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Common property with access only to certain lots
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JohnKen
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04/08/2018 - 5:01 pm
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Hi,

Our Sydney Strata has a significant number of planter boxes that are common property but can only be accessed through particular lots.  That is to say certain lots have the only access to a common property planter.

Some of these areas are maintained by a gardener at Strata expense, in the main these areas just happen to be attached to SC members lots.  Other areas are not maintained by the gardener.

Other lot owners have no access to any of these planter boxes.

This issue is now more problematic as the planter boxes have been relined and the Strata is about to pay a significant amount to replant some.

Is it reasonable to expect that these planter boxes be replanted at each lot owners expense.  The relining was required to remedy water egress.

Could these planter boxes be added to the adjoining lots?

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Puddn
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05/08/2018 - 12:35 pm
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JohnKen – if the planter boxes are common property, as you have said, then an individual lot owner is not responsible for their maintenance – despite how the common property is accessed.

To pass responsibility of the planter boxes (common property) to a lot owner would require their consent and an exclusive use by-law – at the least. 

In my view, it is not ‘reasonable’ to try to pass the cost to an individual lot owner.

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07/08/2018 - 2:21 pm
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JohnKen said
Is it reasonable to expect that these planter boxes be replanted at each lot owners expense?  

Absolutely.  Even if this was a garden which was part of the lot, the owners would be expected to maintain it at their own expense in a manner that was in keeping with the appearance of the building.

The planters are different from the plants that they contain.  The Owners Corp might be responsible for maintaining a common property parking spot, but they don’t have to pay to service the car that’s parked there. 

Sounds like these owners have been getting a free ride on the gardening front.

And, despite what Puddn said above, unless there is a by-law or section of the strata plan that says the plants in the planters will be maintained at the OC’s expense, the costs of the gardening should be sheeted back to the plant owners.

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