Who’s responsible for common property defects?
Committee and owner obligations to fix common property defects
Investing or living in multi-owned properties means adhering to strict rules and requirements, such as a duty to maintain and repair the common property. This means, in many circumstances, once committees and owners become aware of defects on the common property, they can’t ignore it. In fact, they have an obligation to repair and maintain the building’s value and to keep all those who come and go safe. The duty to repair the common property is considered a statutory obligation. This results in committee and owner obligations to fix common property defects. Should something go wrong, and it was a foreseen possibility that the defect would cause this incident to occur, the committee could be found liable.
When it comes to committee and owner obligations to fix common property defects, regulations vary across jurisdictions. It is argued in some courts that the statutory obligations to rectify or fix a defect only applies to defects that are considered repairable. And that when a defect isn’t repairable, such as when an entire major element needs to be replaced and re-installed, then the statutory obligations to fix might not apply.
To answer the common question of who’s responsible for common property defects, this should follow a democratic process, meaning that defects on common property are the issue of all owners. Defect rectification processes can be a long and hard road as owners need to ban together to manage and fix the issue. Committees and owners will need to vote on how they fix the issue and how they manage the reporting and rectification process.