This article about the responsibility of maintaining common property – exclusive use areas, in this instance, decking, has been supplied by Frank Higginson, Hynes Legal.
Question: Several Lots have timber decks designated as “Common Property – Exclusive Use”. Who is responsible for maintaining the timber decking? Would it be up to each lot owner or the Body Corporate?
I have a question about maintenance of Common Property – Exclusive Use in our Building Format scheme on the Gold Coast.
Several Lots have timber decks designated as”Common Property – Exclusive Use” which are supported by timber posts. Who is responsible for maintaining the timber decking? Would it be up to each lot owner or the Body Corporate?
If it is the lot owners responsibility, does that extend to replacing any decking boards that may become unsound or only to applying suitable protective coatings periodically? Who would be responsible for maintaining the subfloor supporting timbers and their fixings?
Your help with any clarification would be most welcome.
Answer: This all depends on the by-law under which the grants of exclusive use were made.
This all depends on the by-law under which the grants of exclusive use were made.
In the absence of specific provisions to the contrary, the owners of the lots will generally be responsible for the maintenance of the exclusive use area and usually the improvements upon them. That can be changed by agreement and the key thing will be whether the installation of the improvements came with any conditions at the time they were built.
So the answer to the question (unfortunately) is that it all depends! There are no hard and fast rules.
This post appears in Strata News #226.
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