How a Strata Lawyer Sydney Can Assist You: Get Compensation from the Owners Corporation

January 13, 2023


News & Insights

Related Articles


February 15, 2024



November 30, 2023

You live in an apartment. 

The apartment is leaking. 

You are concerned that your personal property is going to be damaged (or tragically, you may have already suffered property damage). 

You have reached out to the strata manager once, twice, seven times, forty times… nothing is being done. 

The Strata Schemes Management Act gives you RIGHTS. 

A Strata Lawyer Sydney – more specifically a lawyer from Carneys Lawyers – can assist you in bringing a claim against the Owners Corporation. 

The Law

The Owners Corporation has a responsibility to ‘properly maintain and keep in a state of good and serviceable repair the common property’ in a strata apartment block. 

IMPORTANTLY, the owner of a unit can recover money from the Owners Corporation if the Owners Corporation fails to maintain the common property. 

What does this mean for you?

That leak in the roof or the wall that destroyed your carpet is the responsibility of the Owners Corporation. 

The leak in your investment property that meant it couldn’t be tenanted is the responsibility of the Owners Corporation – AND it is the Owners Corporation’s responsibility to compensate you for the loss of rent. 

That leak in the common wall that is causing black and green mould to grow in your apartment is (likely) the responsibility of the Owners Corporation. 

Those rats that have been breeding like crazy in the common property in the basement that ate through the wires of your car are the responsibility of the Owners Corporation. 

You can seek compensation from the Owners Corporation. 

It is crucial that you keep all of the evidence of any money you spend to rectify damage to your property (eg. Keep all of the receipts for the replacement of your carpet damaged by a roof leak). 

Procedure for obtaining compensation

It is important to engage a lawyer early in the process. 

Too often we see people commence proceedings in the Tribunal naming the incorrect respondent meaning that they have to withdraw the case and start from square one. 

  1. Contact a lawyer (02 8226 5555) to discuss whether the Owners Corporation is in fact responsible to compensate you in your situation. 
  2. Formally request compensation from the Owners Corporation. Directing email correspondence to the Strata Manager (if your scheme isn’t self-managed) detailing the money you have spent. You can do this yourself; however, it can be very helpful to engage a solicitor to assist with laying out a formal demand. 
  3. If the strata manager, as agent of the Owners Corporation, does not co-operate you will have to go to Fair Trading NSW to mediate the matter. You are not able to lodge a claim in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) without first going to Fair Trading NSW – UNLESS the matter is urgent (ie. your property is at imminent risk of destruction). 
  4. If mediation at Fair Trading NSW is unsuccessful you may file an application for compensation at NCAT. It is important to note that if the claim is for a small amount (eg. below $5,000) the Tribunal might not allow a solicitor to represent you at the hearing. It is, however, crucial that a Strata Lawyer Sydney assist you with preparation of the NCAT application form. 

If you would like to discuss a strata matter, please do not hesitate to call Carneys Lawyers on 8226 5555.