Q: Our strata block has lock-up garages some of which are shared by 2 owners & may also be rented. Who is responsible for maintenance & repairs? What happens if a renter/tenant’s property is damaged or the renter is severely inconvenienced (eg – unable to get to their car that is essential for their job?)?
What happens if a renter/tenant’s property is damaged or the renter is severely inconvenienced? – Chris, NSW
A: The registered strata plan and by-laws will be your best port of call here to identify the ownership of the garages in question. It should note if the spots are common property (managed by strata and leased out) or affiliated with any one lot.
If the strata plan indicates the parking lot’s boundary by a thick unbroken line, this would typically indicate that even if the car space belongs to a Lot, the structures are still common property. Please also check for any notations on the plan or registered bylaws that state the contrary.
If the thoroughfare is a concern, we encourage the Lot owner of the affected unit to consult with the strata committee to discuss the concerns and propose they investigate if the structure is following the Building Codes or Australian Standards to pursue the responsible party to remedy. Alternatively, they may wish to engage their own consultant if the Owners corporation is not forthcoming. Unless there is evidence of a defect in the thoroughfare, it may be difficult for a tenant/renter to seek damages from its landlord if the services are not usable as offered in the lease due to such circumstances.