Maintenance and Repairs

A building format plan creates lots with reference to the physical building elements.

In this plan type the edges of the lot are usually the external walls of the unit or townhouse.

A standard format plan creates the lots as a piece of land, and then that land can have a building on it.

This type of plan can usually only exist in townhouse or gated community developments.

In general, a body corporate must maintain the common property and owners must each maintain their lot.

This general rule changes for lots subject to a building format plan (see above) where the body corporate has the added responsibility for parts of the land and building that are not common property. This includes railings, balustrades, membranes, supporting framework and more.

In simple terms, a building format plan is where lots are defined by a building’s structure and projections of that structure (such as floors, ceilings, walls). The boundaries of lots are found in the centre of those structural elements. Lots in high rise apartment buildings are usually created under a building format plan.

A standard format plan (the former group title plan) is where lots are defined by marks in the ground (survey pegs) or edges of structural elements (buildings). Lots in townhouse complexes are usually created under a standard format plan.

A body corporate for a scheme subject to a building format plan will almost always be responsible for termite damage, whether it is found on common property or a lot.

It is different for a body corporate subject to a standard format plan because it will not carry the same maintenance responsibilities for the structural elements of a lot. In that case, the individual owner will be responsible for termite damage found in their lot unless they could show that:

  • the body corporate breached its duty to maintain common property by failing to undertake adequate pest control; and
  • the termites came from common property, and therefore caused the damage to the lot.

In most cases, if the water ingress is due to a failed building membrane, it becomes the responsibility of the body corporate.

In general, a fence between two lot courtyards is a shared cost between those two lot owners.

A fence between a lot and the common property is a shared cost between the lot owner and the body corporate.

The main perimeter fence around the whole complex is a body corporate responsibility.

The body corporate is responsible for pest control on the common property (shared areas).

Lot owners are responsible for pest control within their own lot.

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