WHO IS LIABLE TO REPAIR BURST WATER PIPE WITHIN A SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME?
Burst water pipes within a Sectional Title Scheme is a common occurrence.
- There are many different role players within a scheme, everyone points a finger to each other expecting the other party to pay for repairs, especially when it come to a burst pipe.
- In this article, I will briefly set out the important legal issues to bear in mind when dealing with burst water pipes:
2.1. First of all, a distinction must be made between a cold water pipe and a pipe that emanates from water heating installation ( “ geyser”). The Prescribed Management Rules imposes an obligation on members to maintain, repair and when necessary replace a water heating installation. This is even though the said installation forms part of the common property and is insured by the body corporate. If the geyser and pipes running from the geyser are insured, then ordinarily, the insures would cover loss, but not maintenance costs.
2.2 Cold water pipes: The Sectional Title Scheme Management Act requires the body corporate, to repair and maintain water pipes serving more than one section or is in favour of only one section but the said pipe is over the common property.
2.3 Where a pipe falls over or on common property which has an exclusive use right over it, and such pipe is in a state of disrepair, the body corporate is still responsible to repair this pipe. The holder of the right of exclusive use has a duty to keep that area in a clean and neat condition, only.
2.4 Notwithstanding the above, a party who has damaged a water pipe would be liable for damages caused, regardless of whether or not the said water pipe is cold water or hot water alternatively whether it forms part of the common property or not. If the said pipe falls on common property, and the party who damaged the pipe does not repair same, the body corporate may take legal action against that party to recover the costs and damages.