Property Maintenance Advice

There are a number of responsibilities in regards to maintaining a property that owners should make themselves aware of.

Have a look at this list to help you understand what you need to do:

  • Building structures: Risk factors such as storms and ageing building structures could lead to property damage or personal injury. This includes damage to structures like balconies, fences, retaining walls and street awnings, to name a few.

    Eg. Weight could be added to the structure if gutters are blocked, causing water to accumulate and ultimately fail. It is the building owner's responsibility to repair any damage to a service.

    Handrails should be inspected for wear and tear including decay and rust, to prevent any serious accidents from occurring. Similarly, fences and retaining walls need to be checked to make sure they are stable and not at risk of collapsing.

    NSW Planning & Environment sent to Council a Planning Circular regarding the safety of awnings over public land. This was issued in response to recommendations of the Deputy State Coroner following a coronial inquest into a fatal accident involving the collapse of an awning (Balgowlah).

    NSW Dept of Planning, Industry & Environment - on awnings

    Council recommends that building owners, with awnings over public land, should undertake their own investigations to ensure the long term structural stability of their awnings. For further information, please contact Council's compliance department on 9936 8100.

  • Smoke alarms: Smoke alarms are required to be installed in all residential buildings as well as movable dwellings where people sleep. Smoke alarms are life saving devices. Refer to the NSW Fire & Rescue website.
  • Air-conditioning: Air-conditioning units should be secured in approved locations and not damage the heritage value of buildings by being located on shop-front awnings.
  • Windows and balconies: Consideration should be given for children's safety around windows and balconies, to prevent falling accidents.
    Westmead Children's Hospital recommends that windows should be limited to open no more than 10cm when they are above ground floor and should open from the top when possible. Barriers should have a height of at least 1m and the openings between bars should not be more than 10cm.
  • Swimming pools: It is the owner or tenant's responsibility to ensure there are child-resistant barriers around swimming pools. The pool must also be registered with Council. More details available at

General maintenance guidelines are included in the provisions of Exempt Development of LEP 2013.

Maintenance on heritage items may require special consideration, please check here

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