Unsafe balconies and decks have been involved in a number of recent accidents and deaths in NSW and other States.
Balconies, decks, balustrades and railings must be built to the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards.
Balconies and decks must be regularly inspected and maintained. They must be able to take the pressures typically placed on them.
Under NSW tenancy laws, landlords must provide and maintain rented premises in a reasonable state of repair. When a tenancy starts, faults or damage should be noted on the condition report that is completed and signed by both parties.
Read the NSW Fair Trading document Deck and balcony safety guide to guide you in maintaining your deck or balcony so it stays safe to enjoy.
From NSW Fair Trading - Winter is the time to check your deck
When the weather gets colder and the barbecue is covered, winter is the perfect time to check decks and balconies for signs of wear and tear.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, explained, “The weather and lifestyle in our state are ideal for enjoying the outdoors while relaxing and entertaining with friends and family at home,” he said.
“Like all parts of the home, decks and balconies require routine and regular maintenance to keep them in good repair and identify any emerging issues. Winter is the perfect time.”
Many Australian homes have decks and balconies but unfortunately, there have been a number of recent incidents in NSW and other states, resulting in serious injuries or death.
To help address this, NSW Fair Trading provides a guide to help NSW residents understand how to build and maintain safe decks and balconies, identify any signs of maintenance or structural problems and to find expert assistance when required.
Balconies and decks should be checked regularly. Residents can check for any issues by applying light pressure and using a pushing and pulling action on handrails, balustrades, supporting beams and joists.
Common maintenance issues can be caused by insects, water and rot, coastal and corrosive effects and heavy loads, like pots, air conditioning units and furniture.
Residents should only engage licensed tradespeople to do building work, and can check licenses at Service NSW
For more information about deck and balcony safety or to download the safety guide, visit fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.