Council (City of Sydney) Inspection Of Apartment

OK, this is really strange. I was told last week by my building manager that there is to be a council inspection of my apartment. Apparently a council inspector called up the building manager and gave a gamut of complaints about by apartment, including overcrowding and noise complaints. This is a 3 bedroom apartment, 5 people, no stereo system and no parties (thus no noise).

Anyway, after being told of the intended council inspection by the building management my landlord tried to find out what is going on by calling the council in front of me and speaking to the inspector. The council inspector told my landlord that its probably just an angry neighbor (???) and its probably nothing but he will still have to inspect. So my landlord asked the inspector to send some documents detailing exactly what the inspection is about. This is about a week ago.

Fast forward to today, and there is still no documentation from this council inspector, and I still haven't been informed of anything in writing at all and I am wondering what on earth is going on. The "inspection" is scheduled for Wednesday.

Can the council worker just walk into my apartment just like that? Or is he asking permission? On the phone to my landlord (and building manager) he made out like he has the authority to do it, but if he does, why not just do it? Has anyone else experienced this?


  • +1

    what did the city council say when you called them?

    • I have never spoken to anyone with the council.

      • Wait for paperwork and call the could council. This sounds weird.

  • No experience whatsoever so this is just hypothetical, but I'd assume if they were allowed to come into your apartment they'd have to give you a heads up first (like your landlord would have to do if he wanted to check the room) so thats probably why you were given the notice?

    If they said probably just angry neighbor then I'm guessing theres either been one person complaining constantly or multiple people been complaining about your apartment so they are checking it?

    Things like over crowding is something that has happened in places I think (I heard a story of a few places in Sydney being taken apart due to it, and a friend was apparently living in one place like that), so they probably take things like that seriously. I think technically there is a "minimum livable area" a person needs to have so that you can't just stick 10 people into a 1 bed room house and just hang up a few curtains here and there.

    My guess is that if you arn't breaking any noise problems or laws and everyone has adequate space to live then you're fine. Likely its a council worker having to check up due to a complaint from around.

    • OK, but I actually haven't been given notice. I've never heard of any type of notice that wasn't in writing.

      • Apologies, I'm a bit sleepy, when I read this:

        I was told last week by my building manager that there is to be a council inspection of my apartment.

        I thought you meant that the building manager itself got a notice but you didn't. In which case I definitely don't know, apologies mate. Hope someone else has the answers you're looking for.

        • The building manager got a phone call. That's it. Nothing in writing.

  • Yes they have the legal right to enter.

    They have to give written notice unless you consent to their entry or one of the other exceptions applies.

    They also have the right use force to gain entry.

    • Thanks for that.

      I also noticed this -

      How do I go about getting them to show me this?

      • You ask them when they turn up to do the inspection.

    • Also, this -

      Seems to contradict the idea that they can just enter without a search warrant. Confusing!

      • It's a simple matter for the inspector to get a court order if you continue to refuse entry. Once a court order is obtained they can enlist the help of the Police to gain entry. They will eventually get in one way or another.

    • +1

      If you read on, section 200 seems to say that the powers of entry are not available for residential premises:

      The powers of entry and inspection conferred by this Part are not exercisable in relation to that part of any premises being used for residential purposes except:
      (a) with the permission of the occupier of that part of the premises, or
      (b) if entry is necessary for the purpose of inspecting work being carried out under an approval, or
      (c) under the authority conferred by a search warrant.

  • +1

    Don't let the inspector in.

    Board up the windows and block entry to the front door with a big and heavy object so he/she cannot enter or see inside.

    • Why?

      • It's sarcasm.

        Was keeping myself entertained during sets as Federer whips Cilic's butt

        • -1

          Isn't tennis "boring" ?

  • +3

    Hey mate it can be some what common for these inspections. I have seen people in the city living with 10 people in a 2 bedroom unit. This has forced a crackdown with city of Sydney council. It is a fire hazard i guess.

    I had mates that where students living with 7 of them in a 3 bedroom place at Kingsford. The odd one left crashed in the lounge room lol. They never had issues and always had people over so maybe 10 people in the unit at once. I would think that the building manager would be doing the inspection or the owner? Are you sure some one from the building corporate doesn't think you have to many people in the one unit? Do you need swipe cards to enter? Is there security for the building?

    With many people in the house it will be some what noisy even if its not music. It could just be people making noise coming and going and moving around?

    • +2

      If OP is living in the CBD they will have seen the common advertisements for overcrowded student and traveller accommodation. 2 sets of bunks per bedroom and often extras in the living areas, so 10 people in a 2br flat happens.
      This overcrowding is dangerous in a fire, and is a breach of planning rules, so the council is checking it out. They won't care if the place is messy, they will care if there is glad wrap over the smoke alarm because it keeps going off when you are cooking in the bedroom ;-)

      • I hope one day I will be as wise as you.
        Glad wrap on the smoke alarm seems like a novel solution to a temporary problem.

  • Thanks for the replies, you guys deserve an update.

    First, I haven't refused entry - to my way of thinking, I haven't even been asked! At no time have I been in contact with the inspector I have just been told that he is coming at a certain time and date.

    Today I called the council and asked them if my apartment is scheduled to be inspected. The guy on the phone looked it up and told me that there is no scheduled or authorized inspection in my apartment on that day or at all. Through the person I spoke to on the phone I left a message for the inspector, but he didn't call me back.

    I am going to get to the bottom of this!

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