This case followed Brudenall & Ors v Owners Corporation Units Plan No. 202 (Unit Titles) [2016] ACAT 101. By late 2016 the Owners Corporation was intent on undertaking roof repairs on all the class A and class B properties. At the general meeting of 15 November 2016, the Owners Corporation passed a resolution to replace the old concrete tile roofing with Colorbond pressed steel roofing on all class A and class B units. The applicant sought three declarations relating to the class B expenditure. The contention of the applicant was that the Owners Corporation was not responsible for the cost of replacing the roofs because this was not “maintenance” for the purpose of section 24 of the UTMA and motion 5, but capital improvement.

At paragraph 16, the Tribunal held “at the time that decision was made an arguably more efficient and suitable roofing method than concrete tiles had become available using a pressed steel product called ‘Colorbond’. The Tribunal does not accept the argument that adoption of this product constituted a ‘capital improvement’ to the building. Maintenance is not restricted to using concrete tiles similar to those previously used, or continuing minor repairs long past the time that they were either an efficient or cost effective means of dealing with deterioration of the roofing. The buildings had to have efficient roofing and it was an available option to use the best available method to ensure the building had roofing in good working order. In replacing the deteriorated roofing with the pressed steel material the Owners Corporation acted in accordance with the definition of ‘maintenance’ in the Act by restoring the former efficient function of the roofing to units in the strata plan. Technology had advanced since the installation of the original concrete tile roofing and in the opinion of the Tribunal the Owners Corporation was not limited to the former product in its choice of materials in order to conform to its obligation to maintain.”