By The Paddocks Club Team
One of our sectional title units developed a leak in the roof space (above the kitchen area) within the external median lines. Would that then be owner’s responsibility?
According to prescribed management rule 68(1)(vii), an owner whose section is serviced by a geyser on the common property is responsible for its maintenance, even though it is located on common property. But in the case you described, it depends on exactly what pipe is leaking and where.
If the leak is in the cold water feed pipe, before it enters the geyser, our view is that it is the body corporate’s responsibility. If the leak is in a pipe that carries the hot water, then it’s the owner’s responsibility.
The trustees are concerned about the wooden windows that have not yet been changed / replaced with aluminium.
There is severe water ingress in certain units, showing signs of spalling which affects the structural integrity of the building.
The trustees have been informed by more than one contractor that faulty windows are allowing water ingress, this affects the structure of the building.
Can the owners that have not yet replaced their wooden windows with aluminium be “forced” to do so, are they obliged to have those windows replaced, irrespective of whether or not water damage is currently visible in the unit?
And if so will this be a 50% split of payment between body corporate and owner?
No, the body corporate cannot force owners to “upgrade” windows, it can only oblige them to play/pay their part in maintenance and repairs.
Water ingress alone does not usually cause spalling, and I can’t see why repairing the existing windows would not cure the water ingress problem as effectively as replacing them. I suggest that the trustees should get a proper structural engineer to tell them if the building is at risk because of these windows, rather than relying on contractors who might benefit from the work involved.
Given that some owners have already replaced their wooden windows with aluminium ones, did the body corporate contribute?
Thank you for the reply.
Some of the wooden windows are past repairs, completely rotten, sanding the windows down and varnishing will just not do.
In some of the units, below the windows, the plaster has come away, by stripping this done further we’ve noticed the steel structural supports are completely rusted, of course this has taken years to reach this point, but will need urgent attention.
The body corporate, earlier in the year, approached the owners with a 50/50 offer on replacement of windows, some owners took up the offer others not.
Thank you for the advice re the Structural Engineer.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 9, Issue 2, Page 4
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.