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  • #7356
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    This is posted on behalf of 'Shelbourne42' who's had a bit of bother with the Flat Chat doorman.

    My Executive Committee has locked the door to where the fuse boxes are kept under the stairs and they all hold keys (3 people) and they have given one to another owner.  They have posted their names and unit numbers on the notice board if people need access. My fuse tripped the other day and none of the 4 people listed were in the building at the time so I was unable to access.  I have since asked for a key and at this stage they have not even responded (nearly a week).  As an owner do I have a right to hold a key to the area where the fuse boxes are kept?  Thanks.

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  • #12748
    Avatarbpositive
    Flatchatter

    Same problem here as I had to sit in darkness and wait for the electricity company to reset the switch. Add to that the cost!

    #12771
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    Unless it says otherwise on your strata plan or in your by-laws, fuse boxes are common property and everyone should have access to them.  If some owners want to limit access to them then they have to pass a by-law to that effect (requiring a 75 percent vote in favour). 

    Tell the EC members to unlock the fuse boxes until such times as they can provide all owners with keys. They are acting illegally and as a result they will be personally liable for any damage or distress caused if your fuse blows and none of them are around.

    #12782
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    At the risk of talking to myself, I have to report that I just had a cup of coffee with David Ferguson, President of the Institute of Strata Titles Management and he tells me I'm wrong (again).

    Not so much on the access to common property issue, but on the specifics of the fuse box.  It seems there is an over-riding obligation under OH&S laws to prevent free access to dangerous equipment and areas (such as a fuse box).

    But what the EC should have done is fitted a lock of the type for which most electricians would have a master key.  That means nobody need be without power for too long even if all the key-holders are away. 

    The question then arises, who pays for the electrician to come and fix the fuse?

    #12783

    Just thought I would pass on our experience last night.  We do not have access to the common property switch room – only the Executive Chairman has access.  I am in a small over 55's strata complex.  Our electricity went off and all the 'alarms' started buzzing in the complex around 9pm last night. On inspection, we could smell the burning coming from the switch room situated near the lift, however, the Exec Chairman was not home so no one could open the door.  We had to call 000 and the fireman came out, opened the door, smoke billowing out to find fuses had 'melted' and 4 units were affected (including ours) with ours of course being one of the apartments.  We then had to phone Sydney Energy who came out so we were back online in 2-3 hours.  Cold but ok.  What is the moral of the story?  Do we need the EC….should we all have keys? (as David said could be an OH&S issue), should someone be given a key if the key holder goes out?  I thought that we handled the situation rather well but there are flaws to the process and I am not sure what the answer is.

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