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Responsibility for damage caused by an overflowing roof eaves gutter
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Aitch
NSW and ACT
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04/08/2018 - 4:14 pm
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During a recent heavy rain storm, the eaves gutters on several roofs in the complex overflowed causing damage to the fibre cement eaves sheets. In fact, this damage amounted to a couple of eaves sheets breaking and partly falling out.

The fact that most of the damage was caused to units where the eaves gutters had not been regularly cleaned  – in fact, some even had weeds sprouting above them. Others were probably where the falls on the gutters were inappropriate.

The water only damaged the eaves sheets and did not enter inside of the building.

Should the referenced damage be the responsibility of the unit owner and not an incident that can be a legitimate insurance claim? 

These are Class B buildings in the ACT.

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Puddn
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05/08/2018 - 12:39 pm
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Surely an individual lot owner is not responsible for keeping the gutters cleared?

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06/08/2018 - 8:48 am
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Unless the roof is the responsibility of the lot owner – and this would be highly unusual – then the Owners Corp has to foot the bill.  It’s their roof and guttering and should have made sure the leaves were removed regularly to avoid this kind of incident.

It’s just another example of how penny-pinching and negligence leads to greater costs and, inevitably, finger pointing and shirking of responsibility.

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Aitch
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06/08/2018 - 10:51 pm
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These are Class B buildings in the ACT and the legislation dealing with these is similar to those in community Schemes in NSW. The individual unit owners own the roofs and their homes, inside and out.

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Sir Humphrey
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06/08/2018 - 11:13 pm
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Yes, class B units in the ACT: Repair and maintenance of the whole unit, roof, gutters etc, is a unit owner’s responsibility. I don’t think this is an insurance claim unless it was somehow extraordinary storm damage and the gutters being less than pristine was only incidental. 

In the ACT Class B = townhouses (generally). Class A = flats (generally). It is about whether the strata run vertically or horizontally. 

If the buildings are of a certain age, those fibro sheets under the eaves are almost certain be asbestos and require specialist removal. 

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