I’ve received a number of comments regarding the low balcony railing story, which we did on 1 February 2018. I was reminded that the Building Code of Australia refers to it as a balustrade. I find this a little interesting because we hold a development consent, which indicates that the balustrade is called a parapet. No wonder I was confused. For abundant clarity, wherever I have mentioned the word “balcony,” I mean “balustrade.” I apologise for any confusion.

One comment however did find me out. In a haste to be abundantly clear, I made a mistake. In the article, I refer to the current height provided by the Building Code of Australia for a balustrade as being 1.2m. My reader is absolutely correct. The legal height is 1m. In my haste, I indicated that the legal height of a balcony is 1.2m getting the height confused with pool fence height. Pool fences must be 1.2m high.

To ensure accuracy, a balcony and balustrade only needs to be 1m high. I hope that the confusion does not cause the issues in the article to be misread. What we hope people take away from this article is that, just because the council says you’re your property is okay due to the property being built at an earlier time, it does not mean it’s safe. Safe means that, it must comply with the safety standards of today not yesterday. Ignoring advisors who tell you, as an owner’s corporation, that the balcony height must be increased, can only leave the owner’s corporation vulnerable to action.

I do eat humble pie!

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email info@leveragegroup.com.