In November 2013, the NSW Government introduced changes to Residential Tenancies Act and Regulations 2010 to minimise the risk of children falling from unlocked upper floor windows.
The NSW Land and Housing Corporation has required window locks to be in place in its properties since 2011, for safety and for ventilation. The Housing NSW & NSW Land and Housing Corporation Component Requirements state that all windows must be capable of being locked in a closed position to improve safety and provide safe ventilating points at 50mm and 100 mm from closed position. Refer to https://www.housing.nsw.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/6CE141B4-0B96-43F6-9258-36BD4F15F137/0/ComponentRequirementsManual.PDF
Community housing providers are required to install, maintain and replace keyed window locks as per Housing NSW and NSW Land and Housing Corporation standards, in buildings owned by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation.
The NSW Land and Housing Corporation is installing window locks in public housing properties when any of the following situations arise:
- A tenant requests window locks
- As part of vacant maintenance
- A member of staff or contractor reports a potential risk situation
- The dwelling is included in a planned program of works
- A tenant reports a risk for children living in upper floor units and no keyed window locks have been installed
- Installed locks are not operational, including when keys are not available or lost.
You may be aware that new Work Health and Safety legislation was introduced by the Australian Government in 2011. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation) are now in place. This legislation replaces the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001.
A number of changes are now taking place in NSW as a result of this new legislation, including the way asbestos is identified and treated, and who is responsible for ensuring the Codes of Practice are followed. These changes apply to all persons and corporations having responsibility for a workplace, business or undertaking. Your organisation should obtain its own independent advice on the legislation.
Your organisation, your property managers and all other relevant persons having responsibility for premises and/or any works carried out on premises have an obligation under the Act to keep Asbestos Registers and Asbestos Management Plans for properties that they manage.
For properties that you manage on behalf of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, please refer to the Housing NSW website for guidance. In addition, the NSW Land and Housing Corporation provides the following information to its maintenance contractors:
“Asbestos and material containing asbestos are recognised as hazardous substances. LAHC Contractors are to assume that all LAHC properties constructed on or before 1987 may contain asbestos material.”
Further advice is available from:
- Housing Act 2001
- Residential Tenancies Act 2010
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
- NSW Work Cover – How to Safely Remove Asbestos – Code of Practice
- NSW Work Cover – How to Manage and Control of Asbestos in Workplace – Code of Practice
Should you have any questions, please contact Jitender Balani, Manager Assets on (02) 8753 8283 or by email [email protected] or, Mike Condon, Senior Project Officer on (02) 8753 8273 or by email [email protected].