Who's Liable to Fix Damp in My Unit?

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03 Jun 2013

A Property24 reader asks: 

A Property24 reader says she lives in a complex and asks who is liable for damp repairs to the interior walls in her unit.

I live in a complex and my interior walls have all become damp and have started to bubble, blow up and burst. This is due to dampness occurring from pipes running through the wall. That means it is dampness occurring from a common wall shared with my neighbour. The dampness occurs both on external walls and internal walls.

I would like to know who is liable to fix this? Am I liable as the owner or is it the body corporate?

Jennifer Paddock, Specialist Sectional Title Attorney and Managing Partner of Paddocks, sectional title and homeowners' association specialists, advises:

If you are right that the moisture is coming from pipes in the shared wall and those pipes are taking water not only to your section but also to other sections or the common property then the body corporate is responsible for the maintenance and repair and similarly will be responsible to reimburse you the cost of any repairs to your section caused by the leaking pipes.

If the pipe only serves your section and the faulty area of the pipe is situated in your section, then you would be responsible for the area of the pipe situated in your section and the resultant damp repairs.

Readers may submit questions to Property24’s Guest Expert panel and/or comment below. We may not be able to answer all questions received, but all will be considered. 

About the Author
Jennifer  Paddock

Jennifer Paddock

An admitted attorney, Jennifer has specialised in sectional titles for over 6 years. She is a specialist sectional title attorney with additional experience managing strata title schemes in Victoria, Australia. Jennifer is the Managing Partner of Paddocks, a specialist sectional title training and consultancy firm as well as the Managing Director of Mystrata South Africa, providers of cloud-based sectional title property management software.

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