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  • #37300
    Edita
    Flatchatter

    We have recently purchased at the auction an apartment with a balcony in a 4 unit apartment building in Victoria. We stupidly followed the advice of our mortgage broker and didn’t get the property assessed before purchase. After we moved in, a retired builder family friend drew our attention to the balcony being in a poor condition. We had a building inspector do an assessment and he indeed confirmed that it’s a safety hazard, that it’s dropping due to rotting timber poles that are supporting it. We don’t know the exact cause, it can be poor maintenance, weather or maybe something happened in the past that we are not aware of. The other owners say that it’s normal wear and tear and that insurance will not cover it, that we have to do it ourselves. I have contacted the insurance, but still haven’t received their response.
    Also, the supporting wooden poles are placed on the neighbour’s lot under us. That neighbour’s lot is on the ground floor and the poles are in their courtyard. Our balcony provides the roof for their verandah, and they have table under our balcony. We have warned them not to spend time there.

    My question is, since the poles are on that lot, do we have the entire responsibility for the repairs and maintenance, or is that a shared responsibility? Who can we contact in Victoria to ascertain that? Any information would help.

Viewing 3 replies - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)
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  • #37339
    Edita
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    From what I understand from the plan of subdivision, balcony is my lot, but poles are part of neighbour’s lot. Only roof and below floor is common property, in addition to passage and parking.

    Should I contact someone who does OC management to ask for advice? A former manager maybe? Or a lawyer?

    #37353
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Why not send a Personal Message to Austman (click on “send a message” on the left of his post) and he might be able to help. He’s a regular contributor from Victoria and talks sense.

    #37525
    Edita
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    We have contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria and they have confirmed that responsibility for the balcony is shared with the neighbour below. They advised us to get a quote from a builder, asking to separate as much as possible the costs for works on neighbour’s lot and on ours; then to have a chat with the neighbour, explain everything showing the cost and, should it not go well, to explain that we would go through VCAT.

    So we got the quote and, fortunately, it was much lower than initially expected. The works are not as extensive as the first assessment indicated. The actual poles on the neighbour’s lot do not need to be replaced, they will only be painted after the work on the balcony has been completed. So we are happy to cover the costs by ourselves and not damage the relationship with the neighbour.

    Thank you to everyone who has generously chipped in with their knowledge. Much appreciated!

     

Viewing 3 replies - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)
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