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Combining shower base repair with total bathroom reno - share costs?
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05/05/2012 - 12:02 pm
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I own a 3 level townhouse (Lot 1 of 3 in a strata plan). There has been an issue with a leak from the bathroom on level 3, down onto the kitchen area on level 2, for some 5 years +. Finally got my plumber out (after many megaseals, protective coatings …$$$ etc organised by the SM’s) who found the flange was moving in the shower recess and hence the waterproofing was compromised. This had never been identified as the problem in the past and I hate to think how much money has been wasted to date. After 2 attempts with silicon the plumber has managed to stop the leaking for now but advised next time it leaks we should waterproof/re-tile the shower area. My concern is that the silicon is not a sufficient fix for the problem and that more damage may eventually result.

The bathroom is not particularly bad (with the exception of the shower recess which is ugly and mouldy. I have asked the SM if they would consider the possibility of me renovating the entire bathroom, with a contribution by the SP equal to the cost of repairing the shower recess. They seemed OK with this and are sending their preferred bathroom guy out to quote.

I have asked them to confirm that if they have a quote they are happy with from their tradesman (just for the shower recess) and I decide to have the entire bathroom renovated by either their tradesman or someone else (licensed of course), will the SP reimburse me for the cost of what would have been spent on the shower recess. I have been getting the run around ever since. They have told me they would prefer me to use their tradesman. They are not organising a second quote.

So… on the basis

  1. that the shower recess needs to be ripped out and waterproofed and re-tiled. The SM have acknowledged this.
  2. The SM have been advised of my plans to renovate the entire bathroom and are OK with this.

Can someone please advise if it is “ok” for me to expect a contribution towards a full bathroom renovation equal to the costs the SP would have incurred if the shower recess only was repaired? The SM elude to this but will not give me a yes or no answer. And do I have to use the one and only tradesman they recommend?

Why are they making it so difficult!

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05/05/2012 - 7:32 pm
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As long we you are not changing the shower recess in anyway, ie the same tiles, the same area, the same place, the same everything.

If you wanted to change anything in this area it could be taken as a renovation.  I am in a townhouse complex and we had a by law drawn up to make owners responsible for their shower recesses and bathrooms/internal plumbing as any problems with leaking pipes only affects their own internal space.  That way, owners hopefully will not only maintain their bathrooms, so it doesn’t leak, but they can renovate and update their bathroom (without major plumbing changes which may need OC consideration).  There was a perceived expectation in this complex that the OC would pay for repairs, and then put in better fixtures and fittings!

I also have a shower recess problem and am glad we have the above by law as I can change the tiles and do a “reno” on the bathroom without permission, only advising the OC of work to be carried out within the guidelines of the complex rules and regs.



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06/05/2012 - 12:21 pm
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Albert – in response to the second part of your post (para 5), you have put forward an entirely sensible proposal, but I suspect that your Strata Manager (SM) maybe having difficulties getting a decision out of your Plan’s Executive Committee, and/or is in a quandary about the concept of you arranging works on the Common Property (i.e. the shower floor and any common walls).

For a number of reasons that I won’t go into here, I’m inclined to the view that it’s better for the Owners Corporation (O/C) to arrange for the repairs to its Common Property (albeit via the SM), and for you to speak with individual tradespersons as they arrive at your Property about separately quoting the additional work that you want done, and your payment for that.

Remember that the SM works for you (as a member of the O/C), so it’s entirely appropriate for you to put pen-to-paper and (politely) put forward your proposal regarding the concurrent renovation of the bathroom, to insist on more than one quote for the components (yours & the O/C’s), and to insist upon a timely decision particularly as delays will almost certainly lead to even further damage to the Common Property (incentive).

Copy everything to the members of your Executive  Committee, and follow-up with each of them personally. 

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07/05/2012 - 1:18 pm
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Thanks for the input. From the SM’s point of view, they have accepted that the SP is responsible for repairing the leaking shower. However, our reno would include removing a small area of wall which forms one side of the shower recess. So we would be changing something.


At this stage I think I’ll just let them fix the shower and when we eventually retire into the townhouse, renovate on my own terms.


Appreciate your help!

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