Flat Chat Strata Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #62644
    MargieA
    Flatchatter

    In a small group of townhouses in Victoria, we have some rising damp which members of the committee believe affects the integrity of the building.  Some of the walls affected are external walls abutting common property and some are boundary walls separating lots from each other.   The vertical boundaries aren’t specified on the plan of subdivision so I understand that the vertical boundaries default to the median of the external walls or boundary walls between lots.  Should the OC fund the repair of all walls because it affects the building’s integrity?  Or should the OC make a contribution, say 50%  to the repair of the walls which abut common property and let the owners of the shared vertical boundary walls look after their own costs? Thanks.

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  • #62646
    chesswood
    Flatchatter

    Have a look at the strata plan of your building. I’d guess the parts of the walls that needs action (which will be quite low down, below your floor level) is common property. Even if the wall is yours above floor level, and that may be where the damp is evident, the bottoms will be common property.

    #62668
    MargieA
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks.  Each lot has a lower horizontal boundary of 1m below ground so not common property 1m below what is essentially floor level.

     

    #62675
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I know in apartments, adjoining walls are common property.  Is that different in townhouses and/or Victoria?

    #62686
    MargieA
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks Jimmy.  Ours is a group of mews style two storey townhouses where the vertical boundaries of the end units abut common property and the townhouses in the middle share vertical boundaries with each other.  There are no separate dwellings above or below; just side by side. There’s nothing on the title or plan of subdivision indicating that the shared vertical boundary walls are common property so I assume the shared walls are the responsibility of each neighbouring lot owner.  What I can find is in the subdivision act of Victoria where it says:

    “5  Boundaries
    Unless the plan otherwise provides, if the whole
    or part of a boundary of a lot with another lot or
    with common property on a strata or cluster plan
    or a strata or cluster redevelopment plan lies along
    or within a structure that is a wall, fence, floor or
    ceiling, the boundary is the median of the
    structure.”

    Some OC members want the OC to fully fund the repair of the end walls which abut common because it affects the integrity of the building so I’m wondering if that’s the logic, then should the OC fully fund the shared boundary walls in the middle of the row of townhouses.  Or should the OC fund 50% of the walls abutting common property and put responsibility for the cost of repair of internal boundary walls back onto the respective lot owners in the middle of the row of townhouses.

     

     

     

    #62689
    Austman
    Flatchatter

    It is different in Victoria.

    For a start a “unit” often means a villa house – not an apartment.

    The OP’s strata seems typical of older strata plans in Victoria where the plan number begins with RP or SP.   In those type of horizontal strata plans the lots typically own the land below and airspace above their lot to a certain distance (eg four feet or one metre).  And lot boundaries are typically “median” which means they are 50/50 with another lot or 50/50 with common property.

    It can make the cost sharing of boundary wall maintenance “interesting”.

    One way, if the OC passes a Special Resolution, is for the OC to decide to pay for all of the works regardless of if it’s to lot or to common property.  That can make logical and even financial sense.   But it does need a Special Resolution to approve it.

     

    #62695
    MargieA
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks Austman.  It is an old strata plan starting with RP/SP.  I assume you suggest a special resolution because it’s a change to the rules?  Also, if the lot owners voted for the alternative of 50% OC contribution to repairing the walls which abut common property and zero contribution for repairing those walls shared between two lots, would that (a) seem fair and (b) also require a special resolution?

    #62708
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Are there any owners in the scheme who are not affected by this?

    #62715
    MargieA
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Hi Jimmy, at the miment, around 70% are not affected by this but if left unattended and the mortar and bricks of any one unit disintegrated, at some point those unaffected lot owners might then be impacted because their unit is attached to their neighbours.

     

    #62716
    Austman
    Flatchatter

    I assume you suggest a special resolution because it’s a change to the rules?

    It’s s.12  of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 (VIC).    That section allows,  by Special Resolution, an OC to provide a “service” to lot owners.    That service can include the maintenance of lot property.

    It can make sense where considerable works that affect multiple lot properties are needed.  The OC can get it all done in one go and raise the funds accordingly.   It can make even more sense when there’s both lot and common property involved.

    Else it can be a complicated matter of appropriating costs.  It’s up to the owners to decide which way to go.

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