Who is liable for a balcony collapse on a residential property? Which case won?
Balcony collapses due to deterioration of structural beams
The accident happened on 15 June 2012. Four people were injured when a balcony collapsed at a rented residential property in Collaroy, on Sydney’s northern beaches.
The cause of the collapse was “weathered deterioration of the structural beams and metal fixings”.
The property was managed by a real estate agent on behalf of the landlords. The property was leased to a tenant who had lived at the property for about seven years.
All parties fully aware of balcony’s defects
The real estate agent, landlords and the tenant were all fully aware of the balcony’s defects. The tenant, for example, who was an architect, had made complaints to the real estate agent about the state of the balcony as recently as February 2012, some four months before the accident.
However, she continued to use the balcony and did not prevent access to the balcony.
Those who were injured included the tenant’s daughter and three of her friends. They each made separate claims for compensation arising from their injuries.
The tenant also claimed to have suffered damage and loss as a result of witnessing the distress of her daughter and the friends.