Dealing with property damage? Here’s who’s responsible

If your apartment or the entire building has been damaged by recent storms you may be a little confused by what is your property, and therefore your responsibility to repair, and what is common property.

SCA (NSW) understands that the issue of what’s yours and what is considered to be part of the common property can be tricky and confusing but has developed a great solution specifically to sort through this issue.

First launched in 2010, the Who’s responsible: a guide to common property guide is available for download from the SCA (NSW) website.

It’s had a few updates along the way and provides a comprehensive list of items found within a building that could generally be considered common property. It aims to give some guidance on who usually would be responsible for giving that item attention.

For example, generally the owners are responsible for the repair and maintenance of balcony sliding doors if the complex was registered before 1st July 1974. However, for buildings built after that date, the responsibility then falls on the owners corporation.

Owners are responsible for internal doors, carpets and paintwork except where damaged by the owners corporation when affecting common property repairs.

Depending on the history of a building, past renovations and current by-laws, determining what is and isn’t common property is a complex matter.

The guide is not meant to be a definitive answer to some of the more complex questions although it can be used as a start. SCA (NSW) recommends that in more complex cases the guide should be used in conjunction with the strata plan and by-laws to determine who is responsible for repairs and maintenance.