In Black v Owners Corporation OC1-POS539033E  VCAT 185, a resident developed a disability which required her to use a wheelchair or scooter. She had difficulty accessing her apartment because she was unable to operate the entry doors and the ramp from the car park was unsafe for her. The resident sought an order that the OC make adjustments to the common property so she could access the building independently.
The question of how an owners corporation might obtain a remedy for defects on common property is a complex one and, to a certain extent, is dependent upon the contracts executed as between the developer and builder, and between the developer and the purchasers of the lots. However, some general observations can be made. Continue reading
Lot owners have successfully upheld their rights in relation to leases granted over car spaces and courtyards on common property. Continue reading
In Kanter v Milroy Investments Australia Pty Ltd  VCAT 90, a company was fined $10,000 for contempt because it breached orders previously made by the Tribunal. Continue reading
In Owners Corporation SP023744S v Scarlett  VCAT 99 the Tribunal refused to grant an injunction to stop a lot owner building a second floor that would encroach into the common property. Continue reading
In Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners Corporation Strata Plan 61288 & anor  HCA 36, the High Court rejected the notion that a builder owes a duty of care to an owners corporation for pure economic loss arising from latent defects in common property. The case turned on whether the owners corporation was “vulnerable” in the relevant sense. The commercial nature of the development and the detailed contractual framework between the developer and the builder, and the developer and the purchasers of the lots that provided for how defects would be dealt with, were factors weighing against vulnerability.
Under the OC Act, the OC has a duty to the duty to repair and maintain the common property, fittings and fixtures and some equipment and services. Continue reading