Body Corporate Maintenance: Who is Responsible for What?

Body Corporate Maintenance
Posted on Posted in News

For those who own a property lot within a strata body corporate in Melbourne, you will inevitably face situations where maintenance and repairs are required. Oftentimes, property repairs can be pricey, and it is worthwhile knowing whether the body corporate should pay or if you would need to cover the costs.

Given the variability in size, age, facilities, layout and condition of a building, maintenance and repair work will differ in complexity, with some maintenance problems turning into major work, especially when multiple lots are affected by one problem.

The main purpose of body corporate management is to look after the common areas of a multi-dwelling/commercial building. When you are clear on the common areas for your building and understand who is responsible for what, then the processes will be straightforward.

Defining Common Areas Requires a Plan of Subdivision

In Victoria, the plan of subdivision is a document that maps out the building, distinguishing between are private owner lots vs common property areas. You may need some help reading a plan of subdivision to differentiate your lot borders, such as walls, ceilings, floors and balconies and your body corporate service, also known as owners corporate management services (OCMS). The management service would be happy to assist with clarifying the details of the plan of subdivision for you.

Lot Owners Responsibilities for Maintenance and Repairs

Think of a lot as everything that is contained within the property itself, everything that you have individual ownership over, everything that will be included if you were to sell your lot. In almost all cases, a lot owner will own, and therefore be responsible for the repair and maintenance of:

    • Everything contained within the lot, all fixtures and fittings, including any new installations by the owner to benefit the lot
    • Areas considered ‘exclusive use’ for a particular lot
    • Doors and windows leading onto a balcony
    • Cables, drains, pipes, and equipment such as air conditioning condenser units, hot water systems or
      wiring that services/benefits the individual lot only
    • Pest control within the lot
    • Garden, courtyard, balcony and outdoor area maintenance that is contained within the lot boundary
    • Security cages and garage doors that service one’s own lot

Body Corporate Responsibilities for Maintenance and Repairs Include:

      • All roads, driveways, gardens and lawns on common property
      • The building’s roof, including foundation and the roofing membranes
      • Fundamental supporting framework of the building, including load-bearing walls
      • All facilities on common property, such as swimming pools, gyms, elevators, conference rooms, shared cleaner or caretaker facilities, fire doors, bathrooms, and barbeque areas, among others
      • Common area hallways, lobby areas, intercom stations in common areas, staircases, entrance gates, and boundary walls
      • Pipes, cables, wires, drains, sewers, and equipment that service the building or multiple lots
        within the building
      • The outside of the building, including doors, windows and fittings, and balcony railings
      • Common property pest control

In addition to the common area upkeep and repair work, Body Corporate Services Melbourne are obligated to take responsibility for major works and maintenance of chattels and facilities for large buildings, including elevator replacement, roof replacement, exterior and interior painting works and other building-wide upgrades.

A maintenance plan is an acceptable way to ensure due diligence and to track and ensure that timely major repairs are accounted for and carried out. Without reasonable attention and upgrade plans for the building, severe damage and safety risks can emerge. A good body corporate company in Melbourne will be able to assess your building, learn the age and history of capital items and plan effectively for realistic future capital works to ensure longevity, safety and aesthetics.

By law, prescribed owners corporations (formerly body corporate), who own buildings with over 100 total lots or collect over $200,000 in annual fees, must have a maintenance plan.

In the same vein, lot owners must keep the exterior of their lot in ‘good and serviceable repair’ to ensure its appearance does not affect other lot owners’ use and enjoyment of the property.

Insurance Payments for Repairs in Stata Buildings in Melbourne

Multi-dwelling buildings will have an insurance policy in place. Oftentimes when a breakage, fault, flood, or other cause of damage occurs to common area property, an insurance claim will be filed. Determining who is liable to pay the insurance excess will come down to whether the cause of the problem occurred from within the lot or common property.

Disputes Over Who is Responsible for What Within a Strata Setting

Every now and then, the cause of faults can appear ambiguous. This is often seen in cases involving pipe leaks, electrical faults and other drainage and wiring-related issues that occur behind walls, ceilings or floors. In these cases, professional plumbers, electricians and inspectors will need to write assessment reports giving their expert opinion or findings. Multiple reports may be required in some instances

One common problem, which can cause disputes as reported by body corporate managers in Melbourne, is when there is infrastructure on common property that relates to only one lot. This may be a water meter, a condenser unit, and telecom equipment, among others. Lot owners need to know that in these cases, any repairs or maintenance of infrastructure would be at the lot owners’ expense because the infrastructure only benefits the individual lot owner and no one else.

An example is if there is a problem with the pipes and wires running through the common area that service an individual lot’s air conditioner. In this case, the private owner would have to bear the costs of any repair or maintenance work.

At Our Body Corp in Melbourne, we pride ourselves on maintaining the buildings that we manage to the highest standards.

How do we do this? We have a trusted network of reliable and professional caretakers, cleaners, painters, electricians, plumbers and other service providers who prioritise our managed buildings.

We also aim to create positive relationships with lot owners and property managers within our building, giving advice and recommendations to facilitate their own repairs and renovations.

If you are seeking a new owners corporation management company in Melbourne, Our Body Corp will impress you with integrity, transparency and affordable body corporate fees.

Google Plus Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *