While most rules for strata living are clear-cut, there can sometimes be confusion when it comes to certain repairs and maintenance issues. Plumbing is one of these areas, because who takes responsibility will depend on where the damage occurred and where it originated. The question is, who makes the fix when something goes awry?
Defining the boundaries
Put in simple terms, if the problem starts in your unit then there’s a good chance you’ll be responsible for its repair. If it originates outside of the boundaries of your unit then it will typically be the responsibility of your owners corporation. The differentiation between your unit and common property should always be clearly marked on plans to help you distinguish where the onus lies. Let’s take a look at some of the most common plumbing problems for strata properties and who is likely to be responsible for resolving them.
|What’s the problem?||Whose responsibility is it?|
|A pipe has burst.||If the pipe burst within your lot, then it will be your responsibility to fix. If the pipe burst on common property or in a wall that is outside of your defined unit space, then it will be the responsibility of the owners corporation.|
|Your kitchen or bathroom sprung a leak and caused water damage to the unit below.||Chances are you will be responsible for repairs, however this type of damage can sometimes be claimed on the owners corporation’s insurance policy. Check with your strata manager for further information.|
|Your shower doesn’t drain properly or a floor drain is blocked.||Any plumbing below the floor of your unit will be the responsibility of the owners corporation.|
|The shower head is broken, the taps are dripping or your hand basin’s S-bend is leaking.||These will all be your responsibility to address as they are located within the airspace of your unit.|
|You’re seeing mould appear on walls or ceilings.||If the issue comes from water leaking through the ceiling or walls, then it will be the responsibility of the owners corporation. If the mould isn’t a result of water penetration and simply dampness, it will be your problem to fix through improved ventilation or cleaning.|
If you do have any questions about plumbing responsibilities within a strata property, give the Real Property Services team a call on (02) 9960 4713 or send us a message. We’d be happy to provide guidance that’s tailored to New South Wales’ strata legislation.