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water leak
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billy
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14/09/2018 - 5:54 pm
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My rental unit is in an old block. Paint has bubbled on the wall I share with an adjacent unit, which is tenanted. Their bathroom is on the other side of the wall. Our wall often feels wet & we have discovered water on the floor at the base of the wall. 

An inspection revealed no/ failed waterproofing in the bathroom.  The Strata manager approached the unit owner who is not interested in rectifying the problem as they have tenants who they don’t want to lose or have to pay for alternative accommodation while repairs are done.  I have made an offer to the owners that their tenants could use our bathroom during the repairs.

Until our wall is dry we cannot repair the area & are unable to lease the property in its present state.

 What do I do now?

Billy

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kaindub
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14/09/2018 - 10:37 pm
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Fear not. You don’t have to put up,with this.

But your SM should be more helpful. Sounds like they are one of the lesser quality SMs out there.

Firstly determine if the adjacent bathroom is an original one. If that is the case then the OC is responsible for repairing the waterproofing. The OC has an absolute responsibility to maintain the common property and can effect repairs despite the protestations of the owner.

Secondly if the bathroom has been renovated by way of new wall and floor tiles then check for a bylaw stating that responsibility for waterproofing is on the lot owner. If you find such a bylaw then ask the SM or your committee to issue a bylaw breach notice to the lot owner. He has to repair it or get a fine and can be directed by the court to effect a repair.

If a by law does not exist it is still up to the lot owner to fix the problem. 

If the owner still does not want to cooperate, ask the SM or the committee to effect the repairs and to pass the cost onto the owner.

You don’t have to suffer because of the intransigence of the lot owner.

If the SM and the committee won’t help, just apply to NCAT to get an order to get the repairs done. The court can sort out whether it’s the lot owner or the OC who pays, but in any case you get your repairs

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JimmyT
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14/09/2018 - 10:51 pm
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The wall between your units is common property.  That means not only that they have to fix it, but the lot owners have to allow them access to fix it. 

If the lot owners refuse, the strata committee can take them to NCAT to get orders compelling them to allow access.

If the strata committee or OC refuse to go to NCAT, you can go to NCAT and compel them to take action.

End of the day, the wall needs to be fixed and the lot owner has to allow it.  

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billy
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17/09/2018 - 3:52 pm
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Thanks for this information but just to clarify, what is the definition of “original”.  The building is about 100 years old with the Strata Plan being registered in 1984.

Billy

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JimmyT
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18/09/2018 - 6:42 pm
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billy said
Thanks for this information but just to clarify, what is the definition of “original”. 

In this case, “original” would mean the wall when the strata scheme was created.

The point Kaindub is making is that if the owner has changed the tiles on the wall, for instance, then they are liable and if they haven’t, then it’s an owners corp issue.

However, you need to look at it the other way round.  The owners corp needs to get it fixed – that is their responsibility, ultimately.  It’s only as a secondary issue that they need to establish who’s responsible and bill the landlord for the repairs if there is evidence that it’s his fault, e.g. because of renovations that they might have done.

This scenario offers limitless opportunities for faffing around pointing fingers and getting nothing done. Demand in writing that the OC takes action and if they don’t do anything within two months (less if you can show that you have already made a complaint), start proceedings at NCAT as described above.

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