Unit downstairs crumbling away...

Was hoping to get some advice...

The unit below my neighbour's is riddled with damp in the kitchen and bathroom - big chunks are coming out from the wall and it feels wet. My neighbour is worried that the wall will crumble and her unit will collapse.

Apparently the tenants in the damp unit have complained to their Agent for 4 years to no avail - the owner refuses to fix it.

So, what happens here? What rights does my neighbour have to force the owner of the downstairs unit to repair the damp damage? Can anything be done? Is this a body corp issue, or does she have to deal directly with the owner? If her unit does collapse, does the Body Corp building insurance cover this?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
 
Dodo, if your neighbour and yourself are owner occupiers then you should be hounding the body corp to rectify the problem. Better yet, get onto the bc committee as they seem hopeless.. I find it hard to believe a structural wall could be "crumbling away" with no action taking place :eek:

Maybe you could threaten the bc by saying you'll contact the local council to have the building condemned if you're really worried it will fall down.

Last time I had a look at my building insurance it only covered fire and natural disaster.. General degredation of the building isn't covered, even faults in the building construction aren't covered - that needs to be chased up by the building warranty, which is valid for 5 or 6yrs after building completion.
 
The problem is no one knew about this until she happened to go and visit them, hence her sudden concern.

So it's a body corp issue?

Do they have the power to force the owner to fix up his wall?
 
Yes it's a body corp issue.

I can't see how the owner would be responsible for the wall damage unless it's obvious there has been malicious damage or they've opened a steam sauna business... even that amount of dampness shouldn't make a wall crumble... Can you post some pictures? What kind of wall is it - brick, masonry or concrete?
 
There could be a number of reasons causing this however with out photos or more information on the construction of the building hard to really make a comment.

If I was the owner of the unit I would be getting a builder in to find out what he feels is the cause and get a report and costs to fix at least then you can go to the Body Corp (if its thier responsibility that is) to recify the problem.

Brian
 
Was hoping to get some advice...

The unit below my neighbour's is riddled with damp in the kitchen and bathroom - big chunks are coming out from the wall and it feels wet. My neighbour is worried that the wall will crumble and her unit will collapse.

Would suggest that this is leaking plumbing and that a plumber should be called to get quotes to fix or at least comment. The crumbling is most likely only the render which has been saturated.

Apparently the tenants in the damp unit have complained to their Agent for 4 years to no avail - the owner refuses to fix it.

It may be a strata issue but it could also be down to the owner. In some of the strata's that I am involved, only the plumbing in the outside walls is a strata issue with any plumbing runs in internal walls the responsibility of the owner. This has come about through the strata insurance not covering the internal wall plumbing. Don't know how legal this actually is.

The reason I mention this is exactly the issue you now have - potential leak affects the building but owner refuses to fix - building deteriorates and nobody wants to do anything about it.


So, what happens here? What rights does my neighbour have to force the owner of the downstairs unit to repair the damp damage? Can anything be done? Is this a body corp issue, or does she have to deal directly with the owner? If her unit does collapse, does the Body Corp building insurance cover this?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

Based on my assumptions it is unlikely that the building is going to collapse anytime soon but it will deteriorate over time.

Strata could get involved based on an emergency situation (real or imagined). Strata could then authorise repair and bill the owner as the leak affected common property.

We have done this previously.

Leak in bathroom running out underneath in the parking area. Plumber checked unit and reported that there was no apparent plumbing leaks but severe leaking washers. The tenant then pushed the shower head against the wall so that the water would run down the wall rather than having to listen to heavy dripping or running water. (Shower over bath so no or inadequate water proofing and strata not responsible for water proofing.) The water was getting behind the tiles and then running through the whole bathroom and out any holes/cracks.

The plumber fixed the washers on all the taps and the strata billed the owner.

It sounds to me like nobody is taking charge. Sitting around and complaining to each other doesn't cut it the person that is concerned needs to get involved and drive a solution through the BS.

Cheers
 
My neighbour has informed me that it seems that the damage is being caused by a leaking internal pipe in the floor of her unit/roof of the one below.

Body corp are saying since this pipe services her bath, she must pay to fix it.

Is this right?
 
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