I have water leaks that that caused the waterproof membrane between the balcony and external wall to fail. Who is responsible for the repairs? – Simon, QLD

Q: I have water leaks into my lounge room and two bedrooms. The water leaks through the external walls attached to the balcony. My balcony is not common property; however, the walls are as they would be structural. Each room has a sliding glass door in the wall leading to the balcony. I have had leak tests and reports completed, and they state that the waterproof membrane between the balcony and wall has failed.

I have approached the strata and body corporate to repair it, but they continually advise that it is my responsibility as the owner.

Who is responsible for the external waterproof membrane?

A: In building format plans, the Body Corporate is responsible for maintaining common property, including the foundations and roof.

The boundary is where common property meets the lot owner’s property. Inside the boundary is deemed “internal” and the owner’s responsibility. Where a balcony forms part of a lot, the wall between the unit and the balcony can be considered internal. Doors and windows on those “internal” walls are specifically noted as the lot owner’s responsibility to maintain in the legislation.

Roofing membranes are treated differently. However, it sounds like it’s not a roofing membrane issue in this case, so it will likely be considered the lot owner’s responsibility.

If building damage has occurred, there may be cover available under the Body Corporate’s building insurance policy for any costs to repair the resultant damage once the source of the leak has been rectified.

Allanna – can you doulbe check this respnse with Lysa to ensure I haven’t changed anything fundamentally