Internal cracks have appeared in my home and body corporate has refused to pay for repairs. What are my rights here? – Lisa, NSW
Before you get any repairs or renovations done by yourself, the first step is to get in touch with your strata manager and your owners corporation to understand the nature and level of damage. Depending on where the cracks have appeared and what kind of damage has happened, your owners corporation may help your get maintenance and repair work done.
In most strata properties, the walls, roofs, ceilings, floors and some external structures are usually common property and fall under the purview of the owners corporation for repairs and maintenance. The cost of these repairs are covered by your annual levies. If you are within your rights and the issues are with common property, your owners corporation should ideally take care of repairs. You could check with your strata manager or take legal counsel to understand your rights.
If the cracks are classed as a minor repair, your owners corporation may remedy that quickly. However, if the cracks require major repair and maintenance, you should file a motion in the next general meeting to discuss the issue with your owners corporation meeting and decide what specific action needs to be taken, who pays for what and so on. Major repairs and maintenance to common property may be planned and included in the scheme’s 10-year plan for the capital works fund.
If no action is being taken or the matter remains unresolved, you can lodge an application for mediation with Fair Trading. Make sure to keep any evidence you may have in the form of photographs, emails, letters, etc. for