QLD – Essential Property Services advises that the Annual Occupiers Statement can be a building owner’s, property manager’s or body corporate manager’s nightmare. Property managers need reminding of obligations with regards to providing an Annual Occupiers Statement for fire safety installations to the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner under the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (BFSR).
The BFSR and the Queensland Development Code MP 6.1 require that building owners, property and body corporate managers within Queensland ensure they prepare and lodge a copy of the Annual Occupiers Statement with the Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service each year.
The Annual Occupiers Statement is a declaration that the prescribed fire safety installations are being serviced, maintained and tested as per the requirements and schedules detailed in AS 1851-2005 ‘Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment’.
Details of the prescribed fire safety installations (which are needed for the Annual Occupiers Statement) are listed on the building’s ‘Certificate of Classification’ which also details the applicable Australian Standards pertaining to the maintenance and testing of the building’s installed prescribed fire safety installations. The requirement for an Annual Occupiers Statement is applicable to all Class 1b, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 buildings.
The Annual Occupiers Statement should detail the following;
- Name and address of the building
- List of prescribed fire safety installations installed within the building
- Applicable Australian Standards or relevant maintenance requirements for each prescribed fire safety installation
- Condition of the prescribed fire safety installation i.e. any critical defect issued or not over that annual period, and
- Date of rectification of any critical defects over the 12 month period. (Note: all critical defects should be rectified immediately after issue of a critical defect notice by a competent person, as defined within the BFSR 2008).
Building owners, property and body corporate managers should ensure they are provided with an annual ‘Record of Maintenance’ and ‘Condition Report’ from their approved fire protection contractors to enable the Annual Occupiers Statement to be accurately prepared for lodgment.
Furthermore, building owners, property and body corporate managers should ensure that they are provided with ‘Records of Maintenance’ and ‘Condition Reports’ from their tenants with regards to the maintenance and testing of prescribed fire safety installations applicable to the individual tenancy fitout, to support the Annual Occupiers Statement.
Building owners, property and body corporate managers are responsible to ensure that all base building prescribed fire safety installations are compliant with the relevant legislation and Australian Standards as detailed within the ‘Certificate of Classification’ or relevant ‘approval documentation’ pertaining to the building before signing the Annual Occupiers Statement.
Tenants, as mentioned before, are generally responsible for ensuring any prescribed fire safety installations are maintained and tested, which have been installed to supplement the base building prescribed fire safety installations, due to the tenancy fitout requirements. These should be allowed for when signing the Annual Occupiers Statement.
However, while tenant obligations may be reduced or increased dependant on the contents of the lease agreement with the building owner or managing body, all must comply under the BFSR when signing the Annual Occupiers Statement.
A template for the format applicable to the annual ‘Occupier’s Statement’ within Queensland is contained in the Queensland Development Code MP 6.1 Schedule 2, and this can be used to lodge with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner under the BFSR as your building’s Annual Occupiers Statement.
Building Legislation Table
Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.