strata responsibility for account for a strata asset

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Jackie Muller, 11 July 2018.

  1. Jackie Muller

    Jackie Muller Member

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    Hi there,
    I have a question about strata management obligations. We own a rental property in South Australia and back in April our tenant reported that there was a leak in the back yard (and no hot water) and this was reported to our property manager. The property manager got our permission to send a plumber out. The plumber attended and fixed the issue. (He initially checked behind our HWS but found no leak and he eventually found a leak in the water supply pipe under the concrete slab at the back). The account was sent to us as our property manager reported it. I phoned the plumber who advised that in his opinion the whole bill should be covered by strata as it was a water supply pipe (ie a strata asset) and was not the problem of our Hot water system. Initially the strata manager that I was speaking to advised that they would sort out the bill and put in an insurance claim, but then I just found out that the other strata manager is pushing back on this and wants us to pay the bill and then he will put in an insurance claim and reimburse us the excess if it is approved. I think this is wrong - I believe that it should be strata's responsibility to sort this out - could I have an opinion thanks?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member
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    You employed the plumber and he fixed the problem. So it is your responsibility to pay the plumber.

    What the Strata people are suggesting is probably correct in that way, but not correct in suggesting their payment to you is conditional on an insurance payout. If their leak is damaging your property they should be reimbursing you regardless of what insurance does or does not do.

    I accept it is easier if the Strata people pay the plumber directly, but they are not obliged to.
     
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  3. Jackie Muller

    Jackie Muller Member

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    I was just reading the handbook for legal services commission of south australia under the strata section and I found this in the common questions:

    "Calling meetings and initiating action

    I have advised the secretary of the strata corporation that repairs are needed to my water pipes due to tree root damage, but she has taken no action. What can I do?

    If the damage is the responsibility of the strata corporation, and the secretary is not acting when requested, the unit holder could approach any two members of the committee, or if the corporation does not have a management committee, the unit holders of one fifth or more units, and ask them to convene a general meeting. If the situation becomes an emergency, the unit holder could have the repairs done and bill the strata corporation. If all else fails, the unit holder could take the strata corporation to court, either to force them to take reasonable action, or to recover costs of repairs."

    Hence, I think I will call the plumber that did the repair work to see if he will change the billing to the strata - I think this sounds reasonable. (As it was emergency - there was huge pond of water in the back common area)

    What did you think?
     
  4. Jackie Muller

    Jackie Muller Member

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    Ok, I just phoned the plumber and he said that he can only change the invoice if he has authority from strata - so here I go - I will phone the strata again.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member
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    Yep, didn't think the plumber would change his mind. They just want to be paid and don't want to get caught in any disagreements you have with the Strata people.

    Suggest paying the plumber, then sending a request for reimbursement to the Strata people and if they don't pay call SACAT to see if they will arbitrate the dispute.
     
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  6. Jackie Muller

    Jackie Muller Member

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    Thank you - I hadnt heard of SACAT, so this is a great resource. :)
     
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