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  • #47876

    Do we have any examples where an OC has replaced non-compliant balustrades? The building which I own in has quite low balustrades and they don’t appear to be very safe.

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  • #48127
    AvatarLoose Pavings

    We had this situation a couple of years ago.  The railings on three balconies needed to be replaced since they were starting to show damage.  Our Strata Manager informed us that since they were being replaced we were required to bring all the other ones in the building up to compliance with the latest standards.  Our approach was to get new railings for the three affected balconies and then to install a bar across all balconies to bring it up to the newly required height.  That met the standard, looked quite good, and was a lot cheaper than replacing the entire thing.

    There are two buildings in our Strata.  We did not need to do that on the other building since none of their balcony balustrades needed fixing.


    Our 1965ish ballustrades are about 100mm below today’s building code height.

    This was noted in out WHS report as a recommended upgrade.

    My assumption was they would have to be upgraded only if some section required repair and the whole thing would have to be replaced.

    I think building insurance also looks at the WHS report when they renew the policy and each year I get asked whether the all the report has been actioned.



    the BCA is a constantly evolving document. Many design features of the past now do not meet current BCA rules.

    However the building codes administered by the local council do not compel any owner of property to upgrade to meet current standards ( can you imagine the flurry of building work that would arise every time a new BCA was published).

    So the OC is not required to upgrade balastrades built to old standards.

    However if the balastrades have fallen into disrepair, the OC must repair them. Depending on the extent of repairs required, the council may require that the balastrades be upgraded to the current standard.

    If the state of repair is not the issue and you just think they are [not] safe, consult other owners and see if they are the same opinion. Write a letter to the secretary asking to put a motion to the EGM to renew the balastrades.

    If enough owners agree with you it would pass.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by .

    Councils will often also insist on an upgrade to balustrades if there is other work going on on or near the balcony, if it requires Development  Approval.  You might also check the terms of your strata insurance, to see if your building is still covered for accidents when elements of the building are known to be unsafe.

    How might they be known to be unsafe?  Someone might propose a motion asking if they should be checked and upgraded if they’re not.

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Flat Chat Forum Common Property Current Page