A Qld lot owner is concerned about the liability of the Body Corporate for lot owner (garden) improvements on common property. Todd Garsden, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: Some residents have created a garden on common property. If someone gets injured in the garden, who is responsible?
Several years ago a few residents established a small community herb garden with a few pavers throughout so the herbs could be easily reached. Recently they have put some small wooden stakes around several small beds – probably to protect some seeds. This has all be done on common property.
One of the other resident at the building has been seen and heard encouraging her grandchildren to play, run and jump on the pavers and around the garden. The gardeners are concerned that if one of the children fell and damaged themselves (eg lost the sight of an eye) they might be held responsible and be sued. Who would be held responsible, the gardeners or the Body Corporate?
Answer: If there was some sort of hazard or unsafe installation, the body corporate would need to fix it.
It would normally fall to the body corporate and they are obliged to be insured for this type of injury.
The body corporate can only step in if the conduct amounts to a hazard.
Kids are going to play – there is nothing wrong with that. So if the pavers/gardens/stakes are not installed in a way that is unsafe then there wouldn’t be any obligations on the body corporate. If there was some sort of hazard or unsafe installation, the body corporate would need to fix that.
This post appears in Strata News #237.
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