All Topics / Help Needed! / investment property repair responsibility issue help needed

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  • Profile photo of jun2009jun2009
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 5

    Hi Guys:

    My name is Jun and I am a member of this forum since 2009. Thank you very much for all the valued information been shared on this forum and they are very helpful.

    I got a friend who ask for helps with what should he handle an iccident happend to his investment property, the background information as following:

    My friend bought an invetsment property from a very reputable developer in Brisbane and it been vacant for a few months after settlement as my friend didnt decide if they will move in or rent out.

    The apartment is on level 2, and last week the sewage pipe in the building got blocked by kitchen paper towels and other rubuish caused by upper level tenants(not sure which one), then this caused the sewage system to back up and come through the first release point which happened to be the waste drain in my friend’s apartment . The seweage waste released from my friend’s apartment toilet are all over the brand new apartment and their brand new furnitures. Now the apartment wont be ready for occupy or rent out for a month or two as the developer said its gonna be a major repair.

    And the developer saying it is not an building defect so the construction company is not responsibile for the repair cost inside their apartment and they should claim from their insurance and the developer have totally no control about if this problem will happen again beside inform all the tenants in the building to be more careful in the future.

    My friend feel this is not fair and most importantly there is a chance this will happen again everytime the building sewage system to back up again.

    Please let us know how should we handle this situation and what should we done?

    Thank you very much for all your help.



    Profile photo of Steve McKnightSteve McKnight
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 1,763

    Hi Jun,

    It does sound like it is not a building defect, but rather improper waste being put down the sewer.

    I suggest your friend get some legal advice, but as a starting point, if the blockage was caused on pipes in common property, then it would be a body corporate problem. If the blockage was in a unit’s premises, then it would be their problem. Ascertaining where the blockage occurred, and if possible who caused it, will help to work out who should compensate your friend for their damage.

    Furthermore, does your friend have insurance? If so, I would be looking to see if I could make an insurance claim and leave it up to the insurer to seek recompense.

    Finally, now it has happened once, what needs to happen in respect to maintenance and prevention to stop it happening again?


    – Steve

    (And a point on due diligence for all – when buying a unit that is part of a complex, make sure you get a plumbing opinion on the impact of your unit if there is a blockage caused by a unit above or nearby).

    Steve McKnight | Pty Ltd | CEO

    Success comes from doing things differently

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