AUST – Essential Property Services advises that construction of a building to the title boundary of an allotment can provide for the efficient use of a property.   Construction techniques exist that allow fire rating of boundary walls to be achieved and the constructability issues can be considered at the design stage to a project. But, the ongoing maintenance of the building is rarely thought through at a design stage and it is only in the years following completion that the ramifications set in for inspecting and maintaining the nominated essential safety measures in statutory documents.

Many building owners wrongly believe that maintenance on the external parts of their building can occur from an adjoining property, whereas in fact, unless an adjoining property owner grants this permission, no legal rights exist to access adjoining property for maintenance purposes. eg. fire rated control joints nominated (essential safety measures), spalling concrete, subsidence issues etc.

When designing a building constructed to the boundary, it is necessary to consider the legal implications for the ongoing maintenance, essential safety measure compliance in respect to mandatory inspections and OH&S requirements for safe access for specialist maintenance contractors.