Tony Gioventu: Who is responsible for maintaining decks, balconies in strata?

Dear Tony: Can an owner be responsible for damages to the membrane and structure of a balcony if they have overloaded the space? Our strata is a four-level low rise in False Creek with extensive outdoor balconies and decks. Some are suspended off the building and others are rooftop areas over living spaces. With the significant snow falls, preceded by rains and then freezing, leaks have shown up in two separate units resulting from planters that are saturated and overloaded. The weight has stressed the seams in the decks and the resulting tears have caused leaks into living spaces below. Our strata council has never issued any advisories, but we do have a bylaw that stipulates owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of decks and balconies.

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