NSW: Q&A Common Property Defects and Reimbursement for Repairs

Question: There is no insulation under the concrete roof of my top floor apartment. On hot days, the apartment is basically unliveable. Is the Owners Corporation responsible for this problem?

When the summer sun heats the concrete roof of my top floor apartment all day, that evening the concrete sheds its heat into the apartment! On some over 35 degree days, my apartment is still over 30 degrees in the early morning!

My air-conditioning unit in the lounge room does little and fans in the bedrooms merely distribute the heat radiating from the ceiling.

At the AGM, I requested a special motion for the owners corporation to apply a heatproof paint. I provided documentation, a quote and research, but as a majority of rooftop apartments are occupied by tenants, I was unable to gather sufficient numbers at meeting and the motion was denied.

The summer temperatures in my top floor apartment are unbearable and several other top floor apartment owners agree. We feel this is due to a complete lack of insulation installed when the concrete roof of the block was repaired. Is there any responsibility on the owners corporation to rectify this fault in the concrete roof affecting all top floor apartments? The temperatures are so bad, the apartment is basically unliveable.

Answer: You will need a building consultant’s expert opinion.

While insulation and waterproofing of rooftops is common in the thermal management of buildings, whether or not it is a requirement of the Building Code of Australia for your particular building is a matter you will need a building consultant’s expert opinion on.

If indeed, it is a requirement and you can prove that the absence of insulation (or inadequacy of insulation) is a defect in the common property, then the Owners Corporation has a positive duty to rectify that defect.

For the full question and our detailed response, visit the original publication at Look Up Strata.

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