Water leakage in condominiums can cause significant stress and inconvenience, not just due to the damage it causes but also the complexities involved in determining who is responsible for the costs of repair.

When water damage originates from an upper unit, it can sometimes take a while before the signs become apparent, with water slowly dripping down walls or seeping through ceilings. This is especially prevalent in older buildings where the waterproof membrane and screed may have deteriorated, allowing water to permeate through the floor slab.

Understanding the Source of Water Damage

Water damage in residential settings can either be accidental or a result of negligence. Initially, it’s crucial to approach your neighbour in the unit above to understand the cause of the leakage. This not only helps in identifying how to fix the problem but also plays a part in determining who is financially responsible.

While it might be uncomfortable, addressing even minor damage promptly is essential to prevent the growth of mould and mildew, which can pose health risks to occupants.

Navigating Building Management and Neighbour Relations

In many cases, the owner of the unit from where the leak originates is liable for the damage caused to the unit below. However, the upper unit’s owner might not be aware of the leakage, necessitating a discussion as soon as the problem is noticed.

If approaching your neighbour doesn’t yield results, involving the building management can be beneficial. They can assist in contacting the upper unit and help determine the extent of the damage and the necessary repairs.

The Legal Framework for Condominiums

The management and repair of water leakage in condominiums are governed by the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (Cap. 30C), which is administered under the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Additionally, the Strata Titles Board (STB) plays a crucial role as provided in the Act.

Responsibility for Water Leakage

According to Section 101(8) of the Act, the owner of the unit directly above is presumed responsible for any leakage, unless proven otherwise. In cases of inter-floor leakage, it is mandatory for both the upper and lower floor unit owners to collaborate in investigating the cause of the leak and agree on the repair responsibilities and costs. This approach ensures that there is a clear path towards resolution, avoiding undue blame and further disputes.

Engagement with Management Corporations

It is also essential for both parties involved in the leakage dispute to engage their condominium’s Management Corporation. This involvement helps manage the resolution process more amicably, ensuring all procedures are followed according to the condominium’s governance policies.

What to Do if Resolution Fails

If an amicable resolution is not achievable, affected residents can turn to the Strata Titles Board. The STB, a tribunal comprising impartial legal and building industry experts, mediates between parties, hears the matter, and delivers binding decisions enforceable by the State Courts. To initiate this process, there is a fee of $500, which covers two mediation sessions.

Engaging Waterproofing Help

Repairing water damage can be complex and challenging, particularly for those without relevant expertise. It is advisable to engage professional specialists to address the issue effectively. Companies like Lefong Building Services, which specialize in waterproofing, use advanced and innovative technologies to tackle such problems.

We offer services for waterproofing various areas, including kitchens, bathrooms, balconies, and roofs, tailored to the specific needs of the property. Whatsapp us today.