Strata Repairs: Who Is Responsible in NSW?
Strata living is increasingly popular in NSW, but not everyone takes their time to understand their investment and its unique characteristics. One of the most common questions prospective purchasers (and existing Lot Owners) ask relate to repairs and maintenance – Whose job is it to take care of what areas of the property?
If you’re thinking about investing in Strata Property, it’s important to understand what repairs you’re personally responsible and what is the process when you wish to conduct repairs or renovate when the time comes.
Who is responsible for Strata repairs?
Strata properties are a combination of communally owned land and structures, known as ‘Common Property’ and internal areas that form part of a Lot, are known as ‘Lot Property. Each Lot Owner is responsible for their own Lot and a share of the common property.
So, what does this mean when it comes to Strata repairs and maintenance? These examples can vary taking into consideration the By-Laws and Strata Plan diagram for a property but in general terms:-
What you own: as a Lot Owner is generally viewed as a cubic shape inside your unit and generally includes interior walls, internal paint, carpet, internal fixtures (e.g. kitchen cupboards, vanity, shower screen, taps, toilets etc), light fittings, stove etc.
What is common property: common property is essentially all components that do not form part of a Lot, such as perimeter walls, tile flooring (if installed at the time of the registration of the Strata Plan), waterproofing, and all common land areas.
Definitions can vary considerably and we would always recommend you talking to your Strata Manager first before undertaking any repairs or renovations to determine responsibility for the repair.
How repairs are funded
The Owners Corporation pays for ongoing maintenance as well as big one-off repairs to Common Property. All of this is paid for by levies raised by Lot owners. Levies are determined at the Annual General Meeting each year and are apportioned to Lot Owners by Unit Entitlement. Unit Entitlement is determined by the market value of a Lot in comparison to the other Lots in the Strata Plan as at the date of registration of the Strata Plan. For instance, a Lot Owner with a three-bedroom Lot on an upper floor could expect to pay a higher strata levy than a Lot Owner in a two-bedroom Lot on a lower floor.
The Owners Corporation has access to a pool of money for routine maintenance and repairs. This money is used to fund repairs on common areas such as driveways, stairs, paths and roofs.
Whether a repair is paid for by an individual owner or by the Owners Corporation depends on whether the area in need of repair is considered Lot Property or part of the Common Property. If the area needing repairs is within your own Lot you will be personally responsible for funding the repairs, whereas if it is part of Common Property, the Owners Corporation will arrange and pay for the repairs.
Importance of using licensed and insured tradies
It’s important to remember the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ when choosing a tradie to make repairs on your property. Consider the following factors when choosing a tradie:
Safety: Whatever the repair, safety should be your first concern. Make sure to hire a licensed and insured tradesperson to take care of your repairs.
Quality: Hiring a cheap tradesman is a false economy. If they do a quick job which doesn’t last, you’ll spend more money in the long run having the same problem fixed again. True value lies in a job well done. Remember, if they do a poor quality job that results in damage to Common Property, you may also end up responsible for those repairs as well.
Any tradespeople used by Lake Group Strata are first rigorously assessed by Tradesmonitor to ensure they are appropriately licensed and insured to be conducting work. If you need a tradie for work done to your Lot but don’t know anyone personally, don’t hesitate to contact one of our team members who would be only too happy to provide you with the contact details of tradies familiar with working on Strata property.
Request repairs through Lake Group Strata
Strata repairs can become complicated if they aren’t conducted by appropriately licensed and insured tradespeople with experience working on Strata property. Often, Strata schemes will hire a professional Strata Manager to handle disputes over responsibility for repairs.
Find out more about Strata maintenance and repairs management by contacting Lake Group Strata on (02) 4942 3305 to find out more about how they can help you manage maintenance in your Strata Scheme.