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Bunyip1
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13/09/2018 - 9:06 am
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Hi All,

The A/C outdoor units on my unit and a few other units were removed to repair our building’s waterproofing and other parts of the building. The Strata say that it is at the Owner’s own expense to have the units reinstalled because the A/C units were not part of the original property fixtures. What I don’t understand is, if it wasn’t for them doing these compulsory works we wouldn’t have to reinstall these A/C units. Myself and 3 other owners have already lost 3.5 months of rent due to these works and possibly another month at least before we can rent our apartments out again. What is my recourse here for both financial losses?

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Tess McGill
Sydney
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13/09/2018 - 7:35 pm
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And how rentable are damp and waterlogged apartments these days?

Sorry to be glib but sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. This is the basic tenet of unit ownership. Clearly the waterproofing was a major fix, benefiting all owners.

I wonder if you had permission to install the airconditioning units in the first place? They must have been attached to common property – whether hanging on an exterior wall or their pipes etc passing through an exterior wall. If permission was given to install them a sensible Body Corporate would have required an exclusive use bylaw to be registered making them the individual owners’ responsibility – in which case, you are on your own as they are your responsibility.

If a bylaw wasn’t registered and they are attached to common property, there’s an argument that they then become part of common property, and the Owners’ Corporation can do with them what they wish. And that’s what they’ve done.

I also wonder where you were when decisions were being made about the major waterproofing project and the contractor said “those airconditioning units have to go”? That would have been the sensible time to raise an objection and work out a solution.

Finally, think of the increase in value of your unit now this major project has been undertaken. To return to my first point, dry and serviceable apartments are much more saleable and rentable than damp ones. Short term pain for long term gain.

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JimmyT
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13/09/2018 - 11:40 pm
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Bunyip1 said
Myself and 3 other owners have already lost 3.5 months of rent due to these works and possibly another month at least before we can rent our apartments out again. What is my recourse here for both financial losses?  

Send the owners corp a bill for the lost rent.  When they refuse to pay it, take them to your local court. It’s simply not fair that a minority of owners should suffer financially to benefit everyone.

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