The Owners Corporation is responsible for maintaining and repairing common property. However, what is and what isn’t common property is often not well understood by owners and occupants.
This is very important as the Owners Corporation is required to repair and maintain common property and will take out insurance for common property (property that is not common property is owned by an individual owner or tenant and is not insured under the Owners Corporation policy).
You should be aware that the following is provided as a general guide although there can be some debate as to whether specific items are the responsibility of the Owners Corporation or the lot owner.
Beaumont Strata manage Residential, Commercial and Industrial properties, including retail and mixed-use properties. Accordingly, the following is relevant for owners and occupiers of such property.
What is common property?
What is and isn’t common property is defined in legislation. As a guide the Office of Fair Trading on its website, sets out its view on the subject.
“In most strata schemes, the lot owner owns the inside of the unit but not the main structure of the building. Usually the four main walls, the ceiling, roof and the floor are common property”
Common Property includes:
The following is a list for some of the more common items of common property:
What is not common property?
A lot owner effectively owns the airspace (and anything included in the airspace) inside the boundary walls, floor and ceiling of the lot. The internal walls within the lot (e.g. dividing wall between the bathroom and office space or office and warehouse) is also classified as not common property.
Everything within the airspace must be maintained at the owner's cost.
Such items found within a lot may include:
It also follows that in the event of damage to the above items, the cost of the repair or replacement cannot be reclaimed against the Owners Corporations building insurance.
Under the new Act, owners can establish a “Common Property Memorandum” that can set out what is and is not common property.