Are the floors, walls and lights of a balcony body corporate responsibility? – Jeffrey, QLD

Are the floors, walls and lights of a balcony a body corporate responsibility? I know in our unit block no one is allowed to paint the balcony walls and ceilings as it forms part of the exterior of the building. Does this mean that balcony walls and ceiling is common property and that repairing and maintaining these is a body corporate responsibility. If walls and ceiling are common property what about balcony ceiling lights and glass sliding doors and windows in a balcony are they common property. Could you please shed some light on this area.

– Jeffrey, QLD

You should refer to the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 – Section 159. Your CMS (Community Management Statement) will also provide some details in this area.

We advice the following steps as your best course of action:

  1. Check your building format plan first to determine the exact boundaries of your lot: In Queensland, the body corporate makes decisions regarding the maintenance of common property such as a floors, walls, ceilings, etc. However, it may be hard to clarify whether it’s maintenance is the responsibility of the body corporate or the owner entirely. A lot depends on what type of body corporate property you own, the plan of subdivision it is registered under and the regulation module applies to your property.
  2. Check your by-laws regarding exclusive use of common property: Typically, the lot owner is responsible for maintaining any fixtures and items that are inside the private property and being used by the owner exclusively. Exclusive use by-laws may outline who takes care of what. If these points are not covered in your by-laws, you may discuss with your body corporate about having the by-laws amended so that all owners are aware of their obligations and limitations.
  3. Check with your body corporate and get approvals before making any repairs and renovations: You must do so before making any changes, repairs or renovations to any items that are fixed to common property such as ceilings, walls, floors, etc., so you are clear about whose responsibility it is to maintain, manage and cover costs. Sometimes, your body corporate may allow you to make changes to these areas, but they may also specify that you may need take care of all subsequent maintenance and repairs. So it is always advisable to take prior approvals formally.
  4. Speak with your body corporate manager: There are various other factors that may determine who is responsible for what in terms of maintenance and expenses. Your body corporate manager would be the best person to speak to in relation to your building.

You may visit the government’s website to know more about common property and utility infrastructure maintenance.

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