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Is a strata body corporate responsible to waterproof a balcony door?

Strata apartment and villa owners love the fact that the strata body corporate (the owners corporation) is responsible for maintenance and repair of the building, not themselves.

But when it comes to repairs being required for water entry into their apartment, some strata owners receive a rude shock - the body corporate refuses to carry out the waterproofing repairs.

A body corporate can have their reasons to refuse, such as the leak is not coming through a boundary wall or ceiling or the owner has caused the leak.

What this means is that the owner either puts up with waterlogged carpets and stained and warping floor boards or goes to the Tribunal and asks it to make an order requiring the body corporate to carry out the waterproofing repair at the body corporate's cost.

This is the situation that the owner of the villa pictured found herself in.

Water leaked through the balcony doors separating the bedroom from the balcony. The body corporate refused to repair the doors (to waterproof the sill) arguing (1) that the boundary doors were not its responsibility because they were not a 'boundary wall' and (2) that the owner had caused the doors to leak when they replaced the timber decking.

In this case, the owner won, and the body corporate was ordered to carry out the waterproofing repairs.

For a full case note on the Tribunal's decision click my article Who pays for the repairs if water leaks through a balcony door (which is closed) into a strata property?


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