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Who is responsible for a water leak

By 23 July 2010 8

Hi I have a townhouse in Canberra that has developed a leak near my water mains stopcock.  The body corporate said it’s my responsibility to fix. 

I had my plumber look at it and it is not the stopcock that is leaking it is the pipe on the mains side of the stopcock that has a leak in it.  That pipe comes from the complex water supply to my unit and is located in front of my garage door in the ground. 

My question is where along the water pipe does my responsibility for repairs start and stop?

I would have thought that body corporate was responsible for the water supply up to and including the stopcock.  Now they are saying that as that pipe and stopcock only service my unit then I am responsible.

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8 Responses to Who is responsible for a water leak
#1
JC2:02 pm, 23 Jul 10

If it was just ACTEW you were dealing with then the mains side of the stop cock/meter is their thing. But body corporate who knows. By any chance have your read your body corporate agreement, it may well give the answer.

#2
chrisi3:16 pm, 23 Jul 10

firstly, ACTEW is responsible for everything prior to the meter itself…. this includes the stop cock. call them to fix the problem (stating that you’ve already had a plumber look at it and he has informed you of where the leak is).

secondly, the only time body corporate is responsible for utility problems is when those services are shared by different lots. in your situation, if there was a problem after the meter (that is all water use on that meter is charged to you and only you), then that utility line is your problem. think of it like an electricity cable. if you had an issue with a particular cable going in to the lounge room (that is after the meter box), that’s your issue to fix not body corporate. same with the water. once the service is metered to you, it’s your responsibility. the only time body corporate will sort it out is when there’s an issue with a pipe servicing multiple lots.

#3
Deano3:40 pm, 23 Jul 10

A rule of thumb would be who has to turn the water off to facilitate the repair. If you can shut the water off to fix it then its your problem; if the body corporate has to shut the water off then it should be their problem.

If they don’t see it this way, just insist that the water be shut off for the week or so it will take your plumber to fix.

#4
troll-sniffer3:58 pm, 23 Jul 10

You could test in court for several thousand dollars, or you could accept the decision and spend a few hundred tops to fix it. Or you could convene a meeting of the executive committee and hope they see it your way.

If you fix it yourself, the precedent will have been set and you won’t have to share in anyone else’s future expenses.

However, that said, as far as i know there will be a plan of common property in your body corporate. If the leak in the pipe is in the area marked common property, the body corporate is responsible, no ifs or buts. I assume there’s a site plan you can get hold of?

#5
Antagonist6:55 pm, 23 Jul 10

The way I understand it, it is ACTEW’s responsibility up to the main cock/meter for the complex. It is then up to the body coporate to maintain plumbing from the main stop cock to the stop cock in your driveway as part of the complex water supply. You are responsible for plumbing from your stop cock onwards.

They have an obligation to provide water to your residence as an essential service, and maintain that service. It doesn’t matter that yours is the only property serviced by that particular line of plumbing. They MUST provide water to your residence and are therefore responsible for the plumbing right up to your stop cock. The bastards are trying to stooge you.

#6
boneymaloney6:57 pm, 23 Jul 10

You need to talk to ACTEW before you do anything else, they will send a survey team to establish the cause and responsibility. Call their general 13 11 93 fault line and report it.

#7
JC5:12 am, 24 Jul 10

boneymaloney said :

You need to talk to ACTEW before you do anything else, they will send a survey team to establish the cause and responsibility. Call their general 13 11 93 fault line and report it.

You missed the bit about it being a townhouse complex. ACTEW won’t care too much beyond the complex meter.

#8
54-119:36 am, 24 Jul 10

It’s all covered in the Unit Titles Act 2001. In general terms, the legislation states that the owner of the unit is responsible for all repair and maintenance in or on the parcel. The body corporate is responsible for what is common to all owners. This is unfortunately something that you as the owner of the unit will need to repair.

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