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  • #72345
    GroundFloorUnit
    Flatchatter

      My unit has a ground floor balcony/verandah less than 1m elevation from a common grassed area outside, and steps going to a small terrace that accesses this area. The building is more than 40 years old and we bought the property with the understanding that this unit has ground level access to the courtyard. Recently, the steps from the balcony have been found to be non compliant with the current building code and the technical building report has recommended that strata replace the stairs and install a handrail. However, it appears that the Strata Committee are hoping to avoid this issue by replacing the balustrades (which may be necessary for all the other units, but not ours, as our balcony is less than 1m above the ground), and during this upgrade, conveniently fencing off our access to the courtyard.

      They have not yet made a final decision – I have only been advised of the preliminary plans – but what power do they have to do this, and what can I do to oppose them?

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    • #72355
      Just Asking
      Flatchatter

        It would be a good idea to consult the strata plan in order to verify your understanding that you have an entitlement to access the terrace from your balcony.

        Why does the strata committee wish to upgrade the balustrades to the current building code? Usually this is not necessary, unless the balustrades are obviously unsafe (for example missing or too wide spacing between balusters) or other works have necessitated a DA and the Council has conditioned an upgrade. Also, works subject to the new Design and Building Practitioners Act can have the consequence of upgrades being made.

        If as you say your balcony is less than 1 metre above the ground, there would be no necessity for any change to your balustrade but for matching the rest of the building?

        The strata committee would require approval by way of a special resolution, that is not more than 25% of votes against the resolution, in a general meeting, in order to proceed with the project.

        #72417
        optusJo
        Flatchatter

          This might help you:

          I was/am in the same sort of predicament.

          I found this Q and A useful.

          https://www.lookupstrata.com.au/qld-qa-renovations-and-changing-the-appearance-of-the-lot/#Q41

          If the issue is that you need a balustrade  to match the rest of the balustrades, could you have a gate installed?

           

           

           

           

           

           

          #72477
          Alas
          Flatchatter

            If the steps are not on the plan I would suggest checking to see if there is a bylaw covering the steps. Even if there is not currently a bylaw, you could put a proposal to the Committee that you would be prepared to pay to have the steps upgraded to the required standard and  for a bylaw covering their future use and maintenance.

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