With an increasing and broad range of issues in strata management in 2023, it is important that owners corporations understand risk and take key steps to manage risk. 

The owners corporation bears the primary responsibility for common property, and that liability has been proven out in the court system.

Safety Of Common Property

It is the responsibility of the owners corporation to ensure that common property is reasonably safe to users.

It is imperative to take action to identify and address safety hazards.

According to Bannermans Lawyers even if a hazard or danger posed by the common property was obvious and/or a matter of common sense, an owner or occupier is not absolved from liability.

The way that owners corporations can minimise legal exposure is by obtaining a risk assessment report prepared by a qualified risk/safety assessor. Such a report is beneficial because it can identify potential risks and likelihood in common property. It can also recommend various control measures or precautions for each risk.

If the owners corporation is aware of their responsibilities and proactively seeks to manage and minimise the risk, then arguably, it has acted in a reasonably practicable manner to address any foreseeable risk.

Key Strata Common Area Safety Issues

In NSW, the owners corporation must ensure all common areas are maintained and state safety rules are followed:

Other safety rules are outlined on the NSW Government website.

Planning For Risk

Working with your McCormacks strata manager, you can ensure your strata committee engages on an annual basis in maintaining your strata property.

These are the priority items to complete:

Having your strata property’s fire safety checks health and safety plan, capital works plan and insurance research together with the annual budget prior to the AGM is ideal, so that each of these items can be put to the entire owners corporation for review and approval.

As always, you can rely on McCormacks for trusted advice. We bring deep knowledge and expertise from 30 years of experience and can help lead your planning process to ensure strata success.