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.
If you would like to see how SSKB can guide your Committees through damages to your building, click here to work with a Strata company who cares.