Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Liability of Older Railings in an Association

Older condominium associations with balconies were often constructed with rails that were 5 to 6 inches apart. Approximately half of all 13 to 18-month old children can pass through a 5-inch opening. Construction standards have changed over the years because of injuries and deaths of small children who slipped through those railings.

Even though older balconies are generally grandfathered by city and county building codes, the insurance industry is pressuring associations to bring railings up to the newer codes. Some insurance carriers have threatened to cancel their policies unless the changes are made.

If your association has balconies with railings more than 4 inches apart, you should consider upgrading them. Contact your insurance carrier and local building department for appropriate standards. Even if your insurance carrier is not threatening to cancel your policy, you should plan for a change-over within the next few years and start putting aside monies for the upgrade.

Very truly yours,
Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Adams & AuCoin, LLP

Adrian Adams, Esq. may be contacted through www.davis-stirling.com

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