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We recently moved into an apartment building with a basement garage that has a mix of garages and open car spaces. Both garages and car spaces have areas designated for storage. Of the 10 Lots with car spaces in the basement, 2 have over bonnet storage cabinets while 8 are currently being prevented from installing similar cabinets or full height cabinets based, in part, on an over generalised interpretation of an objection by the fire safety certifier – the precise technical details for which have not been provided. Having seen an information brief from that company and reviewed the Australian Standard to which it refers, we believe that Section 5 of AS 2118.1 1999 has been misinterpreted. e.g. steel storage cabinets are not concealed spaces. We would like the company involved to review the detailed report that we have prepared into this matter, provide feedback and to consult with the FPA Australia for clarification.
Our experience in applying for permission from Strata (which we do not strictly believe is required) has been, from our perspective, a shockingly negative and stressful experience. The committee discussed creating a new By-Law to prevent these areas being used for storage; they also agreed to obtain legal advice at our expense, without our knowledge. That stance has since changed but the sentiment towards us has not improved greatly. Not being able to store possessions in our storage area reduces our enjoyment of our living space and ultimately reduces the value of our property – similarly for 9 other properties, who may still not have been fully informed, despite our suggestion.
The managing agent has forwarded communications but has not provided support, shared an opinion, provided advice or mediation. We did hope for a little more support and encouragement but this is an on-going, horrible experience.
At this stage, the committee has agreed to approach an A1 accredited certifier to provide certainty for the entire building. Should that really be necessary?
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