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How To Handle Strata Plumbing Issues

Professional male plumber fixing shower hose indoors

Africa Studio from Adobe Stock

Living in a strata community comes with several benefits, including shared costs among the other homeowners, low-maintenance amenities, a better level of security, and other similar conditions. Essentially, a strata scheme refers to multi-unit residential properties owned by several owners. When you buy a strata property, you have ownership of an individual lot. Still, you’re responsible for maintaining the shared areas of the building, including all the external walls, roofs, and floors.   

Because of this scheme, you may wonder how the multiple homeowners navigate issues about the management and maintenance of a strata-titled property’s shared areas, including those related to plumbing.   

If you’re an owner in a strata-titled residential community, keep reading this article to learn how to handle strata plumbing issues more effectively.   

What Is Strata Plumbing   

Primarily, strata plumbing refers to a system of pipelines, fittings, and other fixtures that provide adequate water flow inside and outside of a building covered by a strata title. It means that the plumbing system of the apartment units and townhouses under a strata scheme are interconnected.   

Unlike what other people think, the different house units don’t have a separate plumbing system unless it has been agreed to before planning the architecture of the residential units. In most cases, strata-titled properties don’t prefer the construction of separate plumbing because installing many pipes and fixtures doesn’t make sense financially.   

 Professional male plumber replacing sink trap indoors

Ways To Navigate Strata Plumbing Issues   

Now that you’re familiar with what strata plumbing is, then it’s time to educate yourself on the different ways of handling plumbing issues associated with a strata-titled property. These can include:  

Report The Issue To The Strata Property Board   

When dealing with a strata plumbing issue, reporting it to the strata property board can be the first thing you should do as a lot owner. Since you’re living in a building with other homeowners, it’s essential to notify the strata manager about the issue to ensure it’ll be addressed immediately.   

Failing to report faulty plumbing to the proper authority may result in a more costly setback for the entire body corporate or to the lot/unit owners in a strata scheme.   

Ask The Body Corporate To Call In A Professional   

After notifying the proper strata authority, the next thing to do is find a reliable residential plumber who has experience fixing plumbing problems in a strata-titled property. They should be able to come over to the location and assess the situation. Once they determine the root cause of the issue, they can push through with the necessary repairs.   

However, before starting the repairs, the body corporate or the multiple owners need to identify whether the issues are minor or significant. For malfunctioning plumbing that requires minor fixes, a meeting with the rest of the homeowners may be unnecessary. But, to be safe, it’s best to check the corporation rules. On the other hand, a meeting with the owners is necessary to tackle the potential costs of significant repairs.  

File A Motion To Request For The Repairs If The Corporation Takes No Action   

If the owner’s corporation didn’t take any action about your repair request during the meeting, it’s essential to file a motion to speed up the proposal during the next meeting. By doing so, you can address the faulty plumbing as soon as possible to prevent further complications that can potentially affect the multiple homeowners’ plumbing in the long run.  

Determine Who Is Liable For The Problem   

To properly handle strata plumbing issues, it’s also crucial to identify the individual or individuals liable for the trouble. Doing so can help resolve any disputes and negotiations under the table to settle the problem for good. The following are some plumbing issues and the potentially liable people for them:  

  • Water leaks from one property to another: If the leak occurred because of the plumbing system that provides services to more than one property, the liability rests upon the owners’ corporation. However, if the leak happens in an individual owner’s internal plumbing, that owner can be held accountable.  
  • Leaking shower in a private unit: Unless the leaking shower is caused by a plumbing problem arising from a common infrastructure, the responsibility falls on the private owner who discovers the leak.  
  • Broken kitchen sink: Any issues with your kitchen sink is the lot owner’s responsibility. So, if you find a damaged kitchen sink in your unit, you may be liable for the repair unless the issue happens because of faulty plumbing in a common shared area.  
  • Water damage: When the damage occurs in the common property, the corporation will be liable for the repairs. When the water damage comes from one lot to another, the corporation will hold the individual owner accountable.  

Bottom Line  

Dealing with strata plumbing issues can be challenging because the pipes, fixtures, and fittings are designed and constructed differently. The problems arising from an internal plumbing system are the primary responsibility of the individual owner, while those coming from a common infrastructure are the corporation’s liability. This setup can be challenging to understand without proper knowledge of how strata plumbing works.  

Therefore, if you’re living in a strata property, keep the information mentioned above in mind to know how to handle plumbing mishaps. The more you’re familiar with the steps to be taken, the easier it’ll be to resolve these matters.