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So what happens if the owners corporation does not fix the building? Is the 2015 Strata Reform going to assist?

Posted 15 February 2016

Category: Strata, Building Defects, Strata Reform

Many owners face problems with strata schemes failing to repair and maintain the common property.

These problems include:

  • Loss of rent;
  • Property damage to their lot property items;
  • Relocation costs; and
  • Health risks from mould.

There are many complicated options to consider when trying to get the owners corporation to fix the common property, such as:

  • Motions for agendas, to engage appropriate diagnostic experts or contractors;
  • Getting on the executive committee to have the defects rectified properly;
  • Mediated agreements arising from a mediation at the Office of Fair Trading;
  • Orders against the owners corporation to undertake specific works from NCAT or the courts;
  • Claims against the executive committee for breach of duty;
  • Damages claims for negligent management of the problems by the owners corporations; and
  • Insurance claims under policies taken out by the owners corporation.

The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 commenced on November 30 2016 and has added more complication to some of these options, for instance:

  • Executive committee members may not be personally liable if they acted in good faith;
  • Owners corporations will have a strict liability to the owners, which could make it easier to recover damages, but this may or may not be subject to the deferral below. Owners will only have a 2 year time limit from awareness to commence litigation;
  • Owners corporations may be able to defer repairs if they are taking unspecified actions against an owner or other person in respect of damage to the common property and the problems do not affect safety or health;
  • Owners corporations may be able to specially resolve to modify their liability when it adopts the “Common Property Memorandum” in the proposed regulation.

It is a complex and evolving area and our specialist teams are well placed to provide advice and assistance.

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***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.

Bannermans Lawyers

Published 15 February 2016

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