We recently received the following question from a lot owner about rectifying safe access to roof cavity. Peter Berney, Solutions in Engineering has provided the following response.
Question: I have no safe access to roof cavity in my townhouse. Does the responsibility for safe access to roof cavity and the rectification of this problem fall to me or to the Owners Corporation?
Could you please advise me regarding responsibility for the provision of safe access to roof space of a 30-year-old Strata townhouse in NSW.
My only current potential access is a skylight situated high above my stairwell and tradesmen have declined to use this on safety grounds, often expressing disbelief at the absence of an access hatch at ceiling level.
This leaves access down through the roof as the remaining option, with its inherent danger and potential for damage.
I would like to know if responsibility for safe access to roof cavity and the rectification of this problem falls to me (the owner) or the Owners Corporation.
Answer: Obviously if tradesmen are declining to work, extra precautions should be in place sooner rather than later.
It would depend on the plans. If the house is a standalone house and the roof/everything is the responsibility of the owner then any safety precautions are the responsibility of the individual owner.
If there is a shared roof between townhouses as is often the case, then the responsibility will be that of the Owners Corporation. Obviously, if tradesmen are declining to work, extra precautions should be in place sooner rather than later.
This post appears in Strata News #181.
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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.