Does Strata Cover Water Damage? | Strata Data

Does Strata Cover Water Damage?

June 14th, 2022

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When water damage occurs at a property that is strata titled, the immediate concern is to find the source of the damage and fix the issue as soon as possible.

However once remedied, the questions looms: Who is going to pay for the damage? Who is responsible for the water infiltration? Depending on the cause of the water leak and the nature of the damage, the person footing the bill is not always clear.

So, does Strata cover water damage? Another great question. Within this guide, Strata Data is going to outline the basics of what happens when there is water damage within a strata unit, and your options as a strata property owner.

Strata Insurance and Water Damage

Strata insurance is taken out to cover claims for water damage that is both sudden and accidental. In most instances, strata insurance will cover the associated damage of a burst or leaking pipes when physical evidence of the damage is initially noticed, and a claim is made to the body corporate. Strata insurance does not cover poor maintenance. If a known problem has been allowed to deteriorate and become more serious, or for regular wear and tear, owners will not be covered by strata insurance.

Importantly, in general strata insurance only covers damage to common property and permanent fixtures and does not cover contents within units.

unit owners should conduct regular inspections to find water damage

 

Who Is Responsible for Water Damage in Strata Properties?

There are a few different entities that may be responsible for water damage in strata properties in Adelaide. The responsibility will depend on the specific situation and how the water damage has occurred.

The most common cause of water damage in strata properties is leaks from plumbing or roofing. If this is the case, then it is usually the strata insurer who is responsible for repairing and paying for any resulting damage.

However, the insurance will not usually cover the cost of the cause such as broken roof tiles, though it will normally cover the cost if it is a pipe under pressure.

In any case, it is always best to check with your strata manager or property manager to determine who is responsible for water damage in your particular situation. They will be able to advise you of the specific policies and procedures that apply in your case.

What Happens If Damage to My Unit Is Caused by An Owner In A Different Lot?

If damage to your property is caused by an owner in a different lot, in general the strata insurance or contents insurance will cover the cost minus the excess. In some cases, the excess may need to be paid by the party at fault.

What Happens If Water Damage is Caused By A Storm?

The strata or contents insurance is generally responsible for damage caused by storms, as well as any resulting water damage. However, this may vary depending on the specific strata scheme and the insurance cover that is in place. It is always best to check with your strata manager or body corporate to be sure. In some cases, the body corporate may be liable for storm damage if they have failed to maintain the property properly.

Most Common Plumbing Issues and Who’s Responsible For Fixing Them

There are a few plumbing issues that seem to be particularly common in strata properties in Adelaide. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common problems, who’s responsible for fixing them.

1. Blocked Toilets

Blocked toilets are one of the most common plumbing problems in Adelaide strata properties. In most cases, the blockage will be caused by someone flushing something down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed (e.g., nappies, sanitary products, wet wipes, etc.).

So, who’s responsible for fixing it? The owner or occupier of the unit where the toilet is located is generally responsible for clearing the blockage. However, if tree roots are the cause of the blockage, the corporation may be deemed the responsible party.

What can you do if your toilet is blocked? If you’re unable to clear the blockage yourself, or if the blockage keeps coming back, then you should contact your strata manager or property manager and ask them for advice.

common repair work that sometimes might need to be done by unit owners to avoid water damage

 

 

2. Leaking Taps

Leaking taps are another common plumbing problem in strata properties. In most cases, a leaking tap will be caused by a worn washer or O-ring.

Who’s responsible for fixing it? The owner or occupier of the unit where the tap is located is generally responsible for repairing or replacing the tap. However, if the tap is located in a common area (e.g., a hallway or stairwell), then the strata corporation may be liable for the cost of repairs.

What can you do if your tap is leaking? If your tap is leaking, we suggest you contact a licenced plumber to make the repairs.

3. Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are another common plumbing problem in Adelaide strata properties. In most cases, a burst pipe will be caused by a build-up of pressure in the pipe, which can be caused by a number of things (e.g., a blockage in the pipe, a change in temperature, etc.).

Who’s responsible for fixing it? The strata corporation is generally responsible for repairing or replacing burst pipes. However, if the burst pipe is located in a unit, then the owner or occupier of the unit may be liable for the cost of repairs.

What can you do if your pipe has burst? If your pipe has burst, you should contact your strata manager or property manager and ask them to arrange for a plumber to make the repairs.

4. Leaking Roof

Leaking roofs are another common plumbing problem in Adelaide strata properties. In most cases, the leak will be caused by a hole or crack in the roof, which can be caused by a number of things (e.g., severe weather, age, tree branches, etc.).

Who’s responsible for fixing it? The strata corporation is generally responsible for repairing or replacing leaking roofs.

Wrapping Up

Water damage and strata insurance is a complex area. The best course of action is to conduct routine maintenance by a licenced professional to ensure systems are in working order. For all assistance regarding insurance and your Strata property, get in contact with a member of the Strata Data team. Our team is ready to discuss the complexities of insurance on a property and can walk you through your options as a strata property owner.

Our Strata management services ensure the right parties are covered in the event of water damage, and we can help outline who may be responsible if complications arise. Strata insurance can be a complex field to navigate alone, and our team is determined to make strata living easier.

For more information on how Strata Data can help manage your strata property or advice on strata repairs and maintenance, including for water damage, get in touch with us today at 08 8372 2787 or by contacting our team online.

Please note: The legislation on holding insurance, and which entity is responsible for holding said insurance can vary. This article is a guide to this area of insurance only. Any advice in this article is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision to acquire any product(s) or to continue to hold any product we recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances.