NSW Q&A: Strata Committee Powers – Cooling Tower Too Hot to Handle

Question: An old cooling tower in our building only services a proportion of the apartments. What are the strata committee powers? The committee is proposing to replace the tower with ducted air conditioning to the affected units at the cost of the Owners Corporation.

Answer: The strata committee seems to be abusing their powers and not acting in the best interests of the Owners Corporation.

So, your scheme is not a large one (under 100 lots).

Because the installations were there at the time of registration of the strata plan, it would appear that the cooling tower (but perhaps not the connections) are common property and the responsibility of the Owners Corporation.

Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement for common property to be “available to all owners”. For example, you might have a common property grease trap in the scheme, but it is for the exclusive use of the retail shop on the ground floor which no one else may access.

As you correctly point out, the decommissioning of the cooling tower could only properly be effected by the Owners Corporation.

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Please note that this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice.