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

Repairs and maintenance 

In a strata scheme

The owners corporation must repair common property, and owners must repair anything within their lot. However, it is not always clear what is common property and what is the individual lot.

Generally, 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 boundary walls, windows, front and rear doors, and tiles fixed to the floor is usually common property and therefore the responsibility of the owners corporation.

For clarification check the strata plan or contact Land and Property Information NSW.

Owners corporations may also choose to adopt the Common Property Memorandum available from the Fair Trading website to assist with clarifying responsibilities for repairs. For example, the Memorandum sets out that all internal lights are the responsibility of the lot owner.

The owners corporation can decide to vary responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the common property by either adopting a Common Property Memorandum or through a common property rights by-laws. An example may be if a lot owner wants exclusive use of part of the common property such as a parking space, or to store goods. The lot owner would then be responsible for repairs and maintenance of that space, rather than the owners corporation.

If there is no Common Property Memorandum, the following will generally apply.

Part of the property

Who is responsible? 

Ceiling

Owners corporation must repair anything in the ceiling However, there may be instances where the owner is liable if they have made improvements to 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.

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 to common property

Lot owners should firstly advise the strata managing agent or secretary of the owners corporation of the problem. If the problem is a minor repair, it may be able to be fixed without the need for a meeting. However, if it is a major problem, a meeting of the strata committee or the owners corporation may be needed to authorise expenditure, or decide what action to take.

If no action is being taken, a lot owner can put a motion requesting repairs to the next meeting of the owners corporation. If the matter remains unresolved, an application for mediation may be made with Fair Trading.

Major repairs and maintenance to common property may be planned and included in the scheme’s 10-year plan for the capital works fund. Further information on the requirements for a 10-year plan can be found in the Levies and capital works fund page on the Fair Trading website.

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 broken and 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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