Drainage and sewage is frequently a problem in Strata. If it isn’t hard enough to be involved in a Strata Community, with all the in-fighting of the Lot Owners, it’s even worse when government agencies don’t work with you.

This particular Strata Plan in Sydney had a drainage line which ran out through the Council strip. The Council planted a tree on the Council strip which has grown considerably. The tree roots have now grown into the pipe and blocked the sewage. The council has said, “not our fault.” It’s the Owner’s Corporation’s responsibility to repair.

The Council planted the tree. The council is also responsible for the pipe. The Council is therefore responsible to repair the pipe. The only difficulty is that the Owner’s Corporation may have been given an easement across the Council strip. Therefore, the easement would make the Owner’s Corporation responsible for maintaining the pipe. If this is the case, the Owner’s Corporation will need to repair the pipe and then take action against the Council for reimbursement.

Not a perfect situation. Trees are often a problem to Strata Plans and roots do cause major damage. If it’s on a Council strip, start communications as early as possible with the Council, before it becomes a problem.

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email info@leveragegroup.com.au