This Q&A about plumbing problems in a unit and who is responsible for the cost of fixing the issue has been answered by Jordan Dinga, Abode Strata.
Question: I have plumbing problems in my unit. Who pays for the cost of investigating the cause, clearing the pipes and digging up of pavement etc, or is this a lot owner responsibility?
There is a tree the backyard of my unit that is causing “suck back” issues with the toilet and partial blockage due to, possibly, roots in the pipes. The tree was there when I bought the unit 6 years ago and until recently, hasn’t been an issue.
Is it up to the Strata to take care of the cost of investigating the cause, getting rid of the roots and digging up of pavement etc, or is it my responsibility?
At this stage, everyone seems pretty sure I, as the lot owner, have to pay but the plumber cannot even guarantee that the roots are an issue. The plumber has mentioned it could also be caused by the tenants flushing things they shouldn’t down the toilet.
Answer: First, get a quote from the plumber for how much it will cost plus the details of the cause of the damage.
I would suggest you get a quote from the plumber for how much it will cost plus the details of the cause of the damage. Then propose the following to your strata company:
- If it is found to be lot owner responsibility – the owner will pay the invoice.
- If it is found to be strata company responsibility – the strata company will pay the invoice.
Both you as an owner and the strata company as a whole have a responsibility to repair, maintain and renew.
This is the simplest approach as no-one can comment on whether it is lot owner responsibility or the strata companies without the plumber’s findings of the cause of the problem.
This post appears in Strata News #250.
Have a question about plumbing problems or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
Please note this advice was provided prior to the proclamation of the new strata title amendments and will be updated in due course.
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