Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #52000

    We purchased our apartment which had been extensively renovated by the previous owner some 10 years prior.
    Recently a pipe burst in the bathroom ceiling which then had to be replaced after the plumbers fixed the leak.
    Our contents policy will only pay for the painting of the ceiling, not the repair, and the Building Manager says the body corporate is not responsible because the apartment is not the original apartment as a result of the renovations previously done.
    Would appreciate any advice as to who may be responsible,. If the body corporate approved the renovations and the ceiling is common property, should they not be responsible?

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by .
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  • #52812

    It feels like the committee is being reasonable in offering a compromise but I can’t really see what’s in it for you.  If, for instance, their repairs turned out to be bodgy, you would be responsible.  I think a polite “no” would be an appropriate response.  The problem lies with a previous committee that allowed a previous owner to do work without appropriate by-laws in place.  It’s neither yours nor the current committee’s fault but there’s no reason for you to put your neck in this particular noose.


    In regards to responsibility for cost of repairs to bathroom ceiling in a previously renovated apartment the OC has accepted responsibility as there was no prior by law passed. They now want us to agree to a new by law being passed to cover any future events affecting our apartment. Should we agree?


    … check with the OC/BC’s insurance company to see if it’s covered.
    And I believe that Austman has established some time ago that owners can approach the insurers directly without going through the strata committee or managers.  (If not, someone did).

    Would appreciate any advice as to who may be responsible

    Regardless of who may be responsible, compulsory strata building insurance will often cover “reasonable exploratory costs You necessarily incur in locating the source of bursting, leaking, discharging or overflowing of tanks, apparatus or pipes used to hold or carry liquid of any kind.”  (example from a CHU residential strata PDS)

    That cover is for the building.  It shouldn’t matter if the pipe is considered a lot or an OC/BC maintenance responsibility.

    So check with the OC/BC’s insurance company to see if it’s covered.



    There’s a very important condition attached to the by-laws that allow people to change common property – and that says that unless responsibility for affected common property is passed to the lot owner, then is stays with the owners corporation.

    Section 54 (1) of the strata Act 1996 (under which this work would have been done) says, under “By-law must provide for maintenance of property” 

    (1)  A by-law to which this Division applies must:

    (a)  provide that the owners corporation is to continue to be responsible for the proper maintenance of, and keeping in a state of good and serviceable repair, the common property or the relevant part of it, or

    (b)  impose on the owner or owners concerned the responsibility for that maintenance and upkeep.

    If the strata scheme didn’t demand a by-law or invoke section 1(b) when the work was done, the pipes probably remain common property and the owners corporation is probably liable for fixing your ceiling.
    However, if there is a registered by-law that imposes responsibility for the pipes on the lot owner (under 1b) then it’s your responsibility.
    If the building manager can’t show you proof that the by-law exists, then the owners corp should pay up. It’s not the current owners’ fault if previous owners let it through on a nod and wink, but then it’s not your fault either.


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Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page