Windows in NSW strata property - who's responsible?

Window chips, cracks and breakages can sometimes occur in strata properties, whether it’s by accidental or deliberate means such as windblown objects, thrown balls or vandalism.

Before you get your windows repaired or replaced, it’s best to first check with your strata manager, as the responsibility could fall upon the owners corporation rather than the property owner.

There are numerous factors which can determine where the responsibility falls, including the state you live in or the age of the strata property. However, it’s generally seen that any internal windows such as bedroom windows that are on internal walls are the responsibility of the lot owner, whilst external windows are the responsibility of the owners corporation.

NSW strata properties registered before 1974

For strata properties that were registered before 1974 in NSW, windows that are located on the lot boundary lines are deemed the lot owner’s responsibility. Keep in mind though that any replacement window will need to resemble the look of the original window to keep with the overall appearance of the strata property. You are unable to choose any window you like, as you can in your own house.

NSW strata properties registered after 1974

If your NSW strata property was registered after 1974, the owners corporation is responsible for repairing or replacing any external windows.

Who is responsible for the window installation and maintenance?

No matter whether the responsibility to repair or replace the window lies with the owners corporation or the lot owner, it is the owners corporation who is responsible for both the installation of windows and maintenance of window safety devices, not the lot owner.

Who is responsible for replacing window consumables?

For window consumables like rollers and sashes , it is the owners corporation’s responsibility to maintain these, unless the windows fall under the remit of the lot owner under an exclusive-use by-law. Most fly screens are the owners responsibility however any original fly screens installed by the original are the responsibility of the owners corporation to maintain

Who should maintain and pay for the cleaning of exterior glass windows?

For windows deemed as common property, it is the responsibility of the owners corporation to maintain and clean common property, which includes exterior windows. This should be part of the regular cleaning schedule. Keep in mind though, that the strata property may have a by-law stating that lot owners or occupants are responsible for cleaning any windows that are accessible, i.e., windows that can be safely reached from their balcony.

Are replacement windows required to be double glazed?

Any windows being replaced in a strata property needs to comply with the current requirements of AS1288 (the Australian Glazing Standard), however, they do not necessarily require to have any glazing improvements such as double glazing. In spite of this, many older strata properties may still have their original single-glazed windows, causing draughts or letting in noise. If the opportunity arose for the owners corporation to replace all windows in the building, upgrading to double glazing could help insulate each unit better and improve energy usage. Of course, doing so will require each window to look the same, whilst heritage buildings may need special approval from the local council to upgrade to double glazing.

Get in touch

To find out more about who is responsible for the repair and replacement of windows in your strata property, get in touch with the friendly team at The Strata Collective.

The Strata Collective

Level 9, 387 George St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Ph: 02 9137 2320

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SCA NSW Strata Community Awards 2020
Medium Category

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See the full story and photos here.

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