Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Changes to building code laws to prevent children from falling out of apartment buildings and multi--?storey homes now mean added risk for property managers.

Due to recent changes to the National Construction Code, new homes and apartments will soon be required to install locks, screens or barriers to stop children from falling out of windows and balconies.

While only new homes are required to comply with the changes made by the Australian Building Codes Board, Exchange property management expert, Ian Comyns, is urging landlords and agents to also consider the risks involved in older buildings.

“The only way to mitigate risk is to comply, but what about buildings that are not required because of their age to have these devices?”

“As a real estate agent you would have to advise your clients that it would be a sensible idea to ensure that they’re fitted anyway,” Comyns said.

“In a building that’s not required to have them because it’s not a new build, it may be prudent to do it anyway for the sake of a $20 or $70 lock.”

Comyns is urging landlords and property managers to think about the issue in terms of risk mitigation, irrespective of whether the building code changes apply to older apartments and homes.

“The only way we can mitigate risk for our owners is to ensure that they comply with the legislation,” Comyns said.

“If a child fell off of a non--?compliant balcony or a non--?compliant window, our owners would be liable for a potentially massive claim, so our role is to ensure that
We give advice that is necessary to our clients so that they comply.”

“As soon as a tenant says that they believe something is unsafe and there is a potential risk; if you did nothing and there was a subsequent accident, you’d be in a really bad position,” Comyns added.

“If somebody has red flagged it you’ve got to do something about it, because if you don’t and something happens there’s a massive liability, not only on the owner but all round.
Everybody would be in the firing line.”

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Exchange Property Sales and Management

Exchange property sales & management is a Sydney based property management company helping you in selling your home or renting out a property in Sydney's inner west.
Ian Comnys
P: 02 9146 5324


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