During a blackout if the lift is not able to be used, how does a tenant gain access to their apartment? – Victoria, NSW

Q: During a blackout if the lift is not able to be used, how does a tenant gain access to their apartment? Fire escape stairs lock from the inside on each level, and a key is needed to leave the stairwell on each level. Is the tenant allowed to have access to this key? If not, how does a tenant access their apartment during a blackout?

A: General fire stairs are for emergency egress – i.e. exiting – not entering a building. A property owner or agent, not a tenant, should contact the strata manager or building manager to see what solution could be put in place for the tenant. If there’s a planned power outage, for example, the tenant may be temporarily given key access until normal activity resumed.