A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog
By Graham Paddock
Most scheme management questions relate to who is responsible for scheme repairs, maintenance and replacements. It is no surprise that everybody wants somebody else to do the work and pay the costs.
Often owners will see a defect in their section and ask the trustees to fix it. They know that they are responsible to repair their section, but may argue that the body corporate is responsible because the problem is in a structural element of the building, such as a load-bearing wall. The issue of structural significance is not one that the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act deals with at all. The fact that a part of the building is a structurally significant element does not mean that the body corporate is responsible to repair it. Trustees often think that because a part of the common property, such as a pipe or meter, only serves one owner, that owner should pay the repair costs. Again, the STSM Act does not support this proposition.
The issue becomes complex when owners claim that a defect in their section, such as a crack, results from a common property fault, such as a defective foundation. Here an expert opinion is often necessary.
But most of the issues are relatively simple. Tell owners to answer these four questions, and, in most cases, they will have the answer.