These Q&A about using lockboxes in NSW strata apartment buildings have been answered by Andrew Terrell, Bright & Duggan and Rod Smith, The Strata Collective.
Question: Can an Owners Corporation ban owners from installing key safes or lockboxes on the exterior of a building (common property)? Can this be passed as a by-law or can the onsite manager enforce this rule?
Answer: I do think it is possible for a building to ban key safes being place on common property by way of a by-law.
I do think it is possible for a building to ban key safes being place on common property by way of a by-law. It could be argued that keeping a key safe for one lot may inhibit another owner or resident keeping a key safe which is unfair.
In either case, to keep a key safe on common property would require the permission of the owners corporation and I wouldn’t suggest giving permission for a key safe to an owner or resident unless there was a plan to make suitable arrangements for all residents rather than only a few.
This post appears in Strata News #279
Question: What is the best way to allow emergency services to access the building without compromising the security of the building?
Our strata has 34 apartments and many single residents, some old, some not. We are an apartment building with a shared entrance, halls, and underground garage but individual apartment doors.
The committee is conscious that if someone has an accident they may not be found for some time unless someone else has approved access to their apartment to check on them should the need arise, eg they have not been seen as usual and no-one knows where they are.
The committee has agreed to allow the installation of lockboxes in a safe area in the building to allow people to store a spare key in case someone needs to access their property to check on their health and safety.
In an emergency, access to each apartment can also then be obtained by approved persons.
Is a lockbox or keybox the best way to allow emergency services to access the building without compromising the security of the building?
Answer: In short, yes, lockboxes are a good idea.
In short, yes.
Provided someone has consented to their key being stored in their lockbox, and the committee agrees that the lockboxes can be put somewhere, this is ok.
I would hazard putting unit door keys anywhere in the common area, however. It’s always better if a key is left with one or more trusted people.
Regarding emergency services, an agreement to put a keybox externally can be reached with them (and likewise the local police station – unfortunately they seemingly don’t share the same backend system for access).
This post appears in Strata News #218
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Looking for Security Specialist in your area? Search within our Strata Services Directory in the category Safety & Security NSW for the best list of contacts available.
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