Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #12135
    Blanchie
    Flatchatter

    Hi all,

    I live in a 1940s apartment building. There are 2 hipped tiled roofs, one of which is accessible through a hatch in the stairwell. The other is only accessible through a hatch in the kitchen ceiling of the top-most apartment, which is currently unoccupied.

    We have an NBN representative coming along to inspect and likely install a connection for 2 units and s/he needs to access the roof spaces of both roofs. Unfortunately this owner of the apartment with the access to our roof space is refusing access ! I would have thought that there is some Strata legislation that states that an owner can’t unreasonably refuse access to common property ? Especially as the apartment is currently unoccupied. Can anyone point me in the right direction ?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide,

    Blanchie

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #31062
    Lady Penelope
    Strataguru

    Which body is requesting access to the common property roof space …. is it NBN, or is the Owner’s Corporation, or is it a Lot owner?

    If it is NBN then it is my understanding that NBN have a statutory right to install cabling and a person cannot refuse access.

    https://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Telco/Infrastructure/Network-facilities/accessing-buildings-to-install-telecommunications-facilities-i-acma

    There are also two sections of the Act that may be useful to you.

    STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 – SECT 122

    Power of owners corporation to enter property in order to carry out work

    122 Power of owners corporation to enter property in order to carry out work

     

    (1) An owners corporation for a strata scheme may, by its agents, employees or contractors, enter on any part of the parcel of the scheme for the purpose of carrying out the following work:

    (a) work required or authorised to be carried out by the owners corporation in accordance with this Act (including work relating to window safety devices and rectification work carried out under Part 11),

    (b) work required to be carried out by the owners corporation by a notice given to it by a public authority,

    (c) work required or authorised to be carried out by the owners corporation by an order under this Act.

    (2) An owners corporation for a strata scheme may, by its agents, employees or contractors, enter on any part of the parcel for the purpose of determining whether any work is required to be carried out by the owners corporation in accordance with this Act.

    (3) In an emergency, the owners corporation may enter any part of the parcel for those purposes at any time.

    (4) In a case that is not an emergency, the owners corporation may enter any part of the parcel for those purposes with the consent of any occupier of that part of the parcel or, if the occupier does not consent, in accordance with an order of the Tribunal under this Division.

    (5) A person must not obstruct or hinder an owners corporation in the exercise of its functions under this section.

    Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.

    (6) An owners corporation is liable for any damage to a lot or any of its contents caused by or arising out of the carrying out of any work, or the exercise of a power of entry, referred to in this section unless the damage arose because the owners corporation was obstructed or hindered.

     

    If there is a defect in the current cabling then the following section may be useful.

    STRATA SCHEMES MANAGEMENT ACT 2015 – SECT 119

    Work to rectify certain defects

    119 Work to rectify certain defects

     

    (1) An owners corporation for a strata scheme may carry out work that is necessary to rectify any of the following defects:

    (a) any structural defect in any part of a building comprised in a lot in the scheme that affects or is likely to affect the support or shelter provided by that lot for another lot in the building or the common property,

    (b) any defect in any pipe, wire, cable or duct that provides, or through which passes, any water, sewage, drainage, gas, electricity, garbage, artificially heated or cooled air, heating oil or other service (including telephone, internet, radio or television services) within a lot.

    (2) An owners corporation may carry out the work at its own expense if the cost of the work cannot be recovered from some other person.

    #31063
    Blanchie
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank-you Lady Penelope – very helpful indeed !!

    To answer your query, it’s a combination of all 3 asking for access. I’m a unit owner and also the Chair of our self-managed Owner’s Corp. The other unit owner needing access is the Treasurer of the Owner’s Corp. The NBN rep came to our property a few weeks ago and requested access to the roof for an inspection.

    I will ask the owner again and try to determine what his concerns are…and if he still refuses I’ll quote some of the above NBN and Strata legislation.

    Thanks again, much appreciated 🙂 

    Blanchie

    #31085
    Blanchie
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    UPDATE :

    The owner of the unit has again refused to make himself available to open his unit for the NBN inspection or provide a date when he is available. This is despite knowing that he’d be in breach of the above-mentioned Telecommunications Act legislation. 

    Can anyone advise what our next steps should be as the Owners Corporation ?

    Cheers,

    Blanchie

    #31088
    Lady Penelope
    Strataguru

    My recommendations are: Have you contacted NBN? They may have a process whereby they can obtain entry.

    If not then you may need to seek an Order via NCAT and possibly an Interim Order if the matter fits within their definition of  ‘urgent’. A phone call to NCAT may help steer you in the right direction:

    Contact NCAT

    Telephone 1300 006 228

    1300 00 NCAT or 1300 006 228 and follow the prompts.

    • Press 1 for Consumer and Commercial Division
    • Press 2 for Guardianship Division
    • Press 3 for Administrative and Equal Opportunity and Occupational Divisions
    • Press 4 for Internal Appeals

    Interpreter Service (TIS): 13 14 50
    National Relay Service: 1300 555 727

    #31090
    Blanchie
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks again, much appreciated Lady Penelope !

    I will liaise with the NBN this week when they come out on site again.

    NCAT would be the last resort, but may well be necessary !

    Thanks,

    Blanchie.

    #31095
    billy
    Flatchatter

    After 10 months our SM has arranged repairs to stop water leaking from an adjoining unit through a common property wall into our kitchen.

    Work was scheduled for Feb 6th.  Now the owner says their tenant is vacating mid March so work can’t be done till after that.!

    Any suggestions please to hurry this up.

    I have just read Blanchie’s post.  Does occupier mean tenant?

    Billy

    #31098
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Since this affects common property which is presumably being damaged by the delay, you, the strata committee or strata manager could seek interim orders requiring access from NCAT.  Interim orders do not require mediation first and can be heard within seven days.

    Have a look at this page on the NCAT website then, if you want to proceed, fill in this form (which must be posted – you can’t apply for interim orders online).

    Occupier means resident, in the above context.

    #31100
    farm_kate
    Flatchatter

    As an absolute last resort, the NBN install techs can install their own access in situations where the occupants won’t provide access. (Source: partner is installation tech for NBN)

    I need to check who gets charged for the install (NBN vs owner). 

    #31104
    Topsheila
    Flatchatter

    The NBN utility box that is set up outside your house or in a common area of your apartment building is free for everybody.  The NBN installation inside your home (the “switch” to NBN) is at your own cost and responsibility.  You will need an NBN modem (around $300 plus the cost of any additional cabling). There are many ISPs now in the market so it pays to shop around. 

    #31120
    billy
    Flatchatter

    can the SM apply for interim orders?

    billy

    #31121
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    Yes, but it’s not an interim order, it’s an order.

    Refer above, section 122(4) – where the owner/occupier refuses access the OC can apply for an order for access.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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