When maintenance issues arise in your strata scheme, working out what repairs you are responsible for can be confusing. When are you liable, and what falls to the lot owner to manage? Here we will explore and clarify the who and what of maintenance in a strata setting.
Generally speaking, the Owners Corporation is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all common property.
According to the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015, common property “means any part of a parcel that is not comprised in a lot (including any common infrastructure that is not part of a lot).”
Put simply, the air space and anything contained within the boundary of the unit is the lot owner’s responsibility. Outside of this is considered common property.
Overall, the best way to determine if something is common property in your strata scheme is to refer to your registered strata plan. If you do not already own a copy of your plan, speak to your strata manager or purchase a copy through the New South Wales Land and Property Information (LPI).
Owner vs Owners Corporation
Maintenance responsibilities can be a complex issue. However, when determining what might be considered common property or what is an individual lot, the overarching rule is anything relating to the internal configuration of a unit or the space within is deemed as the lot owner’s responsibility.
Anything outside of this area, including boundary walls, windows, fixed tiling, and boundary plumbing, are structural components and therefore fall under strata obligation.
For your convenience, here is a general overview of the responsible parties when maintenance and repairs are required in your strata scheme:
- Boundary walls and balconies
- Windows and window locks
- Ceilings (unless the cause of the problem stems from a change made by the lot owner)
- Underfloor and boundary wall plumbing
- Garage and balcony doors
- Roof and guttering of the building
- Common area lighting and flooring
- Water damage originating from common property
- Internal walls
- Ceilings (where the lot owner has made changes)
- Carpet within the unit
- Internal wall plumbing and fixtures (such as baths, toilets, sinks, and showers)
- Water damage originating from the lot owners unit
In summary, maintenance and repair issues concerning the overall structure of the building are the responsibility of the Owners Corporation. In contrast, the lot owner is responsible for the care and upkeep within the internal space of their individual unit.
Of course, these issues are not always clear-cut, so when problems arise, it’s best to consult with your strata manager to determine the most appropriate way forward. The Strata Community Association of NSW, of which More Than Strata is a proud member of, have also published a general guide to help owners understand what is common property.
Simple strata management with More Than Strata
When dealing with maintenance and repair issues, things can get messy. In many cases, it can be difficult to work out who is responsible for what, and that’s why engaging professional strata management is so beneficial.
The experts at More Than Strata have extensive experience in managing strata schemes and can help you resolve any issues that may arise. By choosing More Than Strata, you are choosing ‘yes’ to specialist advice, support, and strata services that treat your building as a business.
We will help guide you through the strata ownership world and protect the value of your investment by delivering positive outcomes and identifying growth opportunities.
For more information about how More Than Strata can help manage your strata scheme, contact us today and start reaping the benefits of professional strata management.