NSW strata scheme requirements

Under recent legislative changes, all owners corporations in NSW must install window safety devices on all applicable windows before 13 March 2018.

This means that if you own a strata property, you must:

  • Install a window safety device on any openable window that is 2m or more above the outside surface beneath
  • Install a window safety device on any openable window where the lowest level of the window is less than 1.7m above the internal floor
  • Ensure your window safety device is capable of restricting the window so that a 125mm sphere can’t pass through the window opening
  • Ensure your window safety device is capable of resisting an outward horizontal action of 250N
  • Ensure the window safety device you choose has a child-resistant release mechanism, if it is a type that can be removed, over-ridden or unlocked.

If you rent a strata property, be sure to insist that your home is compliant.

Frequently asked questions

What is a child-resistant mechanism?

This is a mechanism on a window safety device which requires a key to unlock; a coordinated two-handed operation to release; or the use of a tool such as a screwdriver or spanner to remove the device or screen to shift the window to the fully open position.

Do the windows in my strata property need to be permanently restricted?

The changes to strata laws in NSW do not require that windows be permanently restricted. However, if a window safety device can be removed, overridden or unlocked, it must have a child resistant release mechanism.

If I don’t have children, do the laws still apply?

If children don’t reside in the lot or are not present in the common property nearby, windows may be opened to their full extent, provided the window is fitted with a device that can be restricted for children when necessary as required.

Do I need to have my window locks certified once they are installed?

There is no requirement in the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) or the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (NSW) for installers to provide certifications to strata managing agents or owners corporations indicating that their installations comply with the requirements of the Act and Regulation. That is a matter for installers to decide. They do not require a certification from the NSW Department of Fair Trading.