Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #53402
    mark1980
    Flatchatter

    About 2 months ago, I had a ceiling leaking in the bathroom. It turns out that the tap in the laundry room upstairs was not switched off completely and was dripping, probably for some time, because the tenants moved out. The plumber came and said there is waterproofing issue in their laundry room and needs to be fixed.

    Of course, when the tap was turned off, the leaking stopped. But after 2 months, when I asked the strata manager what was the plan, here is his response: “According to the plumbers, this occurred to extraordinary circumstances and does not occur in normal circumstances. The area was left on for a long period of time hence the leak however once this was turned off the leak ceased occurring meaning there Is no issue according to the plumber. We will monitor and if it occurs when they move in then we will take appropriate action.”

    Since the strata manager has a history of giving false excuses, I was wondering the excuse he gave this time has any merits? What if I go on a holiday and the leak happens again and ruins my property?

    During the meeting I asked him about the repair and he mentioned that the waterproofing issue won’t be covered by insurance. So I guess the OC doesn’t want to repair it because of the cost. How should I go about this?

    [NB: Mark180 has an ongoing issue with his strata manager who appears to be making up strata law as he goes, as outlined here: https://www.flat-chat.com.au/topic/nomination-for-members-of-the-strata-committee/%5D

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by .
Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #53454
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Section 232 (2) of the Act has provisions that allow the Tribunal (NCAT) to order the committee or strata scheme to fulfil their legal obligations – like maintaining and repairing common property.  You could seek orders under that provision.

    Or you could just phone your strata insurers and tell them that the building is being insured under false pretences.  That might work, if they threaten to cancel the insurance cover if the membrane isn’t fixed.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by .
    #53467
    BONNIE L
    Flatchatter

    Hi, Strata’s response seems to sound more than reasonable if they have organised the plumber for the tenant in the first place, and at your request, and then followed up.  In my limited experience, having a chat with the new tenant neighbour may help to ensure they themselves do the right thing, or just get to know them anyway.  Sometimes a dripping tap can be when a washer hasn’t been replaced.  Would you consider that a possibility?  If there has been any damage to your ceiling, having recourse to one’s own household insurance may help.    Or, you could vote yourself on to the committee.  Then you could have  first hand knowledge of things in the future.

    #53470
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Or, you could vote yourself on to the committee. Then you could have first hand knowledge of things in the future.

    Unfortunately, my link to Mark180’s original posts didn’t “take”. Getting on to the committee appears to be a major problem here: https://www.flat-chat.com.au/topic/nomination-for-members-of-the-strata-committee/.

    #53471
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Hi, Strata’s response seems to sound more than reasonable if they have organised the plumber for the tenant in the first place, and at your request, and then followed up.

    I’m afraid I have to disagree. If, as Mark180 said, the plumber identified an issue with the waterproofing, then trusting that fixing a leaking tap will fix the problem isn’t enough.  Waterproofing is there in case things go wrong, such as an overflowing sink, blocked drain, burst pipe or, indeed, dripping tap.  Fixing the thing that revealed the waterproofing had failed is not enough.  The strata committee or the lot owner (if they have renovated) need to fix this before another accident occurs.

    #53475
    Austman
    Flatchatter

    It turns out that the tap in the laundry room upstairs was not switched off completely and was dripping

    For sure there was a waterproofing issue.  But the waterproofing required by the NCC/BCA depends on when the laundry was built or renovated.

    Waterproofing requirements and standards for wet areas have improved substantially in recent years.  But AFAIK laundry walls are still not required to be waterproofed in all areas.  A leaking washing machine tap on a wall or inside a cupboard can still sometimes cause issues even in a compliant building.   This has caused issues in some of my buildings.  An occupier has moved out, disconnected their washing machine, but (accidentally) left a tap dripping.  Not all of that water dripped its way to the waterproofed floor to be collected by the floor waste…

    Before threatening the OC, I’d first make sure that the issue was due to a non-compliant or failed waterproofing requirement or standard that applied when the laundry was built or renovated.

     

     

     

     

    #53543
    mark1980
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Before threatening the OC, I’d first make sure that the issue was due to a non-compliant or failed waterproofing requirement or standard that applied when the laundry was built or renovated.

    The building was built in 1997, if that’s what you meant by “when the laundry was built or renovated”. The leaking water was not from the wall, I am pretty sure, as I obtained a key from their property manager and identified the problem in the first place. The laundry floor under the tap was wet (not flooded).

    The plumber told me on the site that this is a waterproofing issue and needs to be fixed. But then this plumber is the one the strata manager always turns to. So after that I tried several times to call or text them, but got no replies. Looks like something dodgy is going on.

    Should I request a written report from the plumber through the strata manager? I cannot trust anything from this strata manager’s mouth.

    How do I make sure that the issue was due to a non-compliant or failed waterproofing requirement or standard that applied when the laundry was built or renovated?

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by .
    #53542
    mark1980
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi, thanks very much for your comments. I didn’t realise my question was moved here until Jimmy pointed me here today.

    #53546
    Austman
    Flatchatter

    How do I make sure that the issue was due to a non-compliant or failed waterproofing requirement or standard that applied when the laundry was built or renovated?

    You need to consult a qualified waterproofer/plumber.

    But AFAIK in 1997, laundry floors in class 2 buildings (apartments) that were located above another sole-occupancy unit needed to be both waterproofed and have a floor waste.

    If that’s where the leaking actually occurred, it was probably non-compliant.

     

    #54419
    StrataIndividual
    Flatchatter

    This is an interesting discussion. This is not meant to be a criticism, (but rather a critical analysis), but will “consulting a qualified waterproofer/plumber” tell you whether the laundry was renovated? Probably not.

    As the Keymaster has already mentioned if the water has gone through the floor it suggests that the waterproofing (if existing) has failed. Therefore do you need to pay a tradesman to check it?
    Shouldn’t there be a by-law if the apartment was renovated and if none exists, then doesn’t that mean that it defaults to Owners Corp responsibility?
    It is a fine line question, because (a normal world) Bonnie also has a valid point that if someone was living in there it may be just fine, even in the case that the waterproofing isn’t the best. How long were you there before this occurred?
    The problem is that the strata legislation is not normal, because in Part 6, Div 1, 106 (6) it says 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. It would seem that it is wise to take action quickly, before two years goes past. It removes the option for you to wait and see how things go.
    As has been mentioned from time to time by Jimmy there is a strata legislation review underway now.  http://haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/strata-statutory-review-2020
    If you feel like I do, that you didn’t buy into a strata plan to have decisions made about your life and your property by a bunch of other people, then tell them this.

    If I wanted to be part of a community with people I don’t know, I would have bought into a community scheme not strata.

    Be interested to know your thoughts Mark1980

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by .
    #54425
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    This is an interesting discussion. This is not meant to be a criticism, (but rather a critical analysis), but will “consulting a qualified waterproofer/plumber” tell you whether the laundry was renovated? Probably not.

    They will take one look at the tapware and the tile and know in an instant.
    If you feel like I do, that you didn’t buy into a strata plan to have decisions made about your life and your property by a bunch of other people, then tell them this.
    As has been established by the recent Court of Apppeal ruling on pets, strata owners can’t make decisions about other owners property or the way they live – just about how their behaviour affects other people and common property.
    If I wanted to be part of a community with people I don’t know, I would have bought into a community scheme not strata.
    That doesn’t make much sense, I’m afraid.  Community schemes still have committees that deal with shared responsibilities.  In strata it’s things like bathroom floors that leak into other units. In community title I believe it’s things like fences and the outward appearance of your home. maintenance of roads and paths etc.

    Note to all FlatChatters: Please don’t post your entire comments as QUOTES.  It’s hard to know who you are quoting or if you are quting anyone at all.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by .
    #54432
    kaindub
    Flatchatter

    Perhaps we can get back to the real discussion.

    What’s THE REAL issue. If the leaking has stopped because the tap has been turned off then the problem is fixed.

    One can spend a lot or energy chasing perceived issues that may not be there.

    Make a record of the conversations with the strata manager via an email to them. If this reoccurs in the future then let them know its a reoccuring problem ànd for the OC to fix the cause.

    Its also useless trying to contradict the findings of the plumber unless you get your own plumber/consultant to provide a report to the  conntrary and then to establish that the lack of waterproofing was the root cause.

     

     

     

    #54437
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    If the leaking has stopped because the tap has been turned off then the problem is fixed.

    I’m afraid I have to disagree.  Laundries are, by definition, places where there’s a lot of water going around.  It may have been a leaking tap on this occasion, next time it could be an overflowing sink or a burst waching machine hosepipe.  It’s a flaw in common property and the owners corp is obliged to fix it (unless it was caused by the owner renovating).

    A new development in Sydney has just been halted and all the bathrooms re-waterproofed and retiled at a cost of, I’m told, $1million, because of the potential damage that can be caused and exacerbated by faulty waterproofing.

    You’re right that probably there won’t be a recurrence.  But when it comes to waterproofing, “probably” butters no parsnips.

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