Broken glass in strata schemes can be a nuisance to repair, however it is important to address these breakages as soon as possible before they become a hazard to strata residents, visitors or contractors accessing the building. Left neglected, broken glass can cause serious harm to residents and visitors and become a security breach especially if it involves broken windows and entrance doors. It can also result in further damage to the building itself if there is severe weather.
Anyone who finds broken glass within a strata scheme should report this to the strata manager or building manager as soon as possible so that they can assess the situation and take the necessary course of action to fix it promptly.
Common causes of glass breakages in strata
There are numerous ways that glass can be broken within a strata scheme. Some of the most common causes include:
- Window cleaning
- Rocks or balls
- Windblown objects
- Walking into glass doors
Who is responsible for glass repairs?
Typically, the lot owner is responsible for any repairs within the boundaries of their unit, whereas the owners corporation is responsible for maintaining the main structure of the building, common property areas and fixtures and fittings.
What should lot owners do?
When a lot owner comes across glass damage or broken glass within their lot, they should notify the strata manager or building manager as soon as possible to take the appropriate action. If renting the lot, the tenant should contact their landlord or real estate agent.
To understand who is responsible for the repair and maintenance, owners should check the registered strata plan and their contract to check the boundaries of the lot and common property. If the breakage is within the lot boundaries, the owner must front the costs, whilst if it’s on common property, the owners corporation are responsible for paying. If possible, photographs should be taken as evidence of the breakage which can be provided to the strata manager along with the personal insurance company.
It is also important to consider whether there are any strata by-laws, as there may be instances where the owners corporation is responsible for the maintenance, repair work and cost of all windows to keep this same aesthetic for the entire building.
Some breakages may require urgent or temporary repairs so the lot owner should inform the strata manager immediately, especially if there is a risk to the owner or the general public.
Things to consider for the owners corporation
The owners corporation is responsible for the maintenance and repair work of any common property areas. If broken windows or glass is left neglected, the owners corporation could be liable if this ends up causing damage or harm to lots or owners, tenants, contractors or visitors.
Window safety devices
The owners corporation is also responsible for the installation and maintenance of window safety devices within their strata scheme. Under new laws, windows must stop a window from opening more than 12.5cm when locked, and safety screens or bars must not have gaps larger than 12.5cm.
Typically, the responsibility of external window cleaning is the responsibility of the lot owner, however, a strata scheme may have a by-law that states otherwise. For example, there may be a by-law that stipulates an owners corporation is responsible for regularly cleaning all exterior surfaces of glass in windows and doors that cannot be accessed by the owner of the lot safely or at all.
Get in touch
To find out more about who is responsible for glass repairs in your strata scheme, speak to one of the friendly team members at The Strata Collective today.