Given the predictions for it being a horrible long weekend weather wise this is a quick update on my previous blog “Wild Weather” (link below) is warranted.
The NSW strata law reforms have not changed the fundamental requirement of an Owners Corporation to maintain and repair the common property however there has been some tinkering around the edges.
The requirement to repair and maintain the common property remains as does the ability of the Owners Corporation to resolve (by special resolution) not to repair or maintain an item if it does not affect the safety of the structure or persons and does not detract from the external appearance of the property.
The big change is that from 30 November 2016 an Owners Corporation can resolve to defer the requirement to maintain and repair its common property provided it has “taken action” against either an owner or another person in respect of the damage to the common property if it does not affect the safety of any building, structure or common property in the scheme (see section 106(4) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015).
In simple terms, it means that if the common property is in need of repair and the Owners Corporation sues the party they believe is responsible for its current state then the Owners Corporation can resolve not to conduct the remedial works until the legal action is finalised provided there are no safety concerns if the work is not conducted.
It is not all bad news for affected lot owners however as subsections 106 (5) & (6) mean that a lot owner has a statutory right to sue the Owners Corporation for any loss they incur due to the Owners Corporation’s failure to maintain and repair the common property up to two years after the loss becomes apparent.
To preserve your rights as a lot owner you should:
- document any common property repair issues
- make the issues known to your strata manager and strata committee as soon as possible; and
- put the Owners Corporation on notice that due to the common property issues you are incurring a loss due to the failure to repair.
Losses can include the cost of replacing lot property such as carpets or other fixtures, fittings or furniture damaged due to water penetration, the cost of repairing lot property such as fans to dry carpets, loss of rent or the cost of alternative accommodation (in extreme cases).
See the link to my previous blog on wild weather here: