move it herself. You have all finally convinced me. Over and out.

JimmyT
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18/08/2012 - 7:05 pm
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Les Dansonne said
You guys rock!!! After all, she IS only a TENANT. With all her stuff all over COMMON PROPERTY too. She should definitely have to move it herself. You have all finally convinced me. Over and out.

What a cheap shot. It's got nothing to do with her being a tenant.  In fact we have suggested she asks for a rent reduction from her landlord to cover her costs and all the disruption. If she were an owner, we couldn't even suggest that.

What do you want, Les?  We tell her how it ISN'T? Tell her to fight this at the CTTT, in a battle that isn't worth hassle and which she's bound to lose (or at least not win any financial compensation)?  Tell her to barricade her doors and not let the workmen in? And all because you think it's 'unfair' (which it may be but that is not the point).

We try to give people the best advice we can based on how things are and not how we think they should be. If she asks her landlord, they might pay for the stuff to be moved. 

If that fails she could admittedly go to Fair Trading and ask them to order a rent reduction but she'd have to consider the consequences of the Fair Trading route - a gamble that might end in her losing her tenancy at the first possible opportunity.

Les Dansonne
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18/08/2012 - 9:59 pm
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You guys have lost the plot. A reality check is needed. 

FlatChatFan
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19/08/2012 - 8:43 am
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Les Dansonne said
You guys have lost the plot. A reality check is needed. 

Les, you are the one who needs the reality check. I will probably be censored (sorry Jimmy), but you remind me of a little child who can not even get a grip on the 'big picture'. Frown

JimmyT
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19/08/2012 - 10:37 am
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I hate censoring people but I would hate even more if this descended into one of those websites where people hurl abuse at each other from behind the Sofa of Anonymity.  So I am calling for a ceasefire on this one because it doesn't get us anywhere.

If the advice we have given is demonstrably incorrect (rather than you think the law and/or this writer is stupid) please let us know.  It will be published.

If however readers want to tell the world that I am an idiot - I'm afraid that ship has sailed. It's a well-know fact, as "any fule no".

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