A strata ownership model has many benefits to an owner. Including the shared use of common property, the relegation of outside maintenance to a third-party, and of course, the ability to own your own home without buying a single-family house. But, when it comes to things like plumbing issues, it can be tricky to figure out which problems are the strata plumbing responsibility and which are the owner’s responsibility.
Guide To Plumbing Issues
Burst Bathroom Pipe
Let’s say the burst pipe is located in a boundary wall, this is defined as a wall that marks the boundary of your property. For example, the outside walls. The responsibility falls on the strata corporation to fix the burst pipe and any resulting secondary damage to floors or your downstairs neighbor’s ceiling. But, if the burst pipe is located in an internal wall, the responsibility falls to the homeowner, unless the pipe that bursts services multiple units in the building.
As such, it’s still problematic to determine who would be responsible for a burst pipe. You’ll need to have a plumber locate the pipe that’s broken and, if it’s located in an internal wall, whether the pipe only serves your unit or multiple units. Always get a professional’s opinion on this to make sure you’re not paying for an issue that’s actually the responsibility of the strata.
Shower Water Not Draining
This issue will always be the responsibility of the strata because the corporation is obligated to handle plumbing problems that are under the floor. This means that if your shower is not draining, you should not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Contact your strata’s management to arrange for a plumber to come to your unit and remove the clog that’s causing the water not to drain.
Broken Kitchen Sink Causing Water Damage
All appliances, sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers are considered the responsibility of the homeowner. Therefore, if your kitchen sink breaks and is leaking water onto the floor (and possibly into the unit below you), the responsibility to repair the sink and any resulting damage lies with you. Therefore, you must take appropriate action to ensure all your internal plumbing is in good working order.
Don’t put anything down a drain that doesn’t belong there, including the toilet. Sometimes, people get lax about what they put down the toilet, which can cause major plumbing issues. In reality, the only things that should go down the drain are water, human waste, and toilet paper. Of course, you’re probably going to put liquids down the kitchen sink and some foods into your garbage disposal. This will eventually end up going down the drain, but other than those items, nothing else should enter your pipes. This will help prevent them from clogging. Additionally, have a plumber occasionally inspect your pipes to check for cracks and sinking spots that could lead to leaks.
Mold and Dampness
Any mold or mildew that appears on the inside of your walls is going to be your responsibility. Unless, the mold and mildew is the result of water coming into your unit through the exterior walls or floor. In that case, it will be the responsibility of the strata corporation to fix the leak and clean up the mold and mildew consequently. As with a burst pipe, you’ll need a professional plumber to identify the source of the problem. It’s important to make sure the right party is charged with the responsibility to fix it.
Water Cascading From the Balcony Above You
In general, the strata corporation is responsible for any water that runs off of common property. However, this can be a little bit of a gray area if your neighbor is causing the water to run off their balcony because they are over-watering their plants. Likewise, doing something else to generate excess water. If the water is damaging your property, you may be able to hold the other homeowner responsible. Nevertheless, this could cause problems between you and your neighbor. It might be best to have the strata corporation deal with the neighbor and determine what should be done about the damage.
The best way to look at who’s responsible for plumbing issues when there’s a strata involved is that the homeowner is responsible for anything inside the unit, including in the interior walls, and the strata is responsible for anything outside the unit, including in the exterior walls. The strata is also responsible for the floors under the tub, shower, and toilet. To be sure, though, always seek the professional opinion of a plumber so that the right entity is obliged to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible.
We hope you found this blog post Who Has Plumbing Responsibilities in a Strata Ownership Mode useful. Be sure to check out our post Top Plumbing Tips When Moving Into a New Home for more great tips!
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