AUST – Essential Property Services advises that during essential safety measures inspections we are noticing a number of tenants have enclosed part of a storey (usually a basement or carpark area) and are using the area as a store or workshop with the appropriate building permit.
Under the Building Code of Australia up to 10 percent of a floor area of a storey to be used as a different classification*. For the purposes of the regulations however, the major use (classification) may apply to the whole storey.
*(Provided the minor use classification is not a laboratory, or a Class 2, 3 or 4 part which will be a change of use).
Unfortunately, where these enclosures exist, there are instances where a number of these enclosures render a number of essential safety measures inoperative, and as a consequence, the existence of the enclosure being illegal. In the aftermath of a a fire evacuation a property owner may be called to account by authorities or an insurance company for the lack of building approval for the illegal building works and a defective essential safety measures regime.
Managers need to be diligent in this area by ensuring tenants do not compromise the building owner’s asset and legal position and must be aware of the essential safety measures determination/ schedule.
Fire Safety Compliance: Essential Safety Measures
Building Legislation Table
Refer to our Building Legislation Table for further information on the building control process.