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  • #55394
    Soaky
    Flatchatter

    I own in a block built 1965. There was a major leak from the bathroom above ours in September 2016.Strata insurers came in and discovered spalling in the slab overhead and repairs in my unit took until early 2019 to complete as moisture levels in the concrete above kept fluctuating.

    Mine is a self-managed investment unit and I ended up paying a building company to act as my agent so to speak by providing the requested frequent access to the property and agreeing conduct of works within my Lot with Strata’s engineers, builders, insurers, tradesmen etc. The cost of repairs was shared by the Owners Corporation and their insurers.

    The Owners Corporation told me that the owners of the unit above had in 2012 removed a wall and the original bathroom, both of which are common property. My tenant had to vacate the property and I was covered for some rental loss. My new kitchen was removed and they damaged and replaced some items…but I was never compensated for any of the fees I paid for my representative building company.

    Do you think I can legitimately seek reimbursement from the Owners Corp for those costs? If I didn’t use this company then I would’ve been taking several weeks off work over almost 3 years. Only reason I’m asking now is that we were flooded yet again in December 2020 by the same bathroom above.

    Thanks

    Soaky

     

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  • #55467
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    You can seek it and I can’t see why you wouldn’t get it.  Contacting the insurance company directly may get surprising results.

    #55493
    Soaky
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Many thanks for the advice Jimmy

    I will contact the Strata insurers directly

    #57253
    Soaky
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi Jimmy T

    I didn’t get anywhere with the Strata insurers & my problem has since worsened.

    The water damage from flooding from the unit above in December 2020 was limited to the common property set plaster ceilings in the bathroom and part of the kitchen. My personal property wasn’t impacted.The Strata Committee & the Strata manager didn’t want to put it through insurance ( due to high excess) and I was authorised to organise the repairs myself with bills being forwarded to Strata managers for payment.

    As you know it is very messy work but the the tenants (young family) agreed to stay put as I scheduled work to minimise the innconvenience to them. On completion of the job they correctly requested (per the Lease) for rent to be rebated for the days that the bathroom & kitchen were unavailable due to common property ceiling repairs and I had no issues refunding them approx $2500.

    I then wrote to both the Strata Committee and the Strata manager in March outlining what had occurred and seeking reimbursement of this rental loss and 3 months later I have had no response except the Strata manager said on the phone that it’s up to me to sort it out with the Owner of unit above !  This is the third documented leak in 5 years and I’m really at a loss as to what to do next.

    Appreciate any advice you can offer

    Kind regards

    Soaky

    #57270
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    I hope you have all the conversations with the strata manager and committee in writing.

    Have you approached the strata insurers directly? You could lodge a claim. If the insurer finds the upstairs owner liable, they will chase them for the money (you get reimbursed in the mean time).

    In any case you may have a valid claim against the upstairs neighbour. If they won’t come to the party (in the end it’s their insurers who will pay – if they are insured) then get a lawyer and starts proceedings.

    Sure it’s more money to spend, but if you win not only are your repair bills paid,but your legal bills as well. You probably can also get your consultant bills paid.

    #57277
    Flame Tree (Qld)
    Flatchatter

    I appreciate your frustration and predicament. I’m aware of a similar incident where all sides decided to tough it out and lawyer up and… Um, yeah, don’t play that long game. So far they’ve literally all spent high-hundreds of thousands of dollars on legals over years now while it moves at a glacial pace across the courts, and all units remain unsaleable  until the thing gets forced into settlement and very likely the forced sales for debt recovery for some. All the while there’s little loot to maintain their complex. Be very reasonable along the way (even when the other side seems not) to get it all concluded as soon as practical is my 2c worth. Good luck.

    #57292
    Just Asking
    Flatchatter

    If the Owners Corporation has accepted liability for the repair works then perhaps s.106 (5) SSMA should be considered, as it allows recovery of reasonably foreseeable losses arising from defects in common property. Courts have ruled that loss of rent is recoverable, provided action is brought within 2 years.

    #57301
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    … perhaps s.106 (5) SSMA should be considered …

    Which says:

    (5)  An owner of a lot in a strata scheme may recover from the owners corporation, as damages for breach of statutory duty, any reasonably foreseeable loss suffered by the owner as a result of a contravention of this section by the owners corporation.

    Just apply for mediation at Fair Trading with a view to recovering all costs incurred due to a failure by the Owners Corporation to maintain and repair common property.  They should have been more on the ball when chummy upstairs was ripping out walls and floors.

    They can then recover the costs via their insurance. High excess payments are the most pathetic of excuses for not fulfilling their stautory duties.  When it comes to insurance, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.

    High excesses are only a good idea when all the other aspects of building maintance and management are properly seen to.

    #57303
    Soaky
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Many thanks to Jimmy T & all for advice.

    I’m going to put my paperwork together and will apply for mediation at Fair Trading.

    Although it’s now over the 2 year limit do you think you think I should include my building consultant costs from 2018? To be honest I sort of left everything go during the chaos of COVID last year

    thanks

    Soaky

    #57308
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Although it’s now over the 2 year limit do you think you think I should include my building consultant costs from 2018? To be honest I sort of left everything go during the chaos of COVID last year

    One thing is guaranteed, if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it, and I don’t think it ill weaken your case unless an NCAT member sees it as a cash grab.

     

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