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Responsibility for Common Property Repairs

Responsibility for Common Property Repairs

Responsibility for Common Property Repairs

The owners corporation is responsible for maintenance, repair and overall management of the common property.

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.

The owners corporation may also be responsible for repairing damage to a lot caused by a problem in the common property. For example, water damage from a leaking roof or a pipe that services more than one lot.

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.

Check out this guide by Strata Community AssociationWho’s Responsible? A guide to common property

© State of New South Wales (NSW Fair Trading). For current information go to fairtrading.gov.au

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Strataville Editorial

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2 Comments

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  • Hello, hoping I can get help. I live in a strata complex and I have a light out in my car space that is not an individual space and have asked the strata manager to fix it and they have said that I need to replace as it’s my responsibility. I think this is wrong that its part of the common property. Who is right. In addition there are 2 lights that need replacement that are outside my unit on my balcony roof for 1 and on the shared wall with the next unit for the other. Who is responsible?

    • Hi Paul,
      CARSPACE: In NSW, the Owners corporation is responsible for light fittings serving more than one lot (where the light also illuminates other areas within the scheme). Has your strata manager pointed to any by-law that says individual owners are responsible for lighting in carspace areas? Another exception would be if a previous owner had the light installed. This doesn’t sound like the case so I would push your Strata Manager for an explanation.
      BALCONY LIGHT: If the balcony lights are original, not installed by an owner, generally they are common property and the owners corporation’s responsibility. This is a great guide on common property https://nsw.strata.community/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Whos-Responsible-SCA-NSW.pdf Please let us know how you go. (Please note the opinion is based on NSW legislation)

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