Repairs and Maintenance

The guide to repairs and maintenance in Strata apartments

For repairs and maintenance in a strata scheme,  generally speaking, the owners corporation must repair common property and the owners must repair anything within their lot. However, it is not always clear what is common property or what is the individual lot.

The basic rule is that everything inside the airspace of the unit, including all internal walls is usually the lot and therefore the responsibility of the lot owner. Everything outside that airspace including walls, windows, doors and tiles fixed to the floor and boundary walls is usually common property and therefore the responsibility of the owners corporation. For clarification on what is common property and what is the property of a lot, refer to your strata plan.

General rules of responsibility for repairs and maintenance in a strata scheme

  • Ceiling – Owners corporation must repair anything in the ceiling, however, there may be circumstances where the owner is liable if they have made improvements to the ceiling.
  • Walls – Owners corporation must repair anything in the boundary walls. The owner must repair all walls within the lot.
  • Carpets – The owner must repair and maintain carpets in the lot. The owners corporation repairs and maintains common property carpets, such as carpets in the hallways.
  • Light fittings – If it is recessed in the ceiling, it is the owners corporation’s responsibility. If it hangs into the lot, it is the owner’s responsibility.
  • Roller door or garage – Repairs to the boundary roller doors are owners corporation responsibility.
  • Balcony – Balconies are generally the responsibility of the owners corporation.

How do we get repairs and maintenance done?

If it relates to common property, contact your strata managers or the Secretary (or another member) of the Strata Committee and let them know the details of the problem. The Strata Committee will then organise the repair through the strata manager or building manager. If the problem is a minor repair, it might be able to be fixed without the need for a meeting.

For larger, more expensive or complex repairs, a general meeting may be required to authorise expenditure or decide on what action to take.

If no action is being taken, you can put a motion requesting repairs to the next meeting.

Frequently asked questions

Where does the money for repairs and maintenance come from?

Repairs and maintenance are budgeted for within the levies you pay. Major repairs and maintenance to common property may be planned and included in the scheme’s 10-year plan for the capital works fund. For unexpected repairs, a motion is put to a general meeting to raise levies to cover the cost of the work. The amount will be paid by owners based on their unit entitlement.

What if the damage was accidental rather than caused by negligence. Is there a difference in who has responsibility?

The owners corporation must repair common property and an owner must repair their lot – whether the damage was accidental or negligent. If someone else damages your property, then like any damages claim, you may take legal action to recover the cost of repairs from that person.

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