Storms are so common in Australia that we even came up with a season dedicated to them. While our clients with balconies get the pleasure of sitting outside during a storm. They can also bring something not so pleasant – water damage.
Water damage can stem from a number of causes, not just rain. Unfortunately, water also has an incredible ability to find its way into all sorts of strange places. In strata properties, who is responsible for fixing the water damage often becomes a bit of a tricky question.
If your property has a Building Manager, they should be your first point of contact if you come across any water damage. The Body Corporate/Owners Corporation are generally responsible for maintaining the common property. To give an example: If the damage has occurred as a result of defects in roofing, water leaking down through walls or pipes and gutters servicing multiple apartments. This would be a Body Corporate/Owners Corporation issue.
So, when would an owner be responsible for water damage?
An owner would be responsible for the interior of the individual lots. Which includes damage from things such as leaving a door open or a sink overflowing from leaving the tap on.
What happens if the damage to my lot is caused by an owner in another lot?
If an owner fails to maintain their individual unit and so causes damage to another lot, the first owner may be expected to cover the costs of the damage suffered. When would this occur? If water leaks into an apartment below as a result of failing to maintain drains or pipes servicing an individual unit.
In these types of situations, if the water leaks through the floor, this is common property and may also include the Body Corporate.
What happens if the water damage is caused by storms?
Water damage that is caused by rain, as well as damage by leaking pipes, is usually assessed on a case-by-case basis. Water can originate a long way from where it is causing the damage. This creates many unique situations when it comes to assigning repair responsibility.
At SSKB we strive to work as quickly and as efficiently as possible to repair any damage to your scheme. We understand the far-reaching effects that water damage can have and understand the importance of taking into account all details when assessing the damage and assigning responsibility.