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Who owns apartment windows and who pays to change them?

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by Posnow, 14th Oct, 2016.

  1. Posnow

    Posnow Member

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    Would welcome any knowledge or advice on the following.
    Have a new apartment (off the plan), have tenants in, found out shortly after them moving in that
    a) we have a serious condensation problem which hasn't resolved even with the tenants following all of the instructions the builder has supplied us all with twice
    b) a nightclub opened up over the road and music now plays until about 3am (and people hang around in the streeth until later).
    Changing the windows to double glazing seems to be a (partial) solution to both issues, but
    - who "owns" the windows? The OC or half me/half OC?
    - do I need permission from the OC to change the windows?
    - can I ask the OC to pay half given the windows are at least half owned by them?
    Any other thoughts on the issue?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dean Collins

    Dean Collins Well-Known Member

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    Our strata recently paid to replace the windows in one of our heritage IP apartments.

    It was wood, cathedral (tall and thin) custom job.....although strata paid I wish we could have paid for it as we pay (1/8th eg only 8 apartments in the building) as could have found a better/cheaper contractor and had more control of the process.

    You might want to pick up the tab for this yourself for these reasons.....
     
  3. bythebay

    bythebay Well-Known Member

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    Can you take the windows with you when you sell? If not, they belong to strata. Apartment owners generally own the airspace between the walls. So I would check with strata before replacing windows and try to come to acceptable arrangement on cost sharing.
     
  4. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Strata
     
  5. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Strata. If you want to change the windows you need to put in an exclusive use bylaw... if you get a lawyer to draft it up it could be >$1000 to draft and get registered. (I'm in the process of doing this myself).

    But... since yours is new and OTP, I wonder if you have any additional leeway?

    Maybe there is a building fault somewhere that could fix the condensation issue. (Maybe try damp rid if they haven't already?) And where is the moisture coming from?
     
  6. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    While on this topic, who pays to get security screens on the upstairs windows and balcony door now that the building code demands IPs to have them fixed so that dumb tenants can't fall out (townhouses). Ours is the only one in the complex without screens upstairs, so I assume the other owners would have paid themselves years ago before we ever bought.
     
  7. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    A window is a pane to replace :p
     
    The Y-man, D.T. and datto like this.
  8. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    You would need to talk to the manager and owners corp before changing windows, would need to be same colour and style most likely, you would pay for it as nothing wrong with existing ones.

    Changes like this should also have things such as provision so that in future, if windows were to be changed by the body corporate, that only standard windows would be replaced, so that lot owner would be up for any extra if they had changed to a higher grade for whatever reason.
     
  9. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    The body corporate owns the windows.

    If you want to change them, you will need BC permission.

    Your best chance is if you offer to pay.

    However, be aware that if permission is granted, it will usually be on the condition that you, or any future owner of your unit, will be fully responsible for the windows, which may cause insurance issues. This may also be a negative when you come to sell, but would be offset by the advantage of the double glazing.

    In the first instance, maybe get a quote to install double glazed windows of a type identical to the existing windows. The cost may influence your next decisions.
    Marg
     
  10. Heinz57

    Heinz57 Well-Known Member

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    If the problem is a result of a building defect then you should address with your body corporate committee as the fault should be rectified at no cost to you.
     
  11. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    Agree.
    @Posnow brig it up with BC Committe asap and determine if other units are having the same issue. If they are, there is a better ground for it to be determined a builder/building fault.

    Of course the builder will claim the condensation is actually a free water harvesting unit designed to improve building sustainability and lower your water consumption costs. :D

    The Y-man
     
  12. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    And a pane to clean :confused:
     
  13. Posnow

    Posnow Member

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    Thanks all. To answer some of the questions you have brought up....
    - the condensation comes from the lungs of those breathing in the apartment
    - other apartment owners also have condensation issues and the builders have just said it is a problem that new buildings can have and have given instructions repeatedly on how to ventilate better.
    - the OC are aware, but give me the answer that "the builders have given you instructions etc"
    - I have advised the OC manager that I want to change the windows to double glazing and she has simply said they will discuss at the next meeting (meanwhile my unhappy tenants may leave :( )
    - I have a couple of quotes for replacing the windows (both very similar at around the 2K mark)
    - I suspect if I took it all the way to VCAT it could be won as a builders fault but I don't have the time or energy for this.
    :(
     
  14. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Darn tenants and the breathing they do !

    It must be a cold area and they must not open the windows ? Surely they can cope now the weather is warming.....
     
  15. Handyandy

    Handyandy Well-Known Member

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  16. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Thanks for the share.... we know magnetite do the same but it's worth having more options. :)
     
  17. drg86

    drg86 Well-Known Member

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    I had to replace the fly screens on one of our IP's recently as apparently we own them :confused:

    Every other IP with strata I know has them included in the BC. I'll have to check, maybe we own the windows too?
     
  18. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    What sort of things has the builder suggested re. condensation? Just opening windows a bit, or something else?

    Regarding the noise: if it's music noise or people hanging around creating noise at all hours, then complain to the Police and Council.

    There are regulations governing noise from music in clubs.

    Solutions can involve the club installing sound limiters etc.

    Councils have local laws for noise control. The amenity expectations are lower for inner city activity centres, but police and Council will generally work with the club to make some improvements.

    For example, changing the queuing arrangements etc.