Cracking is not merely aesthetic and could require a varying degree of maintenance. Each individual case is different, and this brief article does not propose to give you an answer to your specific Strata’s cracking problems. Degree’s of cracking vary, and the basic hairline cracks.
External cracking is the responsibility of the Strata Corporation such as Stratarama, whilst internal cracking to patch and paint is the responsibility of the unit owner. The cracking I refer to, however, in making this statement, assumes that the cracking is minor, perhaps hairline cracks or worse, but still standard cracking which occurs due to basic building movement. Some areas in South Australia, of course, are more prone to building movement due to reactive soils in the area. In these areas, it isn’t uncommon for some units to form cracks seasonally. Another cause for movement and cracking could be the level of watering undertaken on the common and subsidiary grounds, or tree roots.
When referring to large cracks, which could be a structural issue, or a crack which can be seen both internally and externally, allowing weather elements or sunlight to get in to the unit. Then this could well become a Strata Corporation matter, and may require investigation into any underlying cause, such as storm water problems. This may require assessment by a Plumber or even an Engineer to determine the cause and the actions required to remedy (storm water replacement or underpinning). These matters would be a Strata collective matter to consider.
Members should reach out to other Owners/ Residents to determine whether or not their units are (or have experienced) cracking and to what extent. Generally small cracks to paint and plaster internally are considered an owners responsibility but cracks to the bricks work and structural walls would be looked at by the Corporation. This does depend on work carried out by your group in the past and any resolutions passed, so your Strata Manager would have a better idea on the history of this.
Please note that the above Article focuses on Cracking in a Strata Corporation. Those Owners owning a Community Title lot in South Australia will note that they own the external walls and their entire Lot, making cracking their own individual responsibility. In a Community group, the Members are only responsible collectively maintaining common property. Areas of cracking that could be a Community responsibility would be driveways or common retaining as an example.
This article was originally published on Lookupstrata.com.au