In response to a number of accidents on decks and balconies a new guide to deck and balcony safety has been announced. Landlords will need to consider this as well as the requirement to ensure that their rented premises are in a reasonable state of repair.
New Guide on Deck and Balcony Safety
With the announcement by the Fair Trading Commissioner of a new NSW guide on balcony and deck safety landlords need to be aware of the implications for both them and their properties.
The guide is to help property owners:
- build and maintain safe decks and balconies
- identify any signs of required maintenance or structural problems
- understand what expert assistance is available
New balconies, decks, balustrades and railings must be built to meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and other relevant New South Wales standards. The Building Code requires the structure and materials used to build a balcony or deck is able to withstand the loads and stresses that would be reasonably expected to be placed on it.
The guide recommends having structures inspected by a qualified expert, and only using appropriately licensed trades people to under take repairs.
The guide is available on the NSW Fair Trading website.
Responsibility for Reasonable State of Repair
Under NSW tenancy laws, landlords must provide and maintain rented premises in a reasonable state of repair.
Any maintenance concerns or damage should be noted on the ingoing Condition Report which both the Property Manager and tenant are required to complete at the beginning of the tenancy.
When KG Hurst’s Property Managers complete a vacating report on a property any potential issues with the condition of any balconies or decking will be reported to the owner as soon as possible.
In addition, at the annual property inspection the Property Manager we will try to make sure the owner is notified of any concerns.
Common Issues with Older Buildings
Older buildings should have been built to the relevant codes and standards in force at the time of their construction, however these may not meet current standards. A typical issue in townhouses is where there are no stair rails.
With balconies in unit blocks there may be issues with rotting timber and in some instances the beginning of concrete cancer that need to be checked.
If these are issues with your property seek expert advice in accordance with the guide.
For more expert guidance on property investment and management, contact the investment professionals at K.G. Hurst today.
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