Flat Chat Forum Two-unit strata Current Page

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  • #10442

    A tree is largely responsible for damage to a retaining wall at the rear of a duplex property.

    Is it the strata responsibility and cost to remove the tree if necessary and the repair of the retaining wall? 

    Or the responsibility of the owner on the side of the property where the tree is?

    To make the issue a little more interesting, the location of the retaining wall is classified as an easement. Can anyone assist with that one? 

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  • #26268

    I should think that you’d have more sway if the tree was damaging part of your property as I’ve read on a similar thread somewhere here. Then you might be able to go after management to do something about it before it further causes damage to your home. Otherwise, (again from what I’ve read), chances are that the management might just leave things until it gets worse because there are other issues that funds need to be directed towards. Good luck sorting things out though!


    Thank you. I will need a bit of time to get my head around that


    The matter of the easement is a complication that is perhaps best left aside, unless after reading what follows you decide to provide some additional information of relevance, such as whether or not the easement’s Registered on your Plan’s Strata Title, because in general terms unless the easement is for a right of way (such as to another property), then the beneficiary of it is not required to maintain it or anything on it (such as a tree) to any degree that exceeds their own requirements.

    So the next matter is whether or not the tree is on common property, where the owners corporation is responsible to maintain both it, and the retaining wall that was damaged because of it. 

    If the tree is not on common property and is instead within the lot owner’s property, then they are responsible to maintain both it and the retaining wall that it damaged, subject to yet further complications.

    The first arises from the fact that each duplex in your Plan will incorporate “cubic air space” that will be shown on the Strata Title Plan as the stratum of the lot, and be expressed as a number of metres horizontally above and below a reference point such as the top of the raft slab of its ground floor. So if the tree is entirely within the lot’s stratum, then as stated the owner is required to maintain it etc., but if it’s a large tree that canopy is above the upper level of the lot’s stratum, then the lot owner and the O/C are proportionality responsible for the cost of repairs.

    As a simple example where the upper level of the lot’s stratum is shown as 3 metres above the reference point, and a horizontal projection of that to a 6 metre high tree shows that around 2 metres of its canopy extends above that level, then the lot owner would contribute 2/3 of the costs and the O/C the remaining 1/3.

    The last complication arises if the tree or part of it fell and/or damaged the retaining during a storm or a similar “event”, in which case the responsible party could lodge an insurance claim for the cost of repairs against their building insurance.

    That’s about it; you did say that it was interesting!!

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Flat Chat Forum Two-unit strata Current Page