Around 50 children fall from windows and balconies each year in Australia, according to FairTrading NSW.
That’s why owners corporations in the state have made it mandatory to have window safety devices on all above-ground windows from 13 March 2018.
The devices – which individual owners were responsible for – raised the question:
Do I need permission to install safety equipment in my own titled property?
Because these window devices were mandated by law, owners didn’t need to obtain consent from the owners corporation prior to installation, although FairTrading NSW outlined that the device did need to ‘keep with the building’s appearance’.
Generally, however, safety equipment is treated as any other repair or renovation.
Everything inside the airspace of the unit is the responsibility of the owner. That includes:
- Flooring or carpet,
- Paint on the walls,
- Front and rear doors,
If the lot owner wants to make alterations to any of these elements, they are within their rights to do so without permission for small, cosmetic safety changes such as the installation of a handrail.
Larger equipment, however, such as replacing stairs with an access ramp would require approval by the owners corporation. The exact resolution would depend on the nature and extent of the project.