This question about who is responsible for strata repairs came in from an SA Lot Owner. Alice Rogers-Ross, Ace Body Corporate Management provides the following response.
Question: Who is responsible for strata repairs? Can the strata corporation force an owner to perform any repairs?
Would appreciate your thoughts on plumbing responsibilities of owners and the strata corporation in regard to a 3 story apartment block of many units. In South Australia, who is responsible for strata repairs?
Who is responsible for:
- the replacement of water isolation taps – the cold isolator is in the relevant unit, the hot isolator is in the hot water cabinet outside of unit?
- the breech unit in the wall of the kitchen or bathroom?
Can the strata corporation force an owner to perform any repairs?
Answer: One of the most common misconceptions of strata is that anything outside the unit is the corporation’s responsibility. This is not the case.
This is a very good question and is quite commonly asked. One of the most common misconceptions of strata is that anything outside the unit is the corporation’s responsibility. This is not the case. Any service infrastructure that is for the exclusive use for one lot or unit is the owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair, regardless of where on the property it is physically located.
For example, if the isolation taps only isolate the water to your unit, it is your responsibility (even if it is located outside of the unit). If there is one isolation tap for the entire set of units, it becomes a corporation responsibility. Breech pieces for a shower or kitchen is very likely to also be servicing that unit alone therefore again, it is the owners responsibility for repairs or replacement.
Both the Community Titles Act (section 134) and the Strata Titles Act (Schedule 3) state that the owner of the lot or unit must keep it in a condition of good repair. They both also give the corporation the power to enforce duties of repair and maintenance, but there are provisions of this power and we recommend you exhaust all other avenues before exercising this power.
It is also good to check if the corporation over time has passed resolutions that could be different from the above. If you’re unsure please consult your strata manager.
This post appears in Strata News #145.
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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