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    I’ve lived in a townhouse for 6 years and have paid around $20-30k out of pocket for a number of emergency or water ingress rectification works. The work has involved fixing leaking roof, missing flashing & valleys, continual water ingress in my garage, water damage to painted walls and metallic frames etc.

    I didn’t seek funding from Strata courtesy of a mix of poor Strata management & my own lack of common property knowledge.

    Do I have any recourse to seek compensation for these sorts of out of pocket expenses?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • This topic was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by .

    Under section 106, the Owners Corporation has absolute responsibility for repair and maintenance of common property – this is in no doubt.

    The question arises of whether or not you should have gone ahead and repaired the common property yourself.

    Subsection 5 and 6 of Sections 106 say this:

    (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.

    (6) An owner may not bring an action under this section for breach of a statutory duty more than 2 years after the owner first becomes aware of the loss.

    Now, this doesn’t precisely cover your situation but it gives you an avenue for a claim at NCAT, should your neighbours balk at repaying the costs.

    A few things to consider that might help or hinder your case:

    1. Were all the areas repaired definitely common property?
    2. Were other owners aware that you were repairing common property at your own expense?
    3. Can you clearly show that it was only common property that was repaired and that the repairs needed to be carried out – or at least show a clear delineation between costs for lot repairs and common property repairs?
    4. Did you get a number of quotes for the work to show that  the cost was reasonable?
    5. Have other owners repaired common property at their own expense?

    If I were you at this stage I would present your “bill”  for the costs – minus what you would have paid as part of your share – to your committee or strata manager.  I would err on the conservative side  and offer a couple of options for repayment (including a reduction of levies until the debt was cleared).

    If they reject the claim, then the process would be to go to Fair Trading  for mediation, and then the Tribunal.

    I would not go in too hard and heavy at the beginning but it would do no harm to get some professional advice, even at this stage.

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