I recently learned that our 1970s townhouse doesn't have its own main water shutoff. Instead, two contractors have access to a room with a water shutoff for the building (about a dozen units).
My neighbours seem to have lived with this fact. The supply valves are old and difficult to close, or don't close entirely. I find myself hesitating to do even basic repairs (faucets, toilets, etc.) in fear of something going wrong and not being able to turn off the water.
Am I being overly cautious? Should I insist on having my own main water shutoff installed? Should I have the contractor repair or replace all the supply valves instead?