PropertySafe and many other industry experts are calling on the Government to mandate balcony inspections, after a balcony collapsed at a rented residential property in Melbourne’s east killing two people and injuring 17 others.
Emergency services described “chaotic” scenes after the balcony collapsed during a Christmas party in Doncaster East on Saturday.
Investigations are now underway as to what caused the collapse and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
Under current legistation there is no requirement for property owners to have their balcony inspected at regular intervals, although many state based Building Authorities recommend inspections “on a regular basis.”
John Diamond from PropertySafe agrees stating that “Balconies are a particular concern during the festive season. As we come into the warmer months and the holiday season, balconies are the place where people gather and be loaded with numbers that well exceed what the design was intended. As buildings get older, balconies get older and they’re deteriorating via the weather.”
Renters groups have thrown their support behind mandatory checks. Tenant Mark O’Brien says it often falls to tenants to realise there may be a safety issue at a property.
“We would welcome a more positive onus on landlords to identify potential safety hazards in rented premises,” Tenants Victoria chief executive Mark O’Brien said.
“There is a general duty on landlords to make sure that the property is safe. But it’s usually done in a negative way. If the landlord is not aware of [a building issue] then the tenant has to make them aware of it.”
This morning Premier Daniel Andrews described the incident as a “tragedy”.
“There’ll be a full coronial enquiry,” he said.
“And if there are any learnings, any change or reform that comes from that then I’m sure we, and local councils, stand ready to make it.”
In a statement, Manningham Council — which covers Doncaster East — urged home owners to ensure “they comply with the relevant legislative requirements for building works”.
For landlords who are looking to take proactive measures to ensue their balcony is safe, take a few minutes to read our story on balcony safety here.
All our PropertySafe Reports inspect the balcony and we ensure that every listed risk is checked and a fully detailed report is produced, this includes extensive photos and explanations for each risk. In addition, the report contains an action list with specific recommendations on what needs to be addressed.
For a comprehensive inspection of your deck or balcony, book an inspection today to make sure your investment or home is safe.
Source and credit to: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-18/doncaster-east-balcony-collapse-call-for-inspections/9269578