Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #54688
    taps
    Flatchatter

    Our strata is in NSW and all townhouses.  Child Safety locks fitted in May 2018 and we have the certificate saying we comply (all works done by registered locksmith).  At our ‘virtual’ AGM late last yr the Strata Mgr had 3 alternatives for checking the CSLocks send tradesperson to check each window / another choice sorry can’t remember / or written self check by owners / tenants.

    After being a bit surprised at this the AGM participants opted for self check by residents.  SM sent out first letter requesting residents to respond (300) 2nd and 3rd request again approx (300).  our Strata committee received report of whom hadn’t replied – (our Strata Committee has contacted these 5 owners directly). Our SM wants to send tradesperson to check these properties and we have 7 days to approve or they will just go ahead at a cost of (60) per property (another 300) … Really!! –

    In 2017 we asked the question here in this forum regarding ‘compliance’ and if follow-up visits were in the legislation.  As at 2018 and my searching today and yesterday there appears to be no update to the legislation that Strata Plans have to get a ‘registered’ trade to check these locks are insitu or need repairing.

    Posted this question in 2017 Lady Penelope answered – the legislation does not seem to indicate that annual compliance checks for window lock are required.  Windows and thier fittings are common property.  Windows are not checked annually.  there is an expectation that owners will notify the OC if there are maintenance issues with common property and this would include window locks.

    My question is has there been a change or addition to the legislation requiring Strata Plans (NSW) to have compliance checks (annually / bi annually / or at all??)  Have searched FairTrading / NSW Strata Mgnt Act / 118 Strata Act wording / Hansard…. and other websites.  Given that the original legislation stated very clever and brief – words to the effect ” all strata buildings with a residental component must have CSL fitted” – very consice and to the point!!

    Which begs the questions why are SM’s possibly flouting a requirement albeit very grey and pushing for checks when it’s not legislated.  Let alone the locksmith sending an email every year saying they can come and do a check of all locks for (40-55) each property.  Which was politely refused.

    Regards Taps

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by .
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  • #54791
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I am on the EC committee and being a ‘compliance check’ nazi would be a futile exercise. I can only rely on the Certificate of Compliance that the SM has on file, certifying the task was completed as mandated by legislation, as sufficient that the OC is covered in the case of a mishap.

    I can only draw your attention to Section 118 of the Act that says the OC “must ensure” the locks are in place.  An outdated compliance certificate isn’t going to do that.

    Perhaps you could institute a by-law that says, once a year or at achange of occupant,  owners must provide date-stamped pictures of the lock in place.  Failure to do so will result in the OC seeking orders to enter and inspect, with all costs sheeted back to the non-compliant owners.

    And if you think that’s far-fetched, energy companies use date-proven pictures of meter readings all the time.

    #54783
    Sujenna
    Flatchatter

    Our unit block of 10 paid $3,500 to have child safety locks installed to comply with legislation. The contractor took all of five minutes in each unit (and the stairwell windows) to drill a slide in the upper sash and slip a plastic block with key in the slide.

    The apartment block gets hot in the summer and most residents, who are tenants, have removed the blocks so they can open their windows completely to let the air in. These blocks have not been replaced when they have moved out.

    I am on the EC committee and being a ‘compliance check’ nazi  would be a futile exercise. I can only rely on the Certificate of Compliance that the SM has on file, certifying the task was completed as mandated by legislation, as sufficient that the OC is covered in the case of a mishap.

    Most owners don’t attend the AGM and I have never even met them, so trying to have them comply with replacing the stolen/misplaced/ discarded locks would be a complete waste of time.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by .
    #54737
    taps
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank you Jimmy – the response to the question very much appreciated.  Will let the committee know.  Regards Taps

     

    #54692
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    If I am reading this correctly, five townhouse owners have failed to respond to the self-check emails or letters and they are being targetted for independent checks.  That seems reasonable to me, as long as the recalcitrant owners will be paying for the checks and not the owners corp.

    It’s true that the strata scheme is responsible for common property windows (which they all will be) and it is entitled to check for possible failure or removal of child safety locks.

    Section 106 of the Act says the OC is responsible for repair and maintenance of common property.

    Section 118 of the Act says that “an owners corporation … must ensure that there are complying window safety devices for all windows of each building in the strata scheme that are windows to which this section applies.” (My emphasis).  There is a maximum fine of $550 for failure to do so.

    Section 122 of the Act empowers the OC, its agents, employees or contractors enter on any part of the parcel of the scheme for the purpose of  carrying out …  work required or authorised to be carried out by the owners corporation in accordance with this Act (including work relating to window safety devices …)

    Paragraph 5 of the same section says owner could be fined up to $550 if they “obstruct or hinder an owners corporation in the exercise of its functions under this section.”

    So, breaking that down, the owners corp is legally required to “ensure” that child safe window locks have been fitted and legally entitled to enter the property, if need be, to check that this has occurred.  In cases where owners have declined to confirm the window locks are in place via a self-check, the OC is entitled to wonder if they are there at all, and obliged to find some other way of checking.

    I would think a polite reminder that the windows need to be checked and if the owner refuses, then a contractor will do so at the owners cost and there is a maximum fine for not allowing them in to do so, would increase the level of self-check compliance overnight.

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