Strata windows and doors – here’s who is responsible for fixing them

Contractor fixing window

How to get your strata property’s windows and doors fixed

Who is responsible for fixing or replacing your windows and doors will vary depending on your state, and your property’s age

Have you recently noticed a crack in your strata property’s windows or wondered whether it’s time to replace a rickety front door?

If so, it’s wise to contact your strata manager to check who is responsible for the doors or windows in question before organising any repairs. Why? Because it could be an owners corporation responsibility, depending on your strata property’s age and the state in which you live.

However, as a rule of thumb, you can safely assume that internal windows and doors, such as bedroom doors and windows that are on internal walls, are a lot owner’s responsibility.

1. In New South Wales, the owners corporation is responsible for windows and doors in strata properties registered after 1974

If you live in New South Wales and your strata property was registered after 1974, your front door and all external windows are considered common property. That means if they need to be repaired or replaced, the responsibility for this falls to the owners corporation.

If your strata property was registered before 1974, doors and windows that fall within the boundary lines of the lot are generally considered the lot owner’s responsibility. However, this doesn’t mean you can replace your existing windows or doors with a completely new design. Any replacement will need to look identical to the original, not altering the strata property’s overall look.

Regardless of who is responsible for the windows, the installation and maintenance of window safety devices falls to the owners corporation.

Similarly, your unit’s front door is always an owners corporation responsibility.

2. In Queensland, doors and windows on building format plans must be repaired by the body corporate

Body corporate properties in Queensland fall into two categories – building format plans and standard format plans.

Building format plan properties are generally multi-storey complexes such as apartment blocks, while standard format plan properties are generally townhouse-style complexes with gardens as well as buildings.

If your property falls under the building format plan category, your front door and any windows and window fittings on the outside perimeter of your property must be repaired by the body corporate. However, all internal doors and windows are a lot owner responsibility.

If your property falls under the standard format category, then repairing and replacing all doors and windows is considered the responsibility of the lot owner.

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3. In Victoria, your Plan of Subdivision will determine who must repair doors and windows

The rules around who is responsible for repairing doors and windows in owners corporation properties are a little complex, so it’s best to first look at your owners corporation property’s Plan of Subdivision. This Plan will specify where the door or window in question falls in terms of the building’s boundaries.

If the boundary is defined as exterior facing, the door or window repairs are most likely an owners corporation responsibility. If considered a median boundary, the responsibility could fall onto the owners corporation too – this will vary from property to property, so we recommend speaking to your owners corporation manager about this. If the door or window is on an interior boundary, then the responsibility for repairs and maintenance generally lies with the lot owner.

If one of your strata property’s windows or doors requires repairs and you would like to have it replaced, it’s wise to alert your strata manager. They will be able to advise you whether the repair or replacement is a lot owner or strata responsibility and talk you through the process of having the repairs or replacement approved and actioned.

When it comes to caring for and protecting your strata property, our facilities management team at BFMS are the experts for the job.  Known for their professionalism and personal service, our team offers everything from expert full and part-time building management to a range of other related repairs, maintenance, and management services.  Or, download our FREE Community Living guide series on defects here. If you would like to learn more about Community Health & Safety and related services to ensure your protection, click here.

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