Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

  • Creator
  • #49224

    My elderly mother owns a top floor apartment in a three story Strata building, the Plan having been registered in February 1975.

    The ceiling in the living room has developed a split in the plaster which is about 3 metres long, but quite narrow. The plaster of ceiling along the split appears to be  sagging, although this is very minimal.

    When an office bearer of the Owners’ Corporation was shown the split, he simply shrugged and did nothing.

    Later, when Mum contacted the Managing Agent, he requested that she send him two photographs of the damage, which I later emailed to him

    His reply to my email is:

    “We will refer this matter back to the Strata Committee for their action however before I do, based on the photos, it appears there is a crack in the ceiling paintwork along the plaster join line which has cracked the paint work. Is this correct? If so and the crack in the plaster join is less than 5mm, this doesn’t form an Owners Corporation’s responsibility. It becomes a cosmetic repair which need to be attended to by the lot owner the next time the unit is painted.”

    I can find no reference to a definition of “cosmetic repair” in either the Act of the Regulation, nor to any “5mm” rule in any publication.

    I am not sure whether the Owners’ Corporation adopted the Common Property Memorandum gazetted in  2016 for post 1974 Strata Plans.

    If the Common Property Memorandum hasn’t been adopted, I understand that section 108 of the Act applies.

    There has been no alteration to the ceiling of the apartment, other than being painted from time to time.

    Am I missing something??

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #49409

    Either your OC is saying you have cracked paint and therefore that’s your responsibility or that the repair is a mere  patch in the structure which they are responsible.

    A lot of owners do simple patch job themselves which is not rocket science but I suppose you are legally entitled to have them do it.

    I had to organise a repair on cracked common walls but they had a combination of cracks more than 5mm which required helibars to stabilise the structure and patch putty the areas that didn’t need the metal reinforcers. We also painted what was fixed.


    The only information that you need to take to them is that under Fair Trading’s  Common Property Memorandum, the owners corporation is responsible for the ceiling and common property walls (those adjacent to the external walls or other lots). Even if your OC hasn’t adopted this as a by-law, it’s still a very good indicator of the way the Tribunal will think, if it ever came to that.

    You could then point them at Section 106.1 of the strata Act which requires them to fix common property and then at section 232.2 “Failure to exercise a function” which allows you to seek orders at the Tribunal if they refuse or ignore your request (which they have already done).

    Also, I can’t find the reference to the legislation on this but, despite the principle that the paint inside your lot is your concern, I believe they are required to repaint the wall and ceiling after they have fixed it. It used to be part of the Common Property Memorandum but seems to have disappeared in later revisions.

    I can’t find any reference anywhere to the 5mm rule and it sounds like one of those rules relating to other matters that strata managers latch on to, to keep the committee happy.


    I have the same problem and was told the same from the OC. My building was also built in the mid-seventies, the crack appeared after a very large tree was removed, the crack goes up the wall about a half meter and along the ceiling one and half-meters, a building inspector wrote a report stating the removal of the tree was the cause of the crack, however, because the crack is not 5mm deep the OC believes it’s not responsible for the repair, around the crack the paint is also peeling.

    Can you also advise me the information to take to the OC


    AvatarColonel Schultz

    Google,  New South Wales Guide to Standards and Tolerances 2017 – NSW Fair Trading –  I dont see how that applies to a 1970’s building. The OC should repair it in my opinion.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page