- This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
04/01/2020 at 1:59 pm #47290JasonvicFlatchatter
I live in an apartment building in Melbourne. My neighbour downstairs has engaged a plumber to investigate water egress on their ceilings and the plumber provided a report suggesting that it was my balcony’s waterproofing that has failed.
The issue was also reported to body corp. And Body corp replied that as it is my balcony which is a private lot, it is my responsibility to address the issue. I have done some research into this and found that in other states, i.e. NSW and QLD, the waterproofing on balcony is up to body corp to rectify when it failed, regardless of whether they are in private lot or common property. Additionally, my balcony is a tiled balcony that is joint with my neighbour’s balcony, which is only divided with a suspended private screen. Other than that my neighbour’s balcony is also joint with another apartment’s balcony. That means that if I were to remove the tiles and relay the waterproofing, I will also need to remove my neighbours’ tiles across their balconies and relay waterproofing before reinstalling all tiles. I find it absurd that I should be responsible for the failed waterproofing.
Another angle I’m looking into is that the apartment building is only 7 years old, which means that it should fall under builder’s warranty for the defects(failed balcony waterproofing). Although in VIC the builder’s warranty period is only 6 years, I have read a recent court case in Victoria suggests that the limitation period for beach of statutory warranty is 10 years from completion some defects related issues take time to manifest.
I am trying to get in touch with the builder at this stage.
04/01/2020 at 2:16 pm #47303Jimmy-TKeymaster
- This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
According to this factsheet the balcony slab is common property but, unlike in NSW, anything attached to it is lot property, and that would include the membrane. However, the owners corp can agree by special resolution to fix lot property, especially if it affects other people. That said, it sounds like they are unlikely to go down this road.
Also, I wonder how we can be sure the problem is entirely in your lot and not the adjoining one with the shared balcony. The 10-year building warranty claim may be your best bet but I would be trying to get the people below and the people next door to pressure the strata committee to engage in supporting your claim, rather than just washing their hands of the problem.
They’ll be glad of your assistance when the next balcony and the next one after that, starts to leak.05/01/2020 at 1:59 pm #47334AustmanFlatchatter
“I find it absurd that I should be responsible for the failed waterproofing.”
It’s written into laws in Victoria, specifically the “Subdivision (Registrar’s Requirements)
Regulations 2011”, which means the OC can’t change it even if they wanted to.
As JT states, the OC could vote to repair lot property. That’s going to be unlikely unless most balconies are affected.
And even then, if the repair cost was raised by a special levy, the OC is required to apply the “Benefit Principle” which means lots that benefit more contribute more. So it still might mean that you effectively have to pay for your lot’s repair.
Best to try to a building warranty claim. But it might be too late for that.05/01/2020 at 2:00 pm #47336JasonvicFlatchatterChat-starter
Much appreciated your advice! They are very helpful!
You are absolutely right that the strata committee should be involved as their are 3 balconies joint together and if any works were to be carried out it will affect all 3 balconies. I will also ask the strata to see if other units in the buildings, especially the unit below the 3 balconies, have water egress issues in their ceilings.
I will be meeting with the builder tomorrow to make a claim and take it from there. Thank you again for your advice!
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