This question about cooking smells and the repair or replacement of the exhaust fan has been answered by Tony Johnson, Stratarama.
Question: It seems my exhaust fan needs replacing as the neighbour is complaining of cooking smells. Is the repair/replacement my cost or up to the strata to fix?
My question is regarding the repair of an enclosed exhaust fan over the cooking top in my strata unit.
Will this be my responsibility or, as it is an older property and has a built-in vent above the cooktop which has an enclosed exhaust fan in it. This is not a removable exhaust system, as is the current style. Is this a strata responsibility?
It seems my exhaust fan needs replacing as the neighbour is complaining of cooking smells.
Answer: We certainly find knowing who is responsible (is it an Owners cost or is it a Strata expense to maintain) can cause some confusion for Lot Owners and so these types of questions are certainly not uncommon.
Thank you for this question. We certainly find knowing who is responsible (is it an Owners cost or is it a Strata expense to maintain) can cause some confusion for Lot Owners and so these types of questions are certainly not uncommon.
The easiest way to answer this question is to consider the location of the item and the use of the item. The exhaust fan is located inside a unit, and is for the exclusive use of that occupant and not for the collective use of the Strata group.
Whilst this may be an original piece of equipment, it remains for the exclusive use of that unit and built inside that unit. The wiring also, for example, would be attached to the power supply for this unit and not a communal power source. Based on this, the responsibility to maintain will lie with the owner of the unit and not the Corporation.
Given the age, it seems likely that the exhaust fan has simply come to the end of its useful life expectancy.
Don’t forget as well, that should the works you undertake require some alterations to the exterior of the building (when updating / replacing the exhaust), then those external appearance changes will first need consent from the Corporation Members.
Thanks again for the query!
This post appears in Strata News #184.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.