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  • #40342
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    Bunyip1
    Flatchatter

    An owner in our Strata plan has been threatening to take us to the tribunal for not repairing their balcony. The balcony was inspected by engineers, who carried out major remedial to our building, and they deemed that the repairs requested were of a cosmetic nature and there was no problem with the waterproofing unlike other balconies that were refurbished.

    The owner claims that the faulty balcony above, which was fixed, caused staining to their tiles and are so stained can’t be cleaned. We believe that their tenants’ pot plants and general wear and tear have contributed to the stains.

    They are requesting for a full rip up re-waterproof and re-tile and even wanting the rendering of a wall which has visible efflorescence and which they claim contributed to the stains. This issue is being vigorously pursued by her managing agent.

    We have offered a paving paint treatment to refurbish the stained balcony tiles which they don’t really want to accept and are pushing for a full makeover which we think is unfair.  There is a belief among the committee members that the owner wants to achieve a higher rent or possibly a better sale price with a new balcony.

    Any thoughts flatchatters or experts?

    • This topic was modified 2 months ago by .
    #40362
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    Andy
    Flatchatter

    So some balconies have been refurbished at OCs expense while others haven’t. I assume the balconies are owned by the OC and not each individual owner? Who owns the tiles on each balcony?

    #40369
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Generally speaking,  balconies are common property as are the original tiles attached to them.  What has happened to other balconies is irrelevant.

    The question here is whether the balcony  tiles in question were damaged by a fault in common property or the actions of tenants.  In the first instance the owners corp is obliged to repair or replace.  In the latter case, the lot owner should be pursued for allowing common property to be damaged.

    If the OC think the lot owner’s tenants were at fault and think they can prove that, I would advise them to tell the lot owner to go ahead and take them to NCAT.

    #40580
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    David Ng
    Flatchatter

    The balcony was inspected by engineers, who carried out major remedial to our building, and they deemed that the repairs requested were of a cosmetic nature and there was no problem with the waterproofing unlike other balconies that were refurbished.

    There’s your answer, you’ve had them inspected by the appropriate professional and their opinion forms part of the OC record. Of course you’ve taken before and after photographs  properly dated to put into the OC records? These, along with the engineers report(s) will demonstrate that you’ve acted correctly.

    It might also be time to start taking annual photographs of all balconies so that if damage and/or excessive wear and tear occurs you can determine when and maybe even how it occurred.

    Done with the normal inspection and report of the status of all common property. It will also demonstrate to owners that the committee is monitoring common property and will ensure maintenance is carried out in a timely manner.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by .
    #40665
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    Alas
    Flatchatter

    We have a similar problem. Our building in NSW unfortunately has planter boxes on each balcony. Some people keep them clean, some have pot plants in them, and some allow a buildup of leaves and weeds in them. It is difficult to inspect them as this requires access through each individual unit.

    If a resident allows their planter box to fill up to such an extent that it impedes water drainage off the balcony and so causes water damage to their unit, is it their responsibility or the owners committee for not cleaning them? We, the committee, have previously circulated notes reminding owners to keep their planter boxes clean, but recently our strata manager said we had to clean them because the balconies and planter boxes are common property. From what Jimmy says I take it as the owners responsibility, but your confirmation/advice would be much appreciated.

    #40699
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    Bunyip1
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi Andy,

    The 4 balconies that were refurbished were only done so necessarily as the water proofing had failed on all of them and was causing water leaks to all parts of the buildings.  The apartments lost tenants for 5+months and received no compensation for the loss rent. This owner’s request is for purely cosmetic reasons, the waterproof membrane has been inspected and deemed sound ( no leakage below ). So why tear up tiles that will need a new membrane for some stained tiles caused by pot plants sitting in place for too long ( a manager had noticed these stains prior ).  There is a good outcome. I sent photos of some balconies with a painted treatment and they were surprised at how good the finish was and accepted this method. We as an OC will pay for the tile paint treatment as some staining may have been attributable to leaking from above.  We were not however, going to pay for replacing an entire balcony due to stained tiles as this could open up a pandora’s box of balcony refurb requests because the tiles are stained.

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