After signing off on my application form to installing an air conditioning unit, the strata management has advised me to pay for the removal and reinstallation because it is on a tilted wall. What are my rights and who is liable? – Raquel, NSW

Q: I recently put in an application to have an air conditioning unit installed. I sent the plans through with the proposed location and my Strata management and the rest of the committee signed off on it.

The strata management have now emailed me saying that I have installed the air conditioning on a titled wall and that I need to remove it.

They have taken no responsibility for the error despite them initially advising me that the wall was common property and then signing off on the installation.

I will now have to pay to have this removed and re-installed, but I’m wondering what my rights are as the agreement notes that the strata management essentially cannot be held liable however in this instance it is clearly the strata managements fault.


A: If the initial submission disclosed the titled wall in question as part of the scope, and no installation conditions were provided on approval. In that case, you may have recourse to challenge the costs of moving the air conditioning, as you acted with full disclosure and received approval on this basis. It may be considered reasonable that the Owners Corporation funds the change due to the error.
If the committee received incorrect advice from the Strata Manager, they might wish to take it up with the agent involved.
However, if the wall in question was not disclosed in full and/or conditions applied, the scope was unclear, or there is a by-law relating to such a matter, then the request for the owner to accommodate the costs would be reasonable.
If you are still unclear, we encourage you to consult Fair Trading or seek legal counsel for an informed position.