Flat Chat Forum Another day in paradise Current Page

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  • #50340
    AvatarThe Observer
    Flatchatter

    The strata committee in our Sydney building has discovered that during a previous bathroom renovation in one of the units, the water isolation valve/tap (there is one in every unit) was removed. No permission was sought to do this. The unit was subsequently sold. Since then, the water to the whole building has been turned off on at least two occasions with little notice do to leaking taps in that unit. Can the current owner/landlord be made to reinstall the isolation valve? If so, would that be at the landlord’s cost? If there is no legal requirement to reinstall the valve is there a minimum notification time before the water can be turned off to a whole building?

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #50381
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I made the wrong reference. Its the Strata Schemes Development act 2015 Part 1 Preliminary 3 definitions 

    I think the section you’re referring to says “the pipes, wires, cables or ducts that are not for the exclusive benefit of one lot …”  If not, please advise.

    The question arises, is a valve that is used to isolate the building’s water supply from the lot part of the overall infrastructure  or  “for the exclusive benefit of that lot”?

    Your unit’s front door, which isolates your lot from common property, is common property.  It’s not a perfect analogy but it illustrates the issue. Similarly, the isolation switches and fuses on your power board are common property, even though they are connected only to the specific units concerned.

    The memorandum says the stopcock is common property and I can see nothing in the Development Act that contradicts or supersedes that.

    More to the point, this problem, with the whole building’s water supply having to be shut off so one unit’s leaky taps can be fixed is a perfect illustration of why that is the case.

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by .
    #50376
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    Jimmy

    I made the wrong reference. Its the Strata Schemes Development act 2015 Part 1 Preliminary 3 definitions

    And whilst the Common Property Memorandum is widely used as the bible, even if a strata adopts it the SSMA overrides it.

    The definition of common property depends on when the strata was registered. The 2015 Act identifies 1986 as the relevant date in th It is case

    This is somewhat similar situation to the definition of common property that is applied to pre 1974 strata ( that is there are specific differences between pre 1974 building common property and post 1974 common property)

    And my source of reference is Amanda Farmer. She discussed it at length on two of her podcasts.

     

     

    #50375
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    In the Strata Schemes Regulations Act ( yeh look it up) there is a definition of common property that says that a pipe or tap servicing a single lot is lot owner responsibility.

    It’s the Strata Schemes Management Regulations – only it’s not.  It’s the Common Property Memorandum which under Section 8(c) “Owners corporation responsibilities for maintenance, repair or replacement” says “main stopcock to unit”.

    Yeh, look it up.

    #50374
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I wonder about the wisdom of locking the main tap. What if the building is flooding and the person with the key can’t be found?

    Oops!  Good point.

    #50364
    Avatarkaindub
    Flatchatter

    What year was the building registered as strata?

    In the Strata Schemes Regulations Act ( yeh look it up) there is a definition of common property that says that a pipe or tap servicing a single lot is lot owner responsibility.

    Probably doesn’t help this situation but may be helpful in getting the current owner to instal a valve.

    #50363
    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I agree with JT except that I wonder about the wisdom of locking the main tap. What if the building is flooding and the person with the key can’t be found?

    #50362
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I’m going to dip my toe in the water here and say that the isolation valve is effectively common property (as it controls water that’s part of the system for the whole building) and so you should be telling the unit owners that they need to replace it.  Alternatively, you could replace it at their expense.

    Regarding the notice for turning off the water, there are no hard and fast rules but you could pass a regulation saying that it has to be 24 hours in advance and that it must stipulate between what times the water will be turned off.

    Just as a genral note, the renovator has clearly done their job on the cheap, and now you and your neighbours are paying for it.  Time to turn off that tap (ouch!).  Oh, and put a lock on the building’s isolation valve so that this can’t happen again with anyone.

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