Who is liable for damage to common property? – Patrick, QLD

Q: Who is liable for damage to common property (an exit-light fitting) caused when an owner used what proved to be a luggage trolley with a garment bar too high for the apartment corridors? The trolley for general use is owned by the building (caretaking) manager, which runs a hotel operation in the mixed-use building. The building manager is a service contractor to the body corporate, which denies responsibility and wants the owner to pay.


A: The body corporate will usually be responsible for covering costs as a result of damage to common property, regardless of how the damage occurred. The body corporate may also wish to claim the cost through insurance, but may avoid it to keep premiums down. You may also be able to claim back from the person who caused the damage, if that information is known.

You may also wish to speak to your body corporate manager, who can assist in determining who is responsible for payment.