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  • #63675

    Hi Flatchatters

    Our circa 1970’s 8 level 27 unit double brick apartment block in NSW has (apparently) stormwater ingress through the roof slab. Owners have been advised of an upcoming general meeting in July where we are to decide between 2 tenders – both of which will exceed 200K – by simple majority.

    Part of the offers is to tile over the entire roof area.

    Is this first time tiling of the roof slab an addition to common property? Should this be by ‘special resolution’?


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  • #63681

    Hi Waylor, I’m still learning all this myself, but that sounds like major works that would require a special resolution >75% vote (based on lot entitlement) for the motion at a general meeting with owners. Are there any reports/ photos/ details of exactly what the problem is and what has caused it? Roof would be common property. Depending on the cause and what has actually occurred it might be claimable under insurance? If the roof slab is leaking it could be a leaking roof membrane which is common property and Owner’s Corporation responsibility to fix as part of maintenance. Roof tiling would be the same, unless damage occurred from a storm which might be claimable under insurance? Also you might be able to ask for more than 2 quotes? It might need urgently fixing though? I’d ask my strata manager for more information and time to digest it before the meeting. Also do the works constitute maintenance , eg. Repairing or replacing a membrane or repairing or replacing tiles with same tiles, or an improvement/ enhancement such as a fancy new roof? Both require a special resolution but the former is obligatory (duty to maintain common property) and may cost less.

    Hopefully someone else on here can advise, as I’m not 100% certain.


    You need a lot more than a single meeting. Fortunately, someone’s put the word membrane in the heading for this topic; I hope that someone was you and that your committee has had the roof investigated properly by someone competent.

    Any tiles that go on top aren’t crucial to the waterproofing; that’s the membrane’s job. Whatever’s on top of the roof slab now will have to be removed under the direction of someone qualified whom you should by now have appointed to supervise the work.

    Then a suitable membrane must be applied to the slab-top as specified by your superintendent. Special attention must be paid to any roof penetration by vents or conduits and the mounting points of airconditioning equipment etc. Then bedding is to be placed on top of the membrane in such a way that the tiles everywhere
    will slope towards drains. Your superintendent will inspect the bedding to ensure that water penetrating between the tiles won’t cause cement to leach everywhere like it has in my building. Finally, the tiles are laid on top of the bedding.

    You don’t say where your building is. If it’s near the ocean, all the above becomes doubly important because your roof has to endure salt spray.

    With 27 units, you may have an owner who’s qualified to review the contract for you. If not, ask your lawyer to eyeball the contracts and warn you what risks you carry. Check that both tenderers have current adequate insurance.

    Unfortunately, the NSW authorities have not seen fit to introduce licensing for building consultants so you’ll have to find someone who’s good at waterproofing and legally able to work for you.

    Finally, the tiles etc. will become part of the roof. You’re not adding to common property so I don’t think you need a special majority. I’d suggest your committee should have already obtained competent independent advice and should be able to select a contractor.

    Just Asking

    The addition of tiles would likely be covered by s108 SSMA as an alteration for the purpose of improving or enhancing the common property. A rooftop covered with tiles is a different thing to a rooftop with a bare membrane only, in a similar way that a rendered wall with pipework chased into it is a different thing to bare brickwork with pipes attached, as discussed in Qlenquarry Park Investments Pty Ltd v Hegyesi.

    This would require a special resolution passed at a general meeting.

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