Circuit Breaker – who is responsible?

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Forums Repairs and maintenance Circuit Breaker – who is responsible?

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  • #230211

    Hi all,

    We had a circuit breaker issue late last year – only discovered when power company on site to connect for new tenants. After a whole lot of rigmarole, it turned out to be a strata responsibility and after the event was resolved there were Monday experts everywhere who ‘knew’ it was strata responsibility.

    Now we have another situation like this and the strata manager (different company) is saying it’s the owner’s responsibility.

    We’re in the NT.

    Does anyone here have a definitive answer for this and why? …or even your own experience of this happening?



    Amanda Farmer

    Hi Orange Unicorn,

    Not being an NT practitioner and not seeing your strata plan or by-laws, I can’t give you a definitive answer, I’m sorry.

    However, I did take a look at the Unit Titles Act (NT) and was intrigued by this section 25.

    It seems, in the NT, unit owners are deemed to have an easement over pipes wires and cables etc that cross the common property but benefit their unit only. The easement terms set out in section 25 make the unit owner responsible for the maintenance costs of those items.

    I have no idea if your “circuit breaker” falls within this definition: it would depend on where it was located and whether or not it was only servicing one lot.

    I also found the following 2019 NT case which mentions section 25 in the context of a body corporate attempting to recover amounts spent on electrical services (and other items) from a unit owner. The unit owner relied upon section 25 to argue that the charges were not the responsibility of the body corporate to meet, so could not be recovered by the body corporate from the unit owner.

    You may find the text from paragraph [30] onwards of most interest:

    Proprietors of Development Unit Plan 04/22 v Proprietors of Unit Plan 2004/048; Proprietors of Unit Plan 2004/048 v Proprietors of Development Unit Plan 04/22 & Anor [2019] NTSC 75 (3 October 2019)

    Hope that helps. These are just my thoughts with quick reference to your legislation. You are best placed to seek advice from a lawyer practising in your jurisdiction if you want that definitive answer.



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