Repairs, maintenance and replacement of capital

Note: This information does not apply to common property in a strata scheme or association property in a community scheme. Go to the strata and community scheme villages page for details on schemes.

Items of capital owned by the operator must be maintained by the operator. In most cases, the operator is responsible for the following:

  • buildings and structures
  • machinery or equipment used in the village
  • the village infrastructure
  • fixtures, such as built-in cupboards, stoves, hot water systems and floor coverings
  • fittings, such as taps and light fittings
  • furnishings, such as curtains and blinds
  • non-fixed items, such as whitegoods, tables and chairs.

The operator is not responsible for:

  • items owned by a resident
  • any items that are part of or owned by a strata or community scheme.

Operator's responsibilities

The village operator is required to maintain the capital items that they are responsible for, in a reasonable condition.

What is ‘reasonable’ depends on:

  • the age of the item
  • the prospective life of the item
  • the money paid to the operator by the residents under a village contract.

If it’s not practical or cost effective to maintain or repair an item, it should be replaced.

Who pays for maintenance and repairs of capital items?

In most villages, the cost of maintenance and repairs is included in the recurrent charges that residents pay. Each year the operator will include amounts for capital maintenance and repairs in the village budget. The budget must list the proposed items of work and their expected costs, and include any quotes obtained. Go to the village budgets page for more information.

If the residents agree that some of their recurrent charges can be put aside for longer term maintenance, the operator must set up a separate capital works fund to hold that money.

In general, examples of maintenance may include:

  • cleaning carpets
  • servicing air conditioners
  • painting the village
  • servicing the village bus
  • fixing cracks in paths
  • fixing leaky taps
  • repairing stoves.

Recurrent charges and the capital works fund cannot be used to:

  • substantially improve a capital item beyond its original condition or
  • maintain or repair an item of capital that it would be more cost effective to replace.

Who pays to replace capital items?

The operator must pay to replace any capital items that they are responsible.The operator must arrange and pay for the replacement items out of its own funds. Proposed annual budgets cannot include an allowance for replacing these items, either directly or through depreciation. There are some exceptions to this in villages where residents did not pay an ingoing contribution.

Capital items in a resident's premises

From time-to-time an item of capital in a resident’s unit, such as the hot water system or stove, may need to be repaired or replaced. Residents are not responsible for arranging for this (unless the resident owns the item).

A village operator is required to attend to the residents’ requests within a reasonable time. What is considered to be reasonable will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the repair. Residents and operators are encouraged to discuss and agree on when work should be done.

Urgent repairs

Urgent repairs include:

  • a burst water service
  • a blocked or broken toilet
  • a serious roof leak
  • a gas leak
  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm or fire damage
  • a breakdown of essential services for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering
  • a fault or damage causing an urgent safety or security risk.

For urgent repairs, the resident needs to let the operator know and give them a reasonable opportunity to carry out the work. If the repair cannot be done in a reasonable time, the resident can arrange for the work to be done and the operator has to reimburse the reasonable costs.

Residents' responsibilities

Residents need to let the operator know when an item in their premises needs to be repaired or replaced. If a resident causes damage, other than fair wear and tear, they may be required to reimburse the operator. Residents are responsible for repairs or replacement of their personal items, such as fridges, microwave ovens or an air conditioning unit the resident has installed.

What if repairs are not done?

If the operator does not maintain or replace items of capital they are responsible for when necessary, a resident can apply to the Tribunal. The Tribunal has the power to order the operator to carry out repairs, maintenance or replacement within a specified time. The Tribunal can also make an order as to whether work is ‘maintenance’ or ‘replacement’ if there is a disagreement between the residents and operator.

Residents' alterations

Residents need the written consent of the operator before they can add or remove fixtures or make alterations to their premises. The operator can refuse consent if there is a good reason. The operator may also impose reasonable conditions when giving consent. For example, a condition may be that the resident has to return the premises to the previous condition when they leave. Any conditions must be in writing as part of the consent or attached to it. If the resident believes the operator is being unreasonable, they can apply to the Tribunal.

After a resident has added fixtures or fittings, they don’t need the operator’s consent to remove them, unless doing so would cause significant damage. The resident is responsible for having any damage repaired.

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