whoes liability? Concrete cancer. any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by startingnow, 7th Oct, 2009.

  1. startingnow

    startingnow Member

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    after owning my unit for around a year some serious concrete cancer has now become visible from under the render (which was hidden when i purchase my unit). Looking into the very costly ways of repairing this, as its the main beam holding up our unit :mad: Is there anyway insurance would cover this, or is this one going to be all out of my pocket. I have been told to expect $10,000, to $40,000 for a full repair. im worried because im on the second story, if my unit falls down, i dont even have any land i can rebuild on. the body corperate is innactive, so there is no help there. I am really starting to loose sleep about it all being our first unit we have bought.

    Any sugguestions on what i can do here? I love this place, but im worried the repairs will almost put us in more debt than our unit is worth :(

    thanks in advance for any sugguestions
     
  2. The Y-man

    The Y-man Member

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    Are we talking an apartment here?

    Can you explain what you mean by Owners Corp is inactive?

    Cheers,

    The Y-man
     
  3. startingnow

    startingnow Member

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    yeah, its an apartment above a shop. Im not sure what an innactive body corp is exactly, but ive been told its everyone looks after there own piece of building.
     
  4. The Y-man

    The Y-man Member

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    Ok........so is there any building and public liability insurance?

    Cheers,

    The Y-man
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Member

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    Is there any paperwork saying what the body corporate covers. Just because they looks after their own piece of building doesn't mean that is how it SHOULD be.

    Perhaps if they all had concrete cancer (which I would think is highly likely seeing that your unit has it) the "inactive" body corporate might just get active and fix this.

    A friend in a 21 unit highrise had to pay a special levy just after she bought into the complex. This was about 22 years ago and the levy was about $5K. The whole complex had concrete cancer.

    I would ask to see whatever paperwork is available to try to work out where you stand.
     
  6. startingnow

    startingnow Member

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    yeah, its kind of a complicated setup where i am the unit above a shop, and my floor extents past the shops roof (where the cancer is). i am the only one with concrete as the bottom shop is brick. I do have building insurance that was taken out when i bought the property, but would the existing damage be covered by insurance?

    thanks everyone for the fast replies. i appreciate it
     
  7. Perp

    Perp Member

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    I doubt it would be covered by insurance because it's a maintenance issue, rather than damage due to a natural disaster/accident.

    Given that it's a structural beam, it may be covered by the sinking fund and/or a special levy (ie the cost may be shared).

    I'd be seeking some legal advice, pronto. You can usually get some initial advice for free by going through a community law centre or something like that, to at least figure out where you stand, and whether you need more serious (paid) legal advice.

    Good luck; I'm sure it's very worrying.
     
  8. handyandy

    handyandy Member

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    It could be by general agreement that the body corp does not exist. We have had a few post mentioning this sort of arrangement where everybody takes care of their own area and in relation to common expenses (building insurance) one of the units splits it amongst the other lot owners and everybody pays their share.

    http://www.somersoft.com/forums/showthread.php?p=569556&highlight=body+corporate#post569556

    In the main it seems that where there is an inactive BC there is no shared structure. In your case there is a shared structure in that the shop below could not exist without your floor.

    As such it is a shared expense to repair the concrete cancer and it might be time to activate the 'inactive' BC. First stop should be the dept of fair trading (ensure you have the strata number) and they can give advice as the how to activate the BC. Another option is to speak to some strata managers who may also be able to advice further.

    Insurance will not cover concrete cancer and as CC is generally old (over 7 years) it will not be covered by any builders guarantee.

    Depending on the number of lots there will still be a substantial cost to each unit holder but at least all the CC can be treated at once.

    Cheers
     
  9. vbplease

    vbplease Still on my L plates

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    agree with ozperp. I just checked out some of my building ins and found it only pays out for
    Doesn't cover the general wear and tear of a building, or in this case, shoddy building practice or design.. How old is the building? There may still be a building warranty in place?
    Good luck sorting out the body corp sinking fund.
    I wouldn't be worried about the place coming down any time soon, imo, your slab/beam should be structurally sound for quite a while.. Steel takes a very long time to corrode. If that's any consolation :(
     
  10. The Y-man

    The Y-man Member

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  11. startingnow

    startingnow Member

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    thanks allot everone for the advice and help. i have someone coming in tommorrow to inspect how bad it is, and what can be done. Appriciate all the help given from everyone on here. I owe you all a beer :)
     
  12. startingnow

    startingnow Member

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    The Verdict

    well, they guy came around today and cut it all back only to find the cancer had only reached the "superficial" parts of the beam. 3.5 hours later of cuting, drilling and repatching, the jobs covered for $350.00. Super happy!

    i just need to buy some texture paint in a few days when everything has set well and bring it back to its origional finish....


    PHHHHHHEWWWW!!!!

    Thought i should let everyone know how it all went. Thanks again everyone for your help and advice. luckily the problem was much smaller than i had first been scared into :):):)
     
  13. Joe C

    Joe C Member

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    Glad it worked out for you!

    There is no worse feeling than buying something that later turns into a nightmare (which wasn't the case for you in the end anyway).
     
  14. pulse

    pulse Member

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    Just remember that concrete cancer won't just be in the areas that have been treated. All the concrete in the building needs to be waterproofed or you'll be fixing it again in 10 years

    Cheers
    Pulse