[NSW]: Strata refused to repaint after plumbing leak damaging ceiling?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by [d4rk-fr3d], 19th Nov, 2019.

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  1. [d4rk-fr3d]

    [d4rk-fr3d] Well-Known Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I had an incident in my apartment I am living now where the water leaking from the plumbing above my apartment has caused water damage (water stain) on the false ceiling (gypsum).

    A few weeks ago, the strata manager bring in the plumber to check and cut a hole 1x 0.5 m which has left my apartment quite smelly for a few days due to the plumbing water leaking.

    As per my understanding, the gypsum ceiling (False ceiling) is also part of the common property in which the strata should maintain it using the sinking fund.

    However, the building manager has refused to repaint the false ceiling and only attaching some additional ceiling and making it as large manhole in the middle of the room which does not look very nice plus it is not painted.

    So my questions are:

    1. Does the strata management should replace and fix the ceiling condition as it was before the water damage including the repainting?

    2. What avenue or suggestion should I take to bring the condition back to where it was before?

    3. Is there any supporting document or law which can assist me to bring this matter to the Strata Manager when the building manager has refused to restore the condition of my ceiling?

    Since I have no home content insurance, I assume this would be covered by the building insurance that I have also paid quarterly (Strata levy).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. gerege

    gerege Well-Known Member

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    Dont buy apartments
     
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  3. [d4rk-fr3d]

    [d4rk-fr3d] Well-Known Member

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    This is the apartment that I live in now (PPoR).

    waiting for the property price to crash in NSW, even just by 40%, but no sign yet.
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The ceiling is common property, the paint is yours. Even if the leak originated from another apartment, the make good is yours. You might try to claim against the owner of the apartment which had the leak.

    This problem arises quite often, look up 'flat chat' for issues with strata living.
     
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  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In my experience (South Australia), water leaked from apartment above into the ceiling of our laundry, causing a large stain and dripping water... insurance company was engaged by the strata manager who had a plumber come out, cut a hole in the ceiling, fixed the leaking pipe, repaired the hole and painted the entire ceiling. Came out looking better than before. The only problem was that we then had a great looking ceiling and it made the walls look grimy :D
     
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  6. [d4rk-fr3d]

    [d4rk-fr3d] Well-Known Member

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    OK, as per https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/inforce/6baaf589-cf65-4110-a594-89e5fc041a3e/2015-50.pdf

    122 Power of owners corporation to enter the property in order to carry out work Section 6
    Page 63:

    An owners corporation is liable for any damage to a lot or any of its contents caused by or arising out of the carrying out of any work, or the exercise of a power of entry, referred to in this section unless the damage arose because of the owners' corporation was obstructed or hindered.

    Does it mean the strata management should repaint the apartment since the hole was created due to plumbing leak, hence repaint is required to restore the condition?
     
  7. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Write an official letter to the body corporate asking that your ceiling be restored to its condition before the damage. Rectification should be part of the repairs.
     
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  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The danger of reading a clause in isolation - the clause relates to works directed by the tribunal - were the works subject to an order that arose out of a Tribunal Order/Judgement? The powers of the Tribunal are restricted to works for the maintenance & repair of common property.

    There is more chance of arguing this liability arising under under Div 2 Cl 79 however Cl 161 (4)(Insurance) clearly notes that paintwork inside the lot is not covered by insurance. It would have to be an ex-gratia payment based on your circumstances (eg. little old lady, on a pension, eeking out the last days of your life) rather than LL with 50 IPs to their name seeking recompense and restitution. That's what your limited buildings & contents insurance may cover (as well as replacement of your kitchen, light fittings, floor coverings, internal fitout items, internal doors etc).
     
    Last edited: 20th Nov, 2019
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  9. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    The false ceiling is unlikely to be common property, and even if it was the paint would be within the lot, so unfortunately the repaint will be up to you.
     
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  10. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    Many strata insurers cover lot owner paint even if it is not common property (e.g. CHU). Though it sounds like there isn't a claim.

    If the manhole issue is material (in terms of appearance etc) then it needs to be resolved. Photo?

    As for paint. It comes down to the strata committee. Many would cover painting in this circumstance. Is there a precedent or policy set? You wouldn't want to pay and find out other lot owners had painting paid for.

    (Without being on the strata committee or an ability to work constructively with the strata manager it will be difficult to get traction)

    As with all strata matters stay calm, rational and peel the onion ;)
     
  11. [d4rk-fr3d]

    [d4rk-fr3d] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the reply.
    I'll have a word(s) with my strata manager.

    @bunkai Which specific document do I need to check in the strata report?
     
  12. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    “Having a word” is OK for a quick opinion, but is not an official decision.

    For best results, put your request formally, in writing, addressed to the secretary of the strata committee.

    This request will then have to be tabled at a committee meeting of the body corporate, entered officially into the minutes, and any decision recorded. This ensures that correct information is sought and gives you your best chance of a positive result. If you are not happy with the result, there are then formal avenues for you to challenge the decision.
     
  13. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    For best results join the strata committee.
     
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  14. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    ...and the answer should still be a steadfast "No!"
     
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  15. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    If the damage was only due to the leak then this holds true.

    However, if the OC had to change the ceiling to repair then they have to restore.
     
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  16. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    And @[d4rk-fr3d] you should consider that the Committee might consider making this painting an exception might create a precedent for all the other owners, which might appear as undesirable.
     
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  17. Archaon

    Archaon Well-Known Member

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    If they already refusing, wouldn't they just refuse in future, so setting a precedent would just make it a spoken rule as to an unspoken one?
     
  18. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    Some doco to reference:

    Who is responsible

    Appendix one section thirteen covers this scenario.
     
  19. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Item 24 covers that too.
     
  20. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    Um, nowhere in the original post does it say that the Committee has refused repainting, and, let's face it, that's the only decision that counts in a Strata Corporation.

    So, what's your point?
     

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