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April 2014

April 1, 2014

OVERRULED: Short term letting OK in Class 2 buildings

The Victorian Court of Appeals has ruled that the use of self-contained apartments as short term serviced apartment accommodations does not mean that the proper classification of apartments under the Building Code has changed from Class 2 to Class 3 in a decision sure to please the tourism and rental sector – albeit with a warning to maintain safe properties.

The appeal overturned the original decision of the Building Appeals Board of Victoria, who had found that Class 2 “dwellings” only applied to long term residencies. The Appeals court reversed that decision by taking the definition of ‘dwelling’ to mean ‘a place of residence or abode, whether temporary or permanent’. This broadened definition allows for short term letting of Class 2 buildings so long as there are facilities for separate occupation. This is important because Class 2 have less stringent ‘deem to satisfy’ requirements under the Building Code of Australia (BCA). These can include but are not limited to requirements for fire, exit ways and egress, disability access and emergency systems. READ MORE