The O.C. insurance covers damage caused by a single event to any part of the premises except for carpet, paint, blinds, dishwasher, dryer, microwave and any item that the owner or tenant has put into their unit. These items are covered by your contents insurance.
The O.C. insurance covers these items for insurance purposes but these items, as per most things inside your unit are maintained and repaired by the owner of the unit and not the O.C.
To determine if something is an insurance claim the damage must be caused in an event of break-in, impact or fire. For example hotplates, ovens and hot water systems regularly fuse, blow, or cease to work. As you would expect this is not an insurance claim as no event caused it to happen and the damage occurred due to the life of the product. If you had a fire that caused damage to these items they then would be claimed on the O.C. insurance.
Not all water leaks are the responsibility of the O.C. A water leak through the floor, ceiling or boundary wall is generally the responsibility of the O.C. but any water leak inside your unit, ie between two interior walls [the wall between your shower recess and your bedroom], under the sink, from your shower rose or from the toilet cistern are always at the expense of the owner of the unit.
All the owners of lots combine to make up the O.C. Put simply the O.C. is made up of you and your neighbours.
The managing agent is required by law to carry out all necessary repairs. He must not spend money on items that are not Owners Corporation expenses, all other items are considered as follows: Is it in the best interests of the majority of owners? Is it value for money? Will it improve the appearance and value of the property? From the answers a decision to spend money is made. Remember a sensible person finds it very difficult to spend other peoples money. An unwise person would carry out any amount of repairs and expenditure with another persons money.
Mould occurs during the moist months of winter to south facing units. It is caused by inadequate airing of the units. It is generally a lifestyle problem as units were mostly designed for one or two adults and we now find many units housing three or more people. The last generation would on a weekly basis wash down all the walls of their bathroom with a bleach solution and keep the bathroom door shut when showering. Today many people do not wash their bathrooms as often and as many people work and because of the security risks windows are rarely left open during the day to allow the unit to dry out. In general the O.C. is not responsible for mould inside a unit.
Levies can only be set at meetings of unit owners. Only owners can vote on this motion, the managing agent has no power to set levies and will never vote on levies at a meeting. It is a requirement that levies not be set at what owners wish but that a budget for what is to be spent be set at the meeting and that levies be determined at the expected expenditure for the year. If the amount set is inadequate it must be increased the following year to make up the deficit. If the amount is too high that money is accumulated in the interest bearing bank account of the O.C. for future use.
Unit levies are set as a total amount for the year. This amount is divided by a figure called the unit entitlement. In many buildings the entitlement for each unit is the same but in others it varies according to the size and value of each lot. Accordingly two identical units may pay different levies as one may have a water view. The entitlement is set at the Land Titles Office at the time the strata plan is set up and whilst it can be varied at a later stage the cost is too expensive to make it practical.