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|Maintenance of Sectional Title|
Section 37(1 )(j) of the Act requires the body corporate to maintain
the common property and keep it in a good state of repair. In addition
to the land on which the scheme is situated, the common property
includes the outer half of outside walls, the foundations, the roof,
and the space between the upper ceilings and the roof. Buildings and
parts of buildings that are intended for common use also form part
of the common property. This means that a leaking roof, cracked outer
wall or damaged foundation has to be repaired by the body corporate
and not by an individual owner. An owner on the ground floor has to pay
as much towards a roof repair as the unfortunate person on the top
floor on whose head the raindrops keep falling! The only exception to
this is that the hot water system is the responsibility of the owner
of the section or sections served by the installation even though part
of the installation may be situated on the common property.
Subject to restrictions imposed under section 39(1), all common property
maintenance and repairs can be authorised by the trustees without
reference to the body corporate, even if it involves raising a special
levy to pay for the repairs or essential maintenance. They may not however
authorise improvements to the common property without following the
procedures prescribed in management rule 33.
Internal repairs and maintenance within a section are the responsibility
of the owner of the section. Should the owner fail to carry out essential
maintenance to his or her section, management rule 70 allows the body
corporate to arrange for the work to be done, in which case the costs of
repair will be recovered from the owner of the section. If an owner's
section suffers damage as a result of a common property defect, the owner
is entitled to claim the cost of repairs from the body corporate.