Living in a body corporate scheme has plenty of benefits, but can sometimes be the cause of confusion when it comes to determining who is responsible for what. Such as the roof of the building – if it needs repairs or maintenance, who needs to resolve the issue? It’s not always a clear-cut, one-size-fits-all answer, so let’s delve a little deeper and find out.
Common property or individual property?
Generally speaking, the body corporate is responsible for repairing and maintaining common property (all shared areas of the scheme that fall outside an individual owner’s property). The individual lot owner is only responsible for repairs and maintenance to their own individual unit or property.
Sounds simple enough – but where it becomes challenging is defining what constitutes common property. That’s because the definition of common property changes depending on what format plan your building falls under.
It depends on the format plan of your building
There are two different types of format plan, and the boundaries between common property and individual property will vary depending on this plan:
Building format plan
A building format plan applies to all vertical developments (i.e. high rise buildings, no matter how many levels they contain). Under this type of plan, the boundaries between individual lots and common property are measured from the centre of the floors, walls, doors and ceilings.
Standard format plan
A standard format plan applies to gated communities and townhouses. Under this type of plan, the boundaries between individual lots and common property are measured from pegs in the ground, just as a regular house lot would be measured. Imagine a line encircling an entire unit, and you’ll get an idea of where the boundary lies.
The roof under a building format plan
When it comes to the roof of a building, under a building format plan the boundary line would lie in the centre of the ceiling. That means that the lot owner is responsible for the ceiling of their lot, while the body corporate is responsible for the roof of the lot. So, if a problem developed on the roof of the building over a certain lot, it would be a body corporate matter to resolve, even if the problem is only affecting one unit. However, if a problem developed on the ceiling of the same unit, it would be the unit owner’s responsibility to resolve.
There are always exceptions of course, such as when a gutter on the roof only services one lot. In that case, it would be the responsibility of the lot owner to repair, maintain or clean it.
The roof under a standard format plan
Under a standard format plan, the individual lot owner is responsible for everything within the imaginary encircling boundary line, which includes the roof and ceiling. So, if a problem occurred on either the roof or the ceiling of one unit, it would be the responsibility of that one lot owner to resolve.
Once again, the guttering can cause an exception. If a problem occurred in the guttering above one unit, it would actually be a body corporate matter to resolve, as the guttering is a complete system that services all the lots, not just one.
So, it’s really pretty clear once you understand where the boundaries lie. If the roof or ceiling problem occurs within your lot boundary, wherever that may be, you are responsible for it. If it falls outside, the body corporate is responsible.
If you have any questions, contact the leaders in body corporate management in Queensland here: https://www.capitolbca.com.au/contact-us/