• This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 6 months ago by .
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  • #53477
    Lewis
    Flatchatter

    Long story so I’m going to boil it down to the key points but I would really like some advice on this situation:

    I live on the top floor of an apartment block and on Friday late afternoon, the area around my front door and parts of my bedroom flooded with the carpet soaking up all the water in the concrete slabs underneath them. I called the OC manager to arrange the emergency plumber to come out immediately to look at the issue. Two hours later, the plumber finally got here. He spent 2.5 hours looking up and down the building but could not locate the source of the leak. The one place where it was most likely the cause of the issue was a couple of hot water tanks on the roof directly above where my front door area was. There were puddles of water where these tanks sat. Prior to the plumber arriving, the onsite maintenance person had accessed the roof and we both saw the state of these tanks where one in particular seem to be in some sort of overdrive (dripping and venting steam through the drain pipe). After 2.5 hours of him investigating to no avail, I said could you please at least switch off the hot water tanks which look suspicious to which he did.

    Early Monday, the builders came out for an inspection on the grounds that this was due to a building defect (I had already filed for a warranty claim). I told them what had happened on Friday, what was done about it, and what I suspected the issue was on the roof. In the process of the inspection, they had to cut holes in the plaster wall in my apartment. They went up to the roof and verified that the hot water unit was indeed the issue because someone had cut and removed some of the piping and the waterproofing element.

    It’s Wednesday now and all I’ve heard was that the plumber was going to be out again and they will provide a full report to the OC. This will then get forwarded for lodging a claim against the insurance broker.

    I’m concerned because I’ve never come across a situation like this. I’m not sure what I need to do to make sure the damages in my apartment are compensated for adequately and I’m not sure what my rights are here. I feel like I’ve been left out of the whole process and I want to make sure my demands don’t just go into the black hole of this OC manager’s inbox. I don’t feel like there have been adequate transparency around the process and what the next steps are and I get bad vibes that they are going to try to dodge this if they can. Where can I turn to here? Shouldn’t they be involving me in all the reports by the builders and plumbers so I stay informed? Have they breached their duty of care in this instance? How do I make sure what I’m asking for doesn’t fall on deaf ears?

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  • #53594
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I feel like I’ve been left out of the whole process and I want to make sure my demands don’t just go into the black hole of this OC manager’s inbox. I don’t feel like there have been adequate transparency around the process and what the next steps are and I get bad vibes that they are going to try to dodge this if they can.

    That’s not an unusual feeling in strata. The strata manager or building manager could very well be working away behind the scenes to resolve the issue but they should be keeping you informed of what they plan to do and how they plan to do it.

    Where can I turn to here? Shouldn’t they be involving me in all the reports by the builders and plumbers so I stay informed?

    No, not really.  As I said above they should be telling you generally what they plan to do but giving you every detailed step is just going to slow things down.

    Have they breached their duty of care in this instance?

    “Duty of care” is a phrase that gets bandied around a lot but doesn’t mean anything unless it spelled out in a contract or in the law. Until recently, in NSW, builders had no “duty of care” to the owners of apartments.

    How do I make sure what I’m asking for doesn’t fall on deaf ears?

    Ask for a meeting with the strata manager or building manager and take a witness. Make sure you get all their commitments in writing.  If nothing is done, start mediation proceedings at Fair Trading.

    There is a strange quirk in strata law that I’ve never been able to get my head around which is that the OC has to repair any damage caused in effecting repairs to common property but they are not liable for damage cause by the failure of common property … unless that is due to neglect or something they did.

    There is also another quirk that you can possibly go straight to the strata insurer and make a claim without involving either committee or strata manager and the insurer will often just pay up.

    Perhaps you would be a candidate for referring to Marrickville Legal Centre’s free strata advice service.  You’ll find them HERE.  If they help you out, you might help them out too, with a wee tax-free donation.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by .
    #53496
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I guess I will just repost it in the right section.

    Done.  It’s a very different set of answers if you are in strata rather than company title. And just one other thing – for the same reason – are you in NSW?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by .
    #53487
    Lewis
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank you for pointing that out. I must admit it isn’t very intuitive to figure out how to do certain things on the forum so I must have only found the create a post button after I clicked into a particular section of the forum. I don’t see an option to delete or move this post so I guess I will just repost it in the right section. Thanks.

    #53482
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    First of all, this has been posted in the Company Title section.  Is your apartment block company title?

    Oh, and we changed your screen name as you used your real name and that’s against website policy.

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