Promoting safety and good practice.

LIFTS: RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

If you buy a flat in a shared block, the chances are that you will also be a co-owner of the lift. This means you will have to pay a share of the costs of maintenance. Regular lift inspection and maintenance are legal requirements. A lift that is not properly maintained could cause injury or damage to third parties, exposing the lift's owners to liability for damages.

If you are planning to buy a flat, note the following.

1. Check whether a lift is already installed. If not, your contract with the current owner should ensure that the lift will comply with all relevant legislation.

2. If a lift is already installed in the block, check whether it is legally classed as new or existing. Inspection of Lifts Regulations, 2007 defines a new lift as one installed and put into service on or after July 1, 2002. An existing lift is defined as one that was installed and put into service before this date. Ask the property vendor when the lift was installed and put into service.

3. Ask the vendor whether the lift is CE-marked. Alternatively, ask the condominium administrator or lift owner about this. Regulations specify that all new lifts have to be CE-marked. If the lift is not CE-marked, contact the person responsible for the lift, who should take all the necessary steps to ensure the lift is regularised.

4. If the (new) lift is CE-marked, find out whether the lift is registered with the MCCAA, as required by law. All registered lifts are issued with a registration number. The person responsible for the lift should be able to confirm the registration number. Alternatively, check here to see whether the lift is registered.

5. If the lift is not registered with the MCCAA, insist on having it registered. It helps if you have the support and cooperation of the other owners in the same block.

6. A lift installed in a residential building has to be preventively inspected once a year. The inspection can only be carried out by an accredited conformity assessment body (ACAB). It is the person responsible for the lift, and not the installer, who should engage the services of an ACAB.

7. Ask about the preventive inspection and maintenance schedules. If the lift was installed and placed on the market before July 1, 2002, then it should have been registered already and should also have undergone a thorough examination. All the relevant documents are meant to be kept in a technical file. Ask to see the file before you buy into the block.

8. All existing lifts and most new lifts should have undergone a thorough examination. Inspection of Lifts Regulations, 2007 specifies the following deadlines for thorough examination.

Date lift was put into serviceDeadline for execution of thorough examination
Up to 31st December, 196931st December, 2009
From 1st January, 1970 up to 31st December, 197931st December, 2010
From 1st January, 1980 up to 31st December, 199931st December, 2012
From 1st January, 2000 up to 1st July, 200231st December, 2013

From these dates onwards, both new and existing lifts must be subjected to a thorough examination every ten years. A thorough examination should also be carried out in case of a major modification of the lift, an accident, or exceptional circumstances which could prejudice the lift's safety.

Check back again later. We'll be publishing more guidelines to help you plan, choose and manage a lift.