What responsibilities do strata managers and lot owners need to take with water penetration on the asbestos garage? – Colton, NSW

Our Strata just consist of 4 units.

The garage is simply getting old (our garage is only made of asbestos and other two made of brick).

There has been water penetration on the garage we noticed in 2015 and informed Strata with a builder’s report, but nothing has been done. They just ignored even after the orders (repair or replace the garage) was issued last October.

There is water penetration from various places from the fatigued roof and walls (holes, gaps and broken parts are weathered). The condition of the garage is getting worse and worse. Some parts of the wood structure and wood work are rotten and damaged. The inside damage on the asbestos walls also started to appeared.

Builders reported that the wood structure needs to be assessed after by removing all fatigued and broken asbestos walls and metal roof. Strata decided to pay a Special Levy for $80.000. We paid $ 22,400, or 28% of the total cost (there are other works for the building).

However the works for the roof and rotten wood structure are not included in the Scope of Work . It seems not much funds will be used for our unit. Also other owners spent around more than $10.000 for their roof in 2012.

We are ordered on 23 May have a committee meeting 6 weeks later after issuing the quote within 4 weeks. We assume it will be not easy to reach the agreement.

We are not sure of:

  • Which part of work Strata need to take responsibility ?

  • Which part of work a lot owner need to take responsibility ?

Thus we applied and had a hearing again (Renew to Proceedings). The tribunal ordered the strata issue the quote and complete the works by the end of August. Another Direction of hearing is set for a few days later. Could you please provide us some advice?

 – Colton, NSW

You will need to consult the strata plan to identify if the garage is common property or not, this will then define who is responsible for repairs and maintenance. When raising a special levy, the motion presented should have mentioned what the money would be used for at the scheme. The scope of work for large projects is normally approved by the owners corporation as well. By your email you have already followed due process and escalated the matter. This is now for the Tribunal to decide.