Gary’s question relates to who is responsible for a Strata TV Antenna
In relation to TV antennas, for strata townhouses, in which situation does the OC pick up costs for install / upgrade / repair?
* 5 of the 6 townhouses have antennas – 1 doesn’t
* Townhouse without antenna shares a pre-digital antenna with its neighbour townhouse (sharing common wall).
* This antenna is blocked by neighbouring high iron house roof (causing signal issues)
* Both these townhouses have pre 1980’s twin ribbon wiring and sockets.
* If owner of townhouse without antenna installs new antenna (the install location not blocked by neighbouring high iron house roof).
* This new antenna becomes the new antenna for the 2 townhouses (including new cabling for both townhouses).
Should the OC pick up the cost?
Note: OC has already paid costs for repairs to other owner’s individual antennas (ie. remaining 4 townhouses individual and not shared antennas).
As you are probably aware, the owners corporation is responsible for looking after common property and doing all repairs. This includes replacing and renewing common property when needed, unless it decides by special resolution that it is inappropriate for a particular item and its decision will not affect the safety or appearance of the strata scheme. (Section 106 Strata Schemes Management ACT 2015)
Who is responsible for a Strata TV Antenna?
Owners corporation responsibilities for maintenance, repair or replacement
- Television, internet and cable wiring within common property walls.
- Television aerial, TV antenna, satellite dish, or cable or internet wiring that are serving more than one lot (regardless of whether it is contained within any lot or on common property)
Lot owner responsibilities for maintenance, repair or replacement
- Telephone, television, internet and cable wiring within non-common property walls and serving only that lot
- Telephone, television, internet and cable service and connection sockets
Source: Fair Trading Common Property Memorandum
Read related: A Guide to Common Property
Who should pay for a Strata TV Antenna?
For the most part, large buildings like a strata apartment block or group of townhouses may have a shared antenna system, also known as a Master Antenna TV (MATV) system which distributes a TV signal to multiple lots.
While your situation is different, the strata TV antenna sits on the roof and is therefore common property.
Carrying out work to install a Strata TV Antenna
A lot owner cannot carry out work on the common property unless they are authorised to do so under a by-law, a common property rights by-law, or an approval of the owners corporation given by special resolution or in any other manner authorised by the by-laws. (Section 108 Strata Schemes Management ACT 2015)
So, before work can start you must seek permission and approval of the owners corporation in the appropriate manner.
Be warned that a lot owner can not incur costs on behalf of the owner corporation without approval. You’ll need a couple of quotes for the strata committee to approve and ideally it would be the owners corporation that would issue the work order.
Getting approval from the owners corporation to install a Strata TV antenna
First, talk about it with the owners corporation and mutually agree on a way forward. If these negotiations stall or you can’t agree you should consider free mediation from Fair Trading.
Read related: Common Property works lands in the Supreme Court