Damaged caused by CP repairs | Common Property | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered


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Damaged caused by CP repairs
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15/02/2017 - 4:59 pm
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The OC recently carried out works to the CP wall ( replaced lintel and reinforced failing structure ) and floor ( membrane and topping replacement ) of my laundry.

The laundry sink was not removed (dismantled) for the works; The supporting legs were removed and the sink was strapped up to the wall/roof structure; the supporting legs were them shortened and replaced after the works to the wall and floor was finished.

The drainage (cast iron) pipework was jetted out buy the contractors shortly after I reported that the pipe was left blocked and water was no longer flowing down the drain.

The pipe started to leak after the contractors did this. The contractors came back and attempted to repair the leak but the leak has continued and water is now also coming out of a hole in the CP wall some distance below where the pipe enters it. It would not be a stretch to assume that water is also travelling down the CP wall cavity.

The strata company has informed me that I need to arrange a plumber at my own cost to carry out the necessary repairs to the laundry pipe as this forms part of my lot.

The drain was working perfectly before the OC contractors carried out their works. I am also concerned that If I decide to silicone up the laundry sink and plug the hole in the wall to stop water leaking into my lot, it will still be leaking into the wall cavity and cause damage to the apartments below.

Am I responsible for repairing the drain? Either the part that is in my lot or the and or the part that continues into the CP wall? Am I even allowed to plug up the hole in the CP wall?  If I do plug up the whole and water continues to travel down the CP wall cavity and damage the apartments below, am I responsible for that?

Happy Strata
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15/02/2017 - 5:59 pm
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Hi Shanti,

To quote Jimmy in this thread (worth your reading): https://www.flat-chat.com.au/forum/common-property/water-damage-to-ceiling-from-unit-above/#p18765 (Item 8)

Section 13

If damage is caused to a lot owner’s property while the owners corporation are effecting a repair, the owners corporation are responsible to fix the damaged property.

However, if the cause of the damage to the owner’s property was not made when the owners corporation were fixing the problem; instead it was caused by the problem itself, then the owners corporation are not responsible to make good the owner’s property unless the owners corporation can be deemed negligent.

E.g.: 1. A burst pipe occurs in a wall and the owners corporation have to knock a hole in the wall to fix it. The owners corporation are responsible to fix the hole and repaint the wall afterwards.

2. A burst pipe occurs in a concrete slab. The owner’s corporation fix the leak, but water stained the ceiling paintwork of the unit below. Here the owners corporation are not responsible to repaint the ceiling because it was not the fixing of the repair that caused the damage.

3. A burst hot water service soaked the magnasite in a unit and the owners corporation had to take up the carpet to dry the magnasite. Once the magnasite had dried, the carpet could not be re-laid because it had shrunk. The owners corporation would be responsible for the carpet because the carpet was damaged because they had to take it up.

4. With example 3, if the magnasite was not damaged, the owners corporation would not be responsible to dry out the carpet or replace it, if it shrunk because the damage to the carpet was not caused when the owners corporation were fixing common property.

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