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/Factsheet_print/Tenants_and_home_owners/Strata_schemes/_Repairs_and_maintenance.pdf
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Standard fact sheet.

Repairs and maintenance 

In a strata scheme

Responsibility for repairs is straightforward – the owners corporation must repair common property, owners must repair anything within their lot. However, and this can be the difficult part, it is not always clear what is common property or what is the individual lot.

The basic rule is that everything inside the airspace of the unit, including all internal walls, fixtures, carpet and paint on the walls is usually the lot and therefore the responsibility of the lot owner.

Everything outside that airspace including walls, windows, doors, and tiles fixed to the floor and boundary walls is usually common property and therefore the responsibility of the owners corporation.

For clarification check your strata plan or contact Land and Property Information NSW. As a general rule, the following applies.

Part of the property

Who is responsible? 

Ceiling

Owners corporation must repair anything in the ceiling

Walls

Owners corporation must repair anything in the boundary walls. The owner must repair all walls within the lot. 

Carpets

The owner must repair and maintain carpets in the lot. The owners corporation repairs and maintains common property carpets, such as carpets in the hallways.

Tiles

Original tiles on boundary walls and floor are owners corporation responsibility. If it hangs into the lot, is the owner's responsibility. 

Light fittings

If it is recessed in the ceiling, it is the owners corporation's responsibility. If it hangs into the lot, it is the owner's responsibility.

Roller door of garage

Repairs to the boundary roller doors are owners corporation responsibility. 

Balcony

Balconies are generally the responsibility of the owners corporation.

Getting repairs done

Contact the managing agent or secretary of the owners corporation and let them know the details of the problem. They may organise for minor repairs to be fixed without the need for a meeting. For larger, more expensive problems they should convene a meeting so that the owners corporation can decide on what action to take.

If no action is being taken, you can put a motion requesting repairs to the next meeting. You may also lodge an application for mediation with Fair Trading to move things along.

Common repairs

The following is a guide to who is responsible for some of the most common repairs in a strata scheme

Repair

Who is responsible? 

Burst pipe in the bathroom

If it is in a boundary wall, the owners corporation is responsible. If it is in an internal wall it is the lot owner’s, unless the pipe services more than your lot, in which case it is owners corporation responsibility.

The water from the shower is not draining away

Plumbing under the floor is the responsibility of owners corporation.

The shower head is not working properly

It is the lot owner’s responsibility.

The kitchen sink was brokenand has caused water damage in both my unit and my neighbour’s unit

Problems with everything in the airspace of a bathroom or kitchen including baths, toilets, sinks and dishwashers are the owner’s responsibility. However the owners corporation’s building insurance may cover some of these fixtures for damage.

There is damp and mould in my unit

The owners corporation is responsible for water penetration problems coming in through external walls or the floor. The owner is responsible for the mould on their walls.

Electricity inside my unit has been cut off or not working

The supply of electricity is the owners corporation’s responsibility. However, any cabling within the unit’s internal walls that only services the individual lot, is the owner’s responsibility.

Water leaks onto my balcony from the unit above every time they water their plants

If the water is running off common property, the owners corporation is responsible. If it is caused by over watering by another owner or resident, that person is responsible.

Our balcony door is damaged and won’t close properly

This depends on when the scheme was registered. In older schemes, registered before 1 July 1974, the owner is responsible. In newer schemes, registered after that date, the owners corporation is responsible.

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