What Constitutes a Shared Property in a Property under Strata Management?
Common property constitutes of any area in a building or land that is not a component of the purchased unit. The areas are co-owned by everyone who has purchased a unit in the premises, and it is under the management of a strata management service provider. The strata company is hired by a body corporate, which is a group that consists of the property owners. Apartments have boundaries that are defined by the floor surface on each unit, the ceiling, walls, windows and doors.
The following are areas that are considered to be shared property.
- Floors, ramps, and stairways
- Boundary walls that include all structures located on the walls including windows and doors
- Floor finishes
- Ceramic tiles that are attached on the surface of the shared property
- Pipes that service several units
- Electrical wiring servicing several units
- Original floorboards and parquets
- Plaster ceilings
- Balcony doors and walls in properties registered after July 1, 1974. The same applies to slabs that divide floors between the same unit or a deck from a garden.
To know the parts of the unit that belong to you, consult the strata plan, which will also help you identify the common areas. In the strata plan, conventional boundaries are indicated by thick black lines. If the boundaries are still unclear, you can check the registered strata plan.
Common Problems with Body Corporate Properties
Sometimes balconies experience water leaks that flow into the unit, an adjacent unit of a shared area below the unit. This problem is mainly caused by poor drainage or poor design of the balcony. The water can also stagnate on the balcony leading to a leak on the unit below as a result of the waterproof membrane not functioning as intended. Membranes fail due to poor workmanship during construction of the property. The balcony door may also be faulty such that it creates room for water to flow under the door. If left unchecked, the water may get further into your house and damage household items such as carpets.
An impact on the tiles causes this condition. The tiles need to be repaired or replaced as soon as you identify them. When left with the cracks, the tiles move and damage the waterproof membrane. It is the responsibility of the lot owner to carry out the repairs as the inside floor is part of their ownership. However, if the problem is due to poor workmanship, the body corporate should carry out the repairs on their costs.
Spalling or concrete cancer is a condition mostly found in coastal areas. When left unchecked, spalling destroys buildings. If detected in its early stages, concrete cancer is treatable. Regularly paint the floor to seal against moisture. Since balconies are more exposed to water, they should be inspected regularly to establish if they have concrete cancer. Once the problem has been identified, the floor should be repaired and painted promptly.
In conclusion, there are buildings under strata building management in Melbourne and other major cities in Australia. Consult such a company if you want to purchase an apartment. The company will provide you with all necessary information on the properties they manage.