This question about repairing a damaged water meter has been answered by Gary Phillips, StrataGP.
Question: My water meter was recently vandalised and the Water Board says any repairs to a damaged water meter are to be paid by the owner. Why doesn’t strata pay? Should the damaged water meter be covered by the Building Insurance or the Sinking Fund and not individually by the owner?
I live in a block of ten units. All the water meters are placed by the footpath, uncovered and unprotected. Recently my water meter was vandalised. Although the damage was not major and the water meter is still in good working order, the Water Board says any repairs to a damaged water meter are to be paid by the owner. This is regardless of who, what or when the damaged water meter was done.
Our Strata Manageress is saying that our insurance wouldn’t cover the owner’s cost because is not a “maintenance issue”…??? I believe that she is wrong. The bank of water meters is within strata boundaries and is therefore common property, albeit measuring individual unit’s usage.
I believe any cost to repair damage, in case of property vandalism within the Strata, should be covered by the Building Insurance or the Sinking Fund and not individually by the owner.
Answer: If this is a standalone meter for your unit and neither insurance nor the strata company bylaws cover the issue, it is an exclusive service and as such owner responsibility.
There are a few facts that would need to be established,
- Is this an individual water meter or a sub meter?
- Do the strata company bylaws deal with water/gas/electricity meters?
- Has the question been asked of our insurance company, do they deem the meter to be a fixture to common property and if so is it covered under insurance?
Subject to clarification of the above:
- As the meter is still functioning this is not an essential replacement and as such owner responsibility.
- If this is a standalone meter for your unit and neither insurance nor the strata company bylaws cover the issue, then it is as the strata manager says an exclusive service and as such owner responsibility.
This post appears in Strata News #182.
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