Serviced apartments may increase risk of personal injury

Date: Aug 10, 2011

Melbourne City Council is under increasing pressure to tighten residential safety regulations after an increase in the number of units being rented as serviced apartments.

Long-term residents have labelled buildings that allow this practice "pseudo-hotels" because of the frequency with which they change tenants.

Consumer groups have called on the council to act on a number of key issues raised by concerned locals.

These organisations have pointed out that the higher turnover of tenants in these apartment means that certain facilities are used more frequently, leading to an increase in wear on strata-owned infrastructure.

In turn this could lead to higher costs for public liability insurance as well as issues related to security, according to Residents 3000 spokeswoman Yolande Leonardi.

Ms Leonardi has also expressed concerns over the array of items left on balconies by short-stay tenants, with boxes, metal sheeting and even mattresses posing a potential risk to passersby.

"It is not only unattractive, unsecured items can be dangerous,” Ms Leonardi said.

Currently there are no laws that restrict landlords from leasing their units as serviced apartments and they are not subject to the stricter safety guidelines that apply to boarding houses and motels.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has been asked by Melbourne council to supply new regulations that require units with lease periods of less than 28 days to meet the same safety standards as the majority of hotels.

Property management firms have welcomed the move, with the general manager from Owners Corporations Victoria Rob Beck saying that he would appreciate more specific guidelines regarding items stored on private balconies.

In NSW, the resident or occupier of a property has to take a reasonable amount of care to protect anyone on their property from harm due to a foreseeable risk.

The definitions of harm include personal injury, economic loss as well as damages to property.

An experienced compensation lawyer will be able to help you determine if a particular case meets the requirements for a claim to be made.

If a person suffers a disease, impairment to physical or mental function as a result of an incident that occurs on property that is not their own, they may wish to speak to an personal injury lawyer to explore their legal options.

Access to compensation can be made easier with the use of a no win no fee law firm who can provide access to a wealth of experience with a minimum of up-front costs.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.