This article discussing the benefits of a regular strata building inspection report has been supplied by Michele Hemmings, Exclusively Strata.
Recently one of my strata groups had to spend ~$9000 to rectify damaged common property (mostly the inside of a townhouse) because a long term tenant was prepared to live around falling ceilings, mildew, mould, and rotting timber beams and not report it!
The property managers had only inspected twice in 10 years, yes, twice and both times there were no problems so they didn’t bother coming back for the last 8 years of the tenancy. The owner had not carried out any inspections either, just left it to her trusty letting agent…
As owners and strata managers, we cannot enter a tenanted unit without due cause, so I would like to ask a lawyer who might be reading this: what are the rights of an Owners’ Corporation to enter a residence to inspect common property when there is no reason to suspect any damage? We don’t have X-ray eyes to see certain aspects of common property.
Surely it would be good building management for a strata building inspection report to be carried out on a regular basis eg annually so that tenants and owners:
- become used to the idea of an independent building inspector checking out the structural elements that constitute common property;
- don’t become complacent about their living habitat, and
- be more pro-active in noticing and reporting damage/deterioration.
Are we (Strata Managers and Owners Corporation) permitted to ask for copies of inspection reports carried out by letting agents of the interiors of rented units?
Surely landlords (and letting agents) are obliged to pass on details of any structural damage detected during a strata building inspection report to the owners’ corporation – that is, if the landlord owner has read the report. The earlier that damage is reported to the Strata Manager, the cheaper the repair bill for strata owners.
Section 62 of the (current) NSW strata legislation requires the Owners Corporation to be responsible for all repairs to the common property – but what if it does not know of damage that is occurring in front of its non-x-ray eyes?
For more information about carrying out a strata building inspection report or articles particular to your state or territory, visit our FactSheet: Maintenance and Common Property OR Strata FactSheets by States
Do tenants have the same rights as an owner?
Top maintenance issues strata managers need to watch for
Professional building inspectors and strata managers working together
Why strata owners should hire qualified, registered building inspectors