Although repair and maintenance responsibilities often differ from building to building, some basics remain consistent in standard condo buildings. You pay strata fees for a reason, and it’s important to know what’s included in your strata coverage. We answered some frequently asked questions regarding repair and maintenance responsibilities in condo buildings.
Standard coverage included in strata insurance
Although the coverage of your strata fees may vary from building to building, some maintenance is typically included in all condo buildings. This should consist of maintaining common areas such as hallways, elevators, stairwells, lobbies/entrances, the parking garage, and any additional shared spaces such as a gym or event room.
Who covers window repairs and replacements?
Windows on the exterior of your building are almost always considered common property (even if they are in your specific unit), so replacing and maintaining them as required is the responsibility of your strata corporation. If your windows don’t need to be replaced but want to replace them for aesthetic reasons, you will need permission from your strata corporation and will typically not be covered. Often, the exterior windows of a condo building are part of the cohesive appearance of the building, which your strata corporation may not want to be altered. Make sure to talk to your strata manager before replacing or altering any windows in your unit.
Should my utilities be included?
Some utilities, such as water and garbage, are included in your strata fees in many condo buildings. Although you may not personally receive the bill, don’t forget that you are still paying for these things. Therefore, if they are used in excess, your strata fees may be increased. Other utilities, such as heating, are most often your responsibility.
What about maintenance on the original appliances?
Appliance, maintenance, and repairs are usually not included in your strata corporation’s insurance coverage. Although, be sure to check about warranties. It would be best if you were given this information when you take possession of your unit.
Who is responsible for plumbing repairs?
You are responsible for any plumbing repairs and maintenance required in your unit.
Who pays for the repairs of damaged shared property?
If one person explicitly damages any common area, that person will be responsible for the repairs (such as someone driving into the door of your parking garage). Although everyone uses the garage door, the person that did the damage will be responsible for the cost of the repairs.
Although your strata corporation should have a comprehensive overview of what’s included in your monthly fees, sometimes understanding repair and maintenance responsibilities can be confusing. We encourage you to become familiar with your strata coverage to ensure peace of mind knowing what to do when something in your building or unit requires attention.