NSW Windows lock requirement on strata units

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by kennyboi, 15th Dec, 2019.

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  1. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    With the windows lock requirement on strata units:
    Window safety device requirements

    Is it the strata or unit owner who bear the responsibility to have them installed?

    Thanks
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Strata, they own the windows & should have been done by last year. From your link:

    "Owners corporations must have devices installed on all applicable common property windows by 13 March 2018. The safety devices must be robust and childproof."
     
  3. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    The OC still don't seem wanting to go ahead installing the locks ASAP. What can I do to push this through to take away the risk of getting a share of liability?
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Why isn't the strata manager insisting? It's mandatory not an option. The executive committee members may be held personally liable for non-compliance.

    It costs half of zip.
     
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  5. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    I was part of EC @ 2015 and had asked strata manager to go ahead if no objection from other EC. Other EC didn't respond. Strata manager didn't follow-up, then it was left forgotten.

    It was raised again at 2018, I responded the quoted lock I like, another EC respond with their choice as well. But then strata manager didn't follow-up, again forgotten.

    I am no longer part of EC since last month. Had asked to get this done ASAP, highlighting the risk if not doing so. Other EC response was saying it isn't a priority. "can we please raise the push lock stuff later on?"

    So I am worried as I was part of EC earlier and didn't see this to completion. Any other suggestions on how I can push this through ASAP?
     
    Last edited: 15th Dec, 2019
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  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    It's the responsibility of the current OC and SM to see it through. Just keep it on the agenda email the secretary of the OC and the SM with the OFT notice and penalties.

    Put them on notice that their indecision is now impacting the selection of tenants/your reproductive choices etc as the building is non-compliant & poses a foreseeable risk to occupants.
     
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  7. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    The OC and SM are putting the insurance cover at risk. Deliberately (issue is recorded in the meeting minutes) flouting regulations means that, in the event of a tragedy, public liability insurance may not cover the owners in the event of a multi-million dollar claim.
     
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  8. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    I am one of the owner that is exposed to a share of liability and I feel helpless on this. Am I at least out of personal liability now that I no longer part of the executive committee?

    Current strata manager and other executive committee members don't understand the gravity of this issue.

    "Please understand that there are matters that need to be addressed alongside the window locks with the limited funds that this scheme has available. I will be liaising closely with this committee to ensure that these items are addressed in order of priority."

    One of the current executive member response was:

    We are in the discussion of having a few things done in priority.
    1) CCTV
    2)garage doors
    3)five other doors to be fixed
    4)dumped rubbish expanded to drive way.
    To be fair to <current strata manager's name>, who only started recently, can we please raise the push lock stuff later on?

    I am well aware non-compliance = no insurance on liability = personal / share liability on this and I am desperately trying to get them to complete this as an urgent matter. What else can I try to push this?
     
  9. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    I had a look at the meeting minutes and it says to get quote.
     
    Last edited: 16th Dec, 2019
  10. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Window restraints aren't on the list @kennyboi - they should be #1
    CCTV #10 unless this is a necessity (doubtful)
    Doors - #2 as a security issue
    Garage doors - #5
    Dumped Rubbish - #3
    New committee - #4
     
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  11. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    I am wondering, is reporting the non-compliance an option to force action? Any long term harm doing this? Is fair trading the authority to report to? What's the fine like, and is there things like immunity to get exempted myself from the fine to report it?
     
  12. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    Please stop stressing yourself.
    Just buy your own set of window locks and get your handyman to install them. Take a photo of them installed on each and every one of the windows in your apartment. Upstairs for safety and downstairs for security. Same for sliding glass doors. Stuff the Committee.
     
  13. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    This should have been done by 13 March 2018. The OC and the Strata Committee should pull their finger out and get it done immediately.

    If it hasn't been done then your building is non-compliant. And if your building is non-compliant, and some kid falls through a window/flyscreen (case in point from early last month Two-Year-Old Rushed To Hospital After Falling From Third Floor Window ) what do you think your Strata Insurance company is going to say when your OC puts in a claim?

    Your OC: "Hi, we need to put in a claim...blah, blah detail"

    Strata Insurer: "So you were illegally in breach of the Act? Check your Exclusions in the policy, and, wait, there's more... <hangs up>"

    This is a very serious issue and you need to get it addressed, as the bankruptcy of some buildings may the only way to drive home the seriousness of not dealing with it promptly.
     
  14. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    @kennyboi , the Strata Manager's role to take instructions from the OC or the Strata Committee. If your OC didnt have a resolution at an AGM/EGM, or your Strata Committee didn't have a meeting, to instruct the Strata Manager to issue a Work Order to get the lock issue dealt with, then that is not the Strata Manager's problem, it's a problem for your OC.
     
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  15. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    @Angel , this does not resolve you of any responsibility if the building is non-compliant. If you own lot X and some kid falls through the window of Lot Y you are still on the hook as a member of the Owner's Corp.

    This is a very serious matter, and @kennyboi 's OC and Committee needs to get it dealt with straight away.

    And they will be in a world of pain if a resident won't allow access for whatever reason, as they will need to get an access order from Tribunal to have contractors do the installation, so the building is then compliant.
     
  16. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    I know! I hate apartments.
    Hasn't Kennyboi resigned from the OC?
     
  17. kennyboi

    kennyboi Well-Known Member

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    I didn't attend the latest annual meeting and they didn't renew my membership to OC. (They have a change of SM at the last minute and I mis-interpret that as meeting being cancelled).

    I had gave the ok to go ahead earlier when I was in OC, but SM did nothing to either issue work order or follow-up.

    Would fair trading help enforce this if I report the non-compliance? It seems like an enforcement fine (if there is such a thing) is the only way to get their urgent attention. It's better to pay a share of the fine than a share of the resulting liabilities.
     
  18. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, here's something that might help bring you up to speed on Window Locks:-

    NSW: The Guide to Window Locks Legislation. Your Questions Answered!

    Fair Trading will help you mediate with the OC to make the building compliant with the legislation regarding window locks, given your insurance company will be laughing about exclusions and stuff, should questions about a claim be made in the future.

    This should help:-

    Applying for strata mediation

    And should the Owners Corp or their representatives waste your time or be ambivalent during the mediation, then just tell the Mediator to terminate it, as any discussions within mediation are confidential. Then go for an early lunch.

    You will then, after an unsuccessful mediation at Fair Trading, need to apply to NCAT for an order for the OC to pull their finger out and do their job.
     
  19. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Close to 3 years after all units were to be made compliant, kids are still falling out of windows in units.

    Linky

    Another tragedy which could have been easily avoided.

    On a side note, if the NCC requires that ventilation to a room should be 5% of floor area of the room, How does restricting window opening to 100mm affect compliance?
     
  20. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Amazingly this 4-year old didn’t die - even after falling 8 metres on to concrete.