Fit out alterations often involve partitioning changes, which in turn affect the required positioning of fire sprinklers, paths of travel to escapes and other essential fire safety measures within the building. Rectification works in turn, can also delay the issuing of the AFSS.
The issues of non compliance are possibly greater for strata titled buildings under Corporation Management of a Body Corporate and having multiple unit owners.
The required checking must be completed within three months of the mandatory reporting deadline for the AFSS. This is in order to provide sufficient lead time for building owners to co-ordinate all of the necessary testing with the various maintenance contractors (e.g. fire, electrical, air conditioning and lifts) ahead of the deadline and to ensure they have time for compliance.
Issues caused by the tenants will have no bearing on ultimate responsibility; building owners will receive a penalty for failure to comply. Given the reliance on contractors to do the right thing, owners should carefully consider amending contractor agreements to ensure they have performance clauses that allow them to sign the AFSS with confidence.