This question came in from an NSW resident concerning their leaky roof repair. Thank you, Leanne Habib, Premium Strata for providing a response.
Question: What steps do we take to organise a leaky roof repair? What if some owners refuse to pay?
I purchased into a medium sized strata scheme earlier in the year. This is our first experience living in strata. I am now the chairperson of the scheme.
Our roof leaks and is in need of repair. Is a leaky roof repair something that usually falls to the committee, or in most circumstances would the strata manager handle the roof repair? There is hardly any money in the sinking fund, so lot owners will have to contribute. How do we go about raising the amount and what do we do about the lot owners who refuse to put their hand in their pocket?
I guess if there is a recalcitrant owner who doesn’t pay, the Strata Manager should sue the owner and if after all the other following proceedings no payment is made the owner would be subject to bankruptcy and the unit sold.
Is it possible to provide a step by step plan of how we can accomplish the leaky roof repair? I’m at a loss as to how we proceed.
Answer: The roof repairs will be common property and a repair that jointly the Executive Committee and the appointed Strata Manager would arrange for its repair.
The roof repairs will be common property and a repair that jointly the Executive Committee and the appointed Strata Manager would arrange for its repair. Subject to the delegated duties of the Strata Manager, generally Repairs and Maintenance such as a leaky roof repair fall under the agreed services of a Strata Manager.
The Strata Manager will generally assist with the process of sourcing quotes, making the necessary enquiry etc. on behalf of the committee, however, the decisions and instructions will remain the responsibility of the committee and owners.
First, an expert should be engaged to inspect and determine the scope of repairs required to address the issues with the roof, upon a scope being finalised and agreed to, tenders for repairs should than be obtained.
Once tenders are obtained, a meeting of the Owners Corporation should be held to consider the tenders and raise funds if there isn’t enough surplus in the sinking fund. Following the approval and raising of funds, work can commence on the leaky roof repair.
The raising of funds via a special levy can only be considered at a general meeting. 50% of owners present and entitled to vote will need to be in favour of a special levy for the motion to be passed. Therefore both the special levy and tenders should be referred to a general meeting as each motion will be subject to another, i.e. funds are required only if the works are approved.
If the special levy and approval of works is not passed by owners, and the roof repairs are essential to maintain the common property, the Owners Corporation will then be in breach of its obligations under Section 106 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, which states:
106 Duty of owners corporation to maintain and repair property
(1) An owners corporation for a strata scheme must properly maintain and keep in a state of good and serviceable repair the common property and any personal property vested in the owners corporation.
(2) An owners corporation must renew or replace any fixtures or fittings comprised in the common property and any personal property vested in the owners corporation.
(3) This section does not apply to a particular item of property if the owners corporation determines by special resolution that:
(a) it is inappropriate to maintain, renew, replace or repair the property, and
(b) its decision will not affect the safety of any building, structure or common property in the strata scheme or detract from the appearance of any property in the strata scheme.
The process for debt recovery is the same for all levy types, ordinary and special levies.
This post appears in Strata News #114.
Question: Why am I required to fund my neighbour’s leaky roof repair?
I am in a strata with 12 units. The front 8 units are at least 25 years older than the back 4 units, which I own one of.
Currently we have the situation where the front 8 need their roof replaced (the front 8 are all attached, the back four are completely separate to them) and of course, there is not enough in the sinking fund to cover this. So the strata have called for all owners to put in $3000 to top up the sinking fund to cover the leaky roof repair expense.
We are currently getting this organised, but it has been frustrating me that the back four owners have to pay for the leaky roof repair when we have nothing to do with this section of the strata scheme. Our roof is not being touched and we get no benefit from this.
I certainly agree that their roof needs replacing and I don’t want to stand in the way of them getting this done, but selfishly, I don’t see why I am required to pay for this.
What are the usual strata rules in this scenario, where there is a significant age difference between units, and certain units need building works, and others do not?
Answer: If all lots are under one strata scheme, all owners of that strata scheme will be responsible to contribute to the common property repairs.
If all 12 lots, i.e. the 8 front units and 4 back units are under one strata scheme, then all owners of that strata scheme will be responsible to contribute to the common property repairs.
The Strata Scheme Management Act requires the Owners Corporation under 106 to repair and maintain common property. It is not based on if all owners use the area or benefit from the subject roof space but where an area is deemed to be common property the owners corporation are liable to repair and maintain.
The roof is generally common property unless there is a special bylaw transferring responsibility back to a lot owner(s) or if the Owners Corporation have especially resolved to divest of their responsibility pursuant to Section 106 (3) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 wherein the Owners Corporation have determined that it is inappropriate for the Owners Corporation to maintain, renew or replace or repair or the roof areas.
Therefore, in summary, the Special levy if raised to cover the leaky roof repair requires consent by the majority of owners at a general meeting, the total amount will be levied to each owner according to the unit entailments. Your contribution will be calculated based on your unit entitlement.
- NSW: Home Building Act Statutory Warranties – What is the Two Year Warranty for Non Structural Defects Worth?
- If It Has a Balcony, It Will Leak
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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