This QLD Q&A article is about keys, fobs, swipe cards or security access in a body corporate.
Table of Contents:
- QUESTION: Our 31 story high rise does not have intercom. The original system died and was never replaced. Is it a requirement to have a working intercom in a building of this size?
- QUESTION: Changes to security in our building have lead to me being locked out. I’m in a wheelchair and unable to reach the mechanism for my fob or to access the intercom. I’ve made a formal complaint to the committee, but received no response. What now?
- QUESTION: Can our body corporate decide to reduce the number of garage remotes they supply? At settlement we were provided with 2, but they have now adopted a policy of only 1 remote per car park.
Question: Our 31 story high rise does not have intercom. The original system died and was never replaced. Is it a requirement to have a working intercom in a building of this size?
I live in a 31 story high rise apartment complex in Surfers Paradise with around 10 apartments per floor. We do NOT have an intercom system in place for residents to give access to visitors without having to take the lift to the ground floor or to the car park basement level to personally give access thus also contributing to over wear and tear to lifts.
The building was built in 1984 and it originally had an intercom system. That system stopped working and has never been replaced. Isn’t the committee required to replace the intercom?
Answer: There’s no obligation for a body corporate to install intercom.
I can only speak for body corporate legislation and say there’s no obligation for a body corporate to install intercom. There may well be an obligation under other legislation. You might like to check with agencies such as Building Standards Australia or Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
Owners can propose motions to general meetings for the installation of an intercom system, you don’t have to wait for the committee to put up such a motion. You’d need to supply quotes for that.
This post appears in Strata News #409.
Question: Changes to security in our building have lead to me being locked out. I’m in a wheelchair and unable to reach the mechanism for my fob or to access the intercom. I’ve made a formal complaint to the committee, but received no response. What now?
Recently the body corporate decided to lock the entrance doors to our complex from 5.30 pm Friday evening until 8.00 am Monday morning without initially advising owners. Last week I went out on a Sunday morning and returned to find the door locked. I had to ask a retail owner to let me in as I am a paraplegic and am unable to use my fob as the mechanism is out of reach from my wheelchair or scooter. Nor can I reach to use the intercom system.
After asking the secretary and the chairman the reason for the lockout, and pointing out how it affected me, I was told that it was for security reasons and if I wasn’t happy, to make a formal complaint to the committee, which L did. I have not had a reply.
It was explained that the reception area is not always open during the weekend. However, there are owners and/or holiday renters frequently going through the foyer and the reception is closed at odd times during the week anyway. There are also four or five CCTV cameras monitoring the foyer area.
There has been no written communication regarding this decision from the committee; just a text from the caretaker. I feel it is discriminatory as it forces me to use another entrance, and is effectively locking me out of the “front” door of my home. Surely I have the right to use this front door the same as able-bodied people. I have read the following extract somewhere – I think under the heading of Human Rights, and I believe it relates to my situation.
“Discrimination can occur when someone is treated unfairly because of their disability than a person without that disability would have been treated in the same circumstances. It can also happen where there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but disadvantages a person with a particular disability, which they are not able to comply with, which is not considered reasonable in the circumstances.”
I would be pleased if you could give me some advice as to how best I can handle this.
Answer: Challenge through the Commissioner’s Office and their dispute resolution process.
I can’t advise on your human rights or potential breaches of them. You might want to contact the Queensland Human Rights Commission (link ‘Queensland Human Rights Commission’ – http://www.qhrc.qld.gov.au/) on that matter.
From a body corporate perspective, it seems as though you were invited to challenge the decision to restrict access via a complaint, which you’ve done and you’ve had no response. Assuming you continue to have no response and the situation remains unchanged, you may be able to now challenge it through the Commissioner’s Office and their dispute resolution process. I’d suggest one final written request to the committee to reconsider their decision before doing so – no harm in mentioning to them you are going to lodge an application with the Commissioner’s Office either.
This post appears in Strata News #393.
Question: Can our body corporate decide to reduce the number of garage remotes they supply? At settlement, we were provided with 2, but they have now adopted a policy of only 1 remote per car park.
Our garage door has just been replaced and new remotes have been provided. Initially, when we settled we were provided with 2 remotes, however, the Body Corporate has decided to adopt a policy of 1 remote per car park instead of replacing the number of remotes we previously had. They say this is “industry standard” – wondering if there is an industry standard I can see?
Answer: Each body corporate can determine its own rules.
There is no industry standard that regulates these issues – each body corporate can determine its own rules. However, previous adjudicator orders have determined that the committee cannot change the number of keys an owner is entitled to without general meeting approval as this amounts to a restricted issue. Accordingly, if you originally had 2 keys, you would ordinarily be entitled to 2 keys unless there was a general meeting decision changing this.
This post appears in Strata News #367.
Have a question about keys, fobs, swipe cards or security access in a body corporate or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- QLD: Top Tips To Improve Security in Your Apartment Building
- QLD: Q&A Fire Audit and Fire Door Compliance
Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, take a look here.