Standards could save you a small fortune, for investment property owners.

Jhai Mitchell

Toongabbie and Seven HIlls investment property owners who ensure that their investment property meets Australian Standards for buildings could be saving themselves a small fortune.

Owners of investment property have a legal responsibility to ensure that their property meets all current Standards. These Standards include the obvious such as electrical wiring, smoke alarms, plumbing, but also cover the not so obvious, such as the types of glass in the windows and doors of the property.

Glass used in any windows or doors throughout the property must adhere to current Australian Standards, regardless of when the house was built.

Encounters with plate glass doors and windows often result in serious injuries. Building owners and occupiers and their insurers should be aware of the scope of liability in negligence for potential injuries from glass breakage.

Detailed below are some recent cases where the Property Owner was held liable for damages.

Thomson v S A Housing Trust

An eighteen-year-old South Australian girl was awarded $23,961 in damages. Her back and arms were seriously lacerated and disfigured by a breaking shower screen. The court found that the owner/operator, South Australian Housing Trust, was liable for having glass in the shower screen that was not up to current Australian Standards.

Giner v Public Trustee

An eleven-year-old girl fell through the door of a flat, which had been built prior to 1970. Her cuts were so deep as to almost sever her leg. In awarding damages of $139,058, Judge Mildren rejected the Defence that the flat was glazed to the standards pertaining at the time. He confirmed that the relevant factors are those existing at the time of the accident.