NSW Uapproved Air-conditioner Installation - Recourse Under Property Law?

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Harry P

Active Member
22 January 2017
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Hi there

I own a property investment apartment being managed by a real estate agent. The ducted air conditioner compressor broke and the real estate agent organised for his AC technician to give me a quote for repair. A replacement unit would have required moving a wall in the apartment because the new units are bigger than the originals. He suggested I install a separate split system AC instead and leave the ducted one switched off. I agreed and approved.

The real estate agent asked him to go ahead and he installed it. I asked the real estate agent to then inspect the installation before I paid and they said there was no problems and I could pay, so I did.
Now I have received a letter from the Strata manager saying that the installation of the split system was unauthorised by them. Additionally there had been damage created to the common property by the installation which they listed.

The Strata manager has now ordered me to remove the AC split system and have the property restored to its original condition.

What can I do under property law? Was it reasonable for me to expect that the real estate agent or the air conditioner installer would have done all the checking including with Strata before installation? Is it reasonable for the AC installer to have installed without asking strata where the services were behind walls, and whether there was membrane in the balcony floor before installing the split system? These are damage issues that the strata has raised.

Many Thanks
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Real estate agent and installer would have assumed, fairly, that you as owner would have the required permissions.

AC installer should make good any reasonable damage. Some damage is unavoidable as holes do have to be put into walls but it all should be neat and tidy and vermin proof.

Negotiate with the strata manager. If other units have split AC they cannot unfairly deny one to you.