We are in a strata building comprising 6 townhouses with all six owners on the strata committee. The building is 18 years old and never had roof maintenance. Can the owners’ corporation force us to replace the roof? – Ariel, NSW
Q: We are in a strata building comprising 6 townhouses with all six owners on the strata committee. The building is 18 years old and never had roof maintenance.
The roof is a Colorbond roof and commonly lasts 30 or more years. Two apartment owners are complaining about the roof leaking. The owners’ corporation received quotes from three different roofers. None of the quotes indicated that the roof is beyond repair. All the quotes were priced under $15,000.
One of the owners is pushing to replace (not to repair) the roof and he received a quote for approximately $80,000. There are two owners (including myself) that oppose to replace the roof based on the fact that all three roofers that quoted us said that a roof repair will be adequate.
I know that replacing a roof is classified as a ‘major renovation’ which requires the approval of at least 75% of the owners. Currently four of the six owners making up just 66.7% approved to replace the roof.
My question is can they force us to replace the roof?
A: As the successful approval rate for a special resolution is 75%, the requirements to replace the roof through a special resolution has not been achieved. Therefore the other owners cannot force you to replace the roof as the required percentage to pass the major renovation was not achieved.
It may be worth speaking individually to the other owners to try and convince them that repairing the roof would be more cost effective and beneficial. If they are willing to listen and eventually agree with your reasoning, they may be more willing to vote for a repair in-lieu of a replacement.
An alternative view is that it may also be worth asking the roofing companies to estimate how much longer until the current roof will need replacing – if it is in a short period it may be best to replace it now rather than repairing now and replace in only a few years’ time, which will only compound the costs.