• Creator
    Topic
  • #52768

    Because of serious deterioration, our building has had to have the old balconies on each unit, now used as laundries, removed and rebuilt. Some time in the distant past some unit owners enclosed their balcony. This was done in various ways – windows installed, lattice erected, etc. It’s also possible that some balconies were enclosed in the original build or later by the owners corporation. No-one knows and there are no records.

    Now that the balconies are being demolished and rebuilt, does the Owners Corporation have an obligation to ensure that each balcony is rebuilt with at least equal amenity as it had prior to demolition? Do they have to replace a wall where there was a wall, or a window if there are currently windows, or can they just say that money is short and all balconies will be rebuilt as balconies, with regulation height railings and nothing else?

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by .
Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #52910
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    The OC and the owners want to know … when part of each lot has to be demolished and rebuilt, is the OC obliged to rebuild so that each owner gets what they had, or can the OC just return each lot owner the amount of space they had but not walls, windows, functionality etc.?

    I believe that, unless alterations to the original structure have been approved and by-lawed at some point, then your only obligation is to restore common property to its original state.  That said, with a large enough majority, the owners corp can agree to whatever it wants, provided the appropriate by-laws are in place.

    Re by-law: My understanding is that unless responsibility for the maintenance and repair of altered common property (no matter who it’s altered by) is passed by by-law to the lot owner, it rests with the OC. Is that incorrect?

    No, it’s correct.  However, if the owner insists on their additions to the common property being repaired or maintained, the OC can insist that unapproved structures and additions be removed.

    I think your problem is going to be establishing what your starting point for additions and alterations is, since you have no records.  However, that is not a good enough reason for reinstating bodgy works.

    I sense that mediation and conciliation would be the best way forward.

    #52888
    trying to get a grip
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for the replies.

    Re my question: the issue is that the OC, in order to save money, wants to build a structure that gives owners less than they currently have and want. For example, some owners will lose an entire wall and end up with a balcony they don’t want (because it has no outlook, no sun, little light, too much exposure and is too small to use) in place of a laundry they do want.

    The OC and the owners want to know what the obligations of the OC are in cases like this. That is, when part of each lot has to be demolished and rebuilt, is the OC obliged to rebuild so that each owner gets what they had, or can the OC just return each lot owner the amount of space they had but not walls, windows, functionality etc.?

    Re by-law: My understanding is that unless responsibility for the maintenance and repair of altered common property (no matter who it’s altered by) is passed by by-law to the lot owner, it rests with the OC. Is that incorrect?

    #52860
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Assuming the balconies are common property and there has been no by-law established to allow the additions and modifications, I think you can restore them to what you might reasonably assume their original state was.

    You might also tell owners that if they wish to re-enclose them, they will have to apply for owners corp approval and (probably) council DAs.

    But before all that, it might be worth canvassing the owners on what they want, individually and collectively.  You may be surprised and discover a majority want a “cleaner” look.

    You might also explore ways of either establiching shared laundries or some of the more modern ideas of laundries in cupboard spaces.

    Older buildings tend to waste a lot of space compared to newer builds, so with some creative thinking you may be able to have laundries AND balconies – just not in the same place.

    #52834
    Flame Tree (Qld)
    Flatchatter

    Great question. FWIW you might like to vote for a) a average cost per unit for a standard replacement paid by all. Then also vote on  b) variations extra per unit as a shared cost by all owners or c) agreed variations beyond standard funded by each affected owner.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.