When organising repairs in a strata-titled property, knowing who is responsible for what can get very confusing. While owners are responsible for all repairs and maintenance of their own unit (their owned lot), differentiating between what is considered part of the owned lot and what isn’t may leave you scratching your head. However, by learning the differences between what is and isn’t considered part of the home, you can quickly discern whether a maintenance issue is the responsibility of the strata manager or if you need to organise repairs yourself.
To help you wrap your head around what is part of your lot and what is common property, we’ve put together this quick guide to strata costs that are paid by the Body Corporate and paid by the owner.
NB.: Every strata scheme varies, so it’s always best to check with your strata manager if you’re unsure of who should be paying for maintenance.
Strata Manager vs. Property Manager
With so many different parties involved, knowing the difference between individual roles can be confusing.
Put simply, a Property Manager is a specialist who helps to market your property, as well as find and manage tenants. A Property Manager is used when an owner decides to rent their property out to a tenant.
A Strata Manager on the other hand, is responsible for the property from an admin, financial and social aspect. The role of the Strata Manager usually involves ensuring legal and insurance compliance, maintenance and all administration is kept accurate and up-to-date.
How do Property Managers and Strata Managers Work Together?
Using a unit complex as the example, the building and its common areas are looked after by strata. This means that the individual units (lots) and everything inside of them are looked after by the owner or Property Manager if the lot is leased out.
A Property Manager will also act as the conduit between the tenant and the Body Corporate; they will contact and deal with Body Corporate on behalf of the tenant.
Responsibility Cheat Sheet
The roof of a communal building falls to the responsibility of your Strata Manager. However, the roof of a Townhouse is the responsibility of the Owner/Property Manager.
It is the responsibility of Strata to maintain or repair anything within the boundary walls. However, the owner holds responsibility for maintaining and repairing walls inside the unit/lot.
Any external features such as columns and railings are the responsibility of Strata Management. Other features, including doors, tiles and awning may be the responsibility of either the owner or the Body Corporate – it depends on the scheme and the location of the feature.
Any light fittings that are inside a unit is the responsibility of the owner. However, any lights in common areas, such as outside the front door are the responsibility of the Body Corporate.
Any pipes that service more than one apartment/lot are the responsibility of strata. However, any pipes that service only one lot are the responsibility of the Owner/Property Manager, regardless of where the pipe may be located.
Similar to pipes, any wiring that services more than one apartment/lot is the responsibility of Strata. Any wiring that services only one lot is the responsibility of the Owner/Property Manager, regardless of where the wires may be located.
As tempering valves only service one apartment/lot, they are the responsibility of the Owner/Property Manager.
In an apartment complex, the Strata Manager is responsible for organising the cleaning and maintenance of gutters. However, in a townhouse complex, the Owner/Property Manager is responsible.
Generally, if an external area of a property is affected by a leak or blockage, it is the responsibility of the Body Corporate/Strata. If any damage is within the interior of an apartment/lot, the Owner/Property Manager is responsible.
Each strata plan should outline the boundaries of common areas including gardens and courtyards. Maintenance of common areas tends to fall under strata, however, if a property has a private courtyard or trees within the lot, it is the responsibility of the Owner/Property Manager.
The maintenance of windows and security doors are generally covered by the Body Corporate/Strata. However, there are some exceptions.
Hopefully this helps in clearing up the air when it comes to knowing who pays for what within a strata scheme. However, remember, this information is general in nature and can vary from building to building, so it’s always important to check with your Strata Manager first, so that you know who is responsible for any repairs that may come up in your Strata Building.
Are you looking for a Property Manager to take care of your Darwin-based investment property? Get in touch today – we’d love to help!