Owners corporations can use the Common Property Memorandum (PDF, 38.7 KB) to clarify who is responsible for repairs. The owners corporation can also vary responsibilities through the Common Property Memorandum or a property right by-law.
If there is no Common Property Memorandum, the following will generally apply.
Part of the property
Who is responsible?
Owners corporation must repair anything in the ceiling However, there may be circumstances where the owner is liable if they have made improvements to the ceiling.
Owners corporation must repair anything in the boundary walls. The owner must repair all walls within the lot.
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.
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.
Balconies are generally the responsibility of the owners corporation.
Repairs on common property
Lot owners should first let the strata managing agent or secretary of the owners corporation know of the problem. If the problem is a minor repair, it might be able to be fixed without the need for a meeting. If there’s a major problem, a strata committee or the owners corporation meeting might 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, you can lodge an application for mediation 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. Go to the levies and capital works fund page for more information on the requirements for a 10-year plan.
The following is a guide to who is responsible for some of the most common repairs in a strata scheme.
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.
Window safety devices
The owners corporation is responsible for the installation and maintenance of window safety devices. However, the owners corporation can adopt a common property rights by-law which confers the right and obligation to install and maintain any locking or safety device to individual lot owners.