Dealing With Water Damage – Who Is Responsible?

Water has an incredible ability to find its way into all sorts of strange places.  In community schemes, this can quickly fudge the outlines of who is responsible for water damage.  So who should you be talking to if you suffer water damage?  And what are you responsible for?

For owners in a property with a Building Manager, this person should always be your first port of call in a case of water damage, as they will identify responsibility for repairs.  It is important to recognise responsibility is divided between the Owners Corporation or Body Corporate and individual lot owners.  Bodies corporate/owners corporations are generally responsible for maintaining common property.  This might include damage occurring as a result of defects in roofing, water leaking down through walls or pipes and gutters servicing multiple apartments.  Lot owners are responsible for the interior of individual lots, which includes damage from things such as leaving a window or a door open, or leaving a tap running.

If the individual owner fails to maintain their individual unit and so causes damage to another owner’s unit, the first owner may be expected to make good the damage suffered as a result of their failure to maintain.  This might occur where water to leaks into an apartment below as a result of failing to maintain drains or pipes servicing an individual unit.  In such a situation, if the water leaks through the floor, this is common property and may also involve the Body Corporate.

Water damage from storms or during the wet season, as well as damage from leaking pipes, usually necessitates being assessed on a case by case basis.  The offending water can originate a long way from where it is causing you damage, especially if it has come from.  This creates many unique situations when it comes to assigning repair responsibility, but we always strive to obtain the best possible result for lot owners when repairs are made.

SSKB Community Managers work as quickly and as efficiently as possible to repair damage involving common property, and to work with individual owners suffering damage.  We understand the far reaching effects water damage can have, and it is important for us to take into account for all the details when assessing the damage and assigning responsibility.

There is unfortunately no magic wand to wave over water damage – which can be a reoccurring nuisance if not dealt with properly from the outset.  Aside from any leaky pipes, the nature of living in Australia means extreme rain events can and do occur.  Regardless of how your property may have been affected by damage, SSKB will work hard to ensure damage is quickly and effectively repaired to a high standard by the relevant parties, with the best outcome for our communities.

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Recent Comments


Shannon On July 13, 2017 | Reply

I have suffered water damage to my unit by a plumber organised by body corporate that I had nothing to do with! And the leak has completely ruined my carpet and underlay and the plumber and body corporate have both said they want nothing to do with it which is now costing me thousands to replace the carpet!

Barrie James On July 13, 2017 | Reply

My unit suffered major water damage due to pot plant on the balcony above as well as faulty workmanship in the building itself which has resulted in major structural work being carried out to rectify the issues. However although the Body Corp. were informed of the problems and sent numerous photo’s of the damage created internally in my unit, I still have not received a reply on compensation for the damage which I had to bear the cost myself.

Brett On August 2, 2017 | Reply

It’s is great how this body corporate posts how to deal with these problems then won’t even respond to complaints that they should be sorting. I think most if not all body corporates are only there to collect their fees and don’t won’t to deal with any difficult issues. I have to deal with many different body corps and these guys are up there with the worst of them.

    SSKB On August 11, 2017 | Reply

    Hi Brett,

    As you are aware, we have submitted your claim to the insurer and unfortunately they have ruled that the water damage is not a body corporate issue. If you would like further explanation on this, please don’t hesitate to contact your Community Manager.

    Kind regards,


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