Window locks in high level strata buildings | And the rest ... | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Window locks in high level strata buildings
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Kenny R
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08/08/2017 - 10:51 am
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What is the current situation with regard to the regulations requiring window locks - or restrictors - to be fitted to windows that open enough to allow a child to fall or climb through. We have counted around 50 windows in our 12 unit townhouse complex that could cost the OC well over $3000 to have the current window winders replaced. Why should this be the OC's responsibility? Why not individual owners? Is it possible to charge the owners for the work individually - some have more windows than others.

Again, it seems strata owners are the easy targets for the Government - what about all the two storey single dwellings out there?

Any comments, experience appreciated thanks Flat Chatters

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JimmyT
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08/08/2017 - 11:36 am
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Kenny R said
We have counted around 50 windows in our 12 unit townhouse complex that could cost the OC well over $3000 to have the current window winders replaced. Why should this be the OC's responsibility? Why not individual owners? 

It's swings and roundabouts.  The Owners Corp is a collection of all the owners.  You will all end up paying one way or another (although a group "buy" would be cheaper than individual installations.

Your unit entitlements are roughly related to the size of your lot which may (or may not) be related to the number of windows.  Windows are part of common property which is why the owners corp has the ultimate responsibilty.  

Strata buildings tend to be higher than houses, which is why there's a focus on strata schemes.  Not all windows above the ground floor require locks (those that open on to balconies, for instance).

Generally speaking, when you move into any kind of strata, you get certain shared benefits and responsibilities.  If you want the former, you need to accept the latter - or maybe you should be looking at a free-standing house.

You'll find the basics on the window regulations HERE

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sujenna
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15/08/2017 - 8:08 am
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We just had it done for our complex of 10 units and 40+ windows. Unfortunately, it is an additional cost you will just have to suck up. I agree, why have an extra cost imposed by the government! Come summer, when it is hot, I will simply remove the lock so I can open my bedroom window and let some air in. The locksmiths must be laughing all the way to the bank with the new legislation.

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artarmonite
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15/08/2017 - 11:26 am
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I am very passionate about the need for locks on windows but before I go into why please, please, please check the quote. In our block we halved the quote because a lot of the windows were not high enough from the ground,  some were actually doors opening to balconies, and the bathroom windows were more than 1.7m above the floor. Having said this I will continue...

Before retiring I worked at Westmead Childrens and saw the results of  way too many falls from balconies and windows. Many of these children who survived had acquired brain injuries due to the fall.  The prognosis for these kids was never very good and the lives of their families as well as their own were changed forever mainly due to the ongoing expense of caring for a brain injured family member.The startlingly and  sad fact was that most of the children did not live in the block but were visiting other people.  I know this because Westmead did a report about it in around 2009.

This exposes the Owners Corporation to insurance claims via public liability. The insurance industry as well as the hospital started the agitation for windows locks resulting in the law change.  It is to minimise the risk that the Owners Corporation should install window locks.

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JimmyT
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15/08/2017 - 11:46 am
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artarmonite said
I am very passionate about the need for locks on windows but before I go into why please, please, please check the quote. In our block we halved the quote because a lot of the windows were not high enough from the ground,  some were actually doors opening to balconies, and the bathroom windows were more than 1.7m above the floor.

Firstly, well said on the need for window locks. The evidence  is irrefutable and anyone who puts personal expense before the safety of children needs to take a long hard look at themselves.  You'll find like-minded individuals over there in the corner, muttering about how having fences round swimming pools is part of the 'Nanny State'.

That said, there seems to be a lot of confusion and plain ignorance about this and along with that comes people who are happy to make a quick buck at our expense, as well as those who don't mind spending your money.  

We have had posts from people whose windows were being permanently restricted (not required by the Act but cheaper than window locks) and others from people who didn't need locks in the first place.

There is a pretty comprehensive page on the regulations here on the Fair Trading website.  Have a look and you will see how simple and relatively inexpensive it can be.

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Kenny R
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22/08/2017 - 4:16 pm
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I've been away for a bit so thank you all for your comments and advice. I certainly agree on the need for window locks - it was more the way it has been forced on the strata community as easy targets when there are many stand alone residences that are probably more vulnerable. We will proceed with installation, but will certainly be looking at the most cost effective way - maybe even charging each individual unit per fitting as some have less than others and at least one had already fitted complying locks prior to this requirement coming into force.

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