Where does common property end and a strata lot begin?

Normally, the Owners Corporation is responsible to maintain the common property, and the individual owners are responsible for their individual lots. So, it can be vital to know what is common property, and what is a lot.

Generally, a lot is everything inside the inner surface of the walls, ceiling and floor, other than structural spaces, such as common water pipes or air conditioning ducts passing through the unit. But even this can be difficult to apply.

The problem often arises when there is a water leak. If the breakdown in waterproofing was in the common property, such as an external wall, or the tiles on the roof, it is the Owners Corporation's responsibility to fix. However, if the failure in in the membrane under a tiled floor or wall, it is the responsibility of whoever owns the failed membrane, which can be hard to determine.

Sometimes, water leaks from inside one unit, through the common property, and into another unit. In that case, it is necessary to determine where the failure occurred. Was it the surface of the floor, owned by a lot owner, or the floor, owned by the Owners Corporation? Our strata lawyers can help you determine the answer to such questions.

For advice, contact Tim Somerville.

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