Recently we were engaged to complete a deck safety inspection after an incident which has seen serious personal injury to a Tenant. The Pool decking collapsed and the Tenants foot went through causing multiple leg breaks and as such, cannot work for months. The Owner purchased the property and was not aware of the unapproved status of the deck, and furthermore the less than professional construction methodology – very dodgy at first glance. It had been built without regard for any standards including material selection, support or durability.
It is important to not here that the Property Manager is not a qualified professional to assess and deem whether the deck is satisfactory or not, however has become involved in this situation.
Through not fault of their own, the Owners were not made aware of the decks poor construction, despite having a Building and Pest Inspection when they purchased.
The Building Inspector is required to include all structures on the property and provide assessment.
At first glance, the failures of this deck were obvious and should have been commented on in the report as assessed; unprofessional and requires further assessment to confirm structural adequacy.
Furthermore, due to the poor workmanship, this would have triggered a recommendation to confirm the local council approval, which would include engineering design, certificate of compliance (Engineer would sign of a form to confirm the deck has been built as per Engineering Plans and Specifications).
If the Buyer was made aware of this, they may have not purchased this property with what has turned out to be a serious safety hazard; or alternatively they would have been better prepared with information and would have negotiated to have it rectified. At the very least they would have been “aware” that the deck may indeed cause serious injury some day, if not to them, to their Children, childrens friends, Uncle Merv or Nanna, anyone, including the unsuspecting Tenant.
Don’t be caught out. Be informed and aware.