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Strata communities generally have either a formal committee, or at least a group of active residents who take on the task of resolving problems that invariably occur in their Owners Corporation. If the strata complex does not have an experienced strata specialist in place, problems can arise if the owners’ committee can not (or will not) agree to deal effectively with such problems.
Unfortunately it is a fact of life that complaints can occur, and managers and committees must have policies and procedures in place to manage and resolve such complaints and disputes.
Disputes within an Owners Corporation are far more common than many people realise. Complaints occur for a number of reasons, most generally involving vehicle parking and noise, however it is impossible to predict the issues that can arise and cause problems. And when nobody is prepared to act to resolve the problem… it generally escalates. This is where the experience and skills of a strata specialist can be invaluable in calming the situation and ensuring that the needs of all residents are heard and communicated .
A strata specialist will initially recommend that basic communication is common sense. Sometimes residents who fail to obey the rules sometimes simply do not know the rules. As a starting point, your committee should ensure that all lot owners and tenants are provided a copy of the Owners Corporation rules. As a follow-up, the committee should encourage neighbours to talk about their concerns to resolve disputes.
If this strategy fails, then the strata specialist will know how to take communication to the next step, which can be arranging for mediation or conciliation, made in good faith by all parties, or if all else fails, applying to VCAT to make a legally binding decision about how the dispute is to be settled.

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Four Crucial Steps to preventing clogged gutters

Performing periodic maintenance on your roof is a required task for every homeowner. Where you live is a great factor in determining how often you should check and clean the gutter.
If you are in an urban area where there are few or no trees at all, once a year will do. And the best time to do that is in autumn, right before the winter comes.
If you live in the suburbs or areas where trees are moderate, on the other hand, you should inspect your roof at least twice a year. Frequent checking and cleaning is highly required if you live in a heavily treed area. During the autumn, you must check it at least once or even twice each week.
Aside from doing occasional checkups and cleaning, how else do you ensure that your gutters won’t get clogged?
Cover the gutter.
The easiest way to protect your gutter from leaf buildups and collecting debris is to cover it. Nowadays, there are gutter covers that are designed for easy installation. If you are not the DIY type, you can always have them installed by your trusted dealers.
While there are no gutter coverings that will absolutely make your roof debris-free,  installing one will definitely help save you from having to frequently check and clean it.
Check for proper flow.
Apart from installing gutter guards, make sure water is flowing properly. To do this, you have to flush the gutter with water.
Check that the outlets are unobstructed. If you live in heavily wooded areas, it is advisable to install an outlet that is quite bigger or wider than the standard. This allows any kind of debris to flow through and prevents unspotted build up that often causes gutter blockage.
Make sure water is properly drained into the downspouts.
Make cleaning easy and convenient with removable downspouts or leaders. Blocked downspouts can be very challenging. For one, they are difficult to clean, particularly when you have a big house. With removable downspouts, you will be able to take them down safely on the ground, check them conveniently for obstructions, and clean them easily without ladders.
Fix gutter problems immediately.
The primary cause of clogged gutters is that they are often ignored until leaks or holes associated with them become a major problem. Gutter problems must be corrected as soon as you have spotted them. Patch holes even if they are tiny. If the hole is quite big, then it might require replacing. Install additional gutter support like spikes or ferrules if needed.
No matter how leak-proof the roof is or how debris-proofed the gutters are, you still need to climb up there and do regular inspections, most especially in the spring and autumn. While you may have the best gutter protection installed up there, home experts still recommend inspecting the gutters and clearing out all leaves and debris.
Republished courtesy of Jim’s Mowing

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Should the gutters and downpipes be repaired by the owners corporation?

28 Apr 2023

Each townhouse has gutters and downpipes that appears to be part of their lot. Should the gutters and downpipes be repaired by the owners corporation?


We would like the gutters and downpipes on the townhouses in our blocks to be repaired by the owners corporation.

Each townhouse has its own independent gutter and downpipe that appears to be part of their lot. Do Sections 47 and 47A of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 apply here, allowing the owners corporation to repair the gutters and down pipes? If not, how might we go about having them maintained by the owners corporation?

For practical reasons, it may be preferrable for the repairs/ replacement of the gutters to be arranged by the owners corporation.

Given you have advised that the entire structure is private property, 47(1) of the Act is unlikely to be applicable as this references a service for the benefit of more than one lot and the common property and / or if it is impracticable for the lot owner to carry out the repair or maintenance. Based on your description of the boundary points, the gutters are likely to be private property (under Section 131 of the Act), and as such, individual owners may carry out repairs to their section of the gutter if they wish to.

For practical reasons, it may however, be preferred that the owners corporation arrange for the repairs/replacement of the length of gutters, subject to a special resolution being passed allowing it to provide a service to lot owners under section 12 of the Act. If this is preferred, subject to a special resolution passed permitting the service, this can be done under Section 47(2) at the request and the expense of the lot owners who own the gutters. Discussion should take place at a general meeting to authorise the owners corporation to carry out private property repair and maintenance.

Dilshan Meemanage | MBCM Strata Specialists