For those who are new to a Body Corporate, knowing who is responsible for what is often uncharted territory. There are common areas with facilities such as pools, gardens and more – but who is responsible for maintaining them?
Below we have expanded on our top 4 questions that we receive from owners who are confused about who is responsible for what:
Who is responsible for the maintenance of common areas?
One of the most compelling reasons that Australians decide to live in a Strata property is the use of the shared facilities in the common area. Who wouldn’t want to spend their weekends in the sun on a rooftop enjoying the facilities?
Instead of each individual lot owner having to share the responsibilities for cleaning the pool or painting the fence, the legislation has created a separate legal entity whose primary purpose is to ensure the common property is maintained to an appropriate level. This legal entity is called the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation and consists of all owners.
The Body Corporate/Owners Corporation has a general responsibility to maintain, manage and control the common property for the benefit of all lot owners. This is usually managed through the committee.
Who is responsible for fences?
In Queensland and New South Wales, it’s straight forward:
- The fence between a lot and the common property is shared equally between the Lot Owner and the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation;
- The fence between two lots is shared equally between the lot owners;
- The boundary fence between a lot and an adjoining property is shared equally between the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation and the adjoining property owner because the fence is in essence the boundary of the scheme.
Who is responsible for pest control?
The simple answer is the Body Corporate is generally responsible for any pest inspection, prevention and treatment work on common property.
A lot owner is responsible for any pest inspection and treatment work that is needed within their lot.
Sometimes body corporate communities can enjoy cost effective pest control if both common property and inside lots are treated at the same time.
The costs of ignoring pest control can be devastating, especially with ‘hidden’ pests such as termites which can cause catastrophic damage which is expensive to repair and possibly not covered by insurance.
If pest control in your community covers common property only, it is wise as well as responsible to get regular pest treatment and inspection inside your lot.
Should you find a pest infestation in your lot that may impact the common property, let your committee know so they can arrange for a pest inspection.
Who is responsible for gardens?
If you are part of the 2 million Australians who live in an apartment, the responsibility to maintain the gardens in your common property falls on the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation.
Well maintained gardens not only improve the aesthetic of the building, but also improves property value.
Maintenance programs can be implemented to ensure the constant up-keep on gardens in Strata are properly maintained. The program can include allowances for fertilizing, weed control, pruning, plant replacement and irrigation maintenance.
At SSKB we aim to educate owners and Committees on all areas of strata. Click here for an obligation free discussion today.