Trampolines on body corporate common property

Feb 18 2019

Imagine the following scenario: An owner has just moved into the complex. They come from a large house where they previously had a trampoline installed and decide to donate it to the body corporate. Should the trustees accept this kind donation for the children in the complex?

In our opinion, the managing agent who advises to respond with a resounding ‘no’ is acting in the best interests of everyone.

Common property additions

Recently, we were asked to speak at an event on the matter of additions to common property – such as trampolines. The question was raised as to the best way to deal with moveable items donated to the body corporate for all to use on common property such as swings, trampolines, etc.

It is quite commonly known how dangerous trampolines can be:Throughout North America, health experts recommend avoiding trampoline use completely for anyone not undergoing supervised training for a sport.

Common injuries include trauma to the spinal cord, neck and head. According to statistics, these sorts of injuries have significantly increased in recent years and children suffer the bulk of injuries. Many pediatricians warn that trampolines simply present too much of a risk for children to use.

Broken bone injuries are common. Children under 16 suffer the most from trampoline-related fractures. Smaller children bear the greatest likelihood of injury when multiple people jump at the same time. According to some of these statistics, 20% of spinal-cord injuries happen as multiple jumpers collide as they attempt stunts or fall from the trampoline. Permanent neurological damage is not unusual.

Safety precautions

If you have a trampoline on the body corporate premises, trustees need to ensure that the area is safe, cordoned off, gated and supervised by an adult at all times. If not new, the equipment needs to be monitored for any defects and rusted or exposed springs. The bars should be cushioned and all surrounding objects should be kept far away. More than one article referred to ladders or step ladders needing to be far out of reach. Young children will often just find the nearest object to climb onto so they can get on the trampoline, only to fall off and injure themselves on or against that very object. Body corporate conducts rules and associated disclaimers would need to be put in place.

Even trampolines in exclusive use areas could be problematic. Such exciting equipment is a magnet for curious young children and if it is accessible from common property, trustees should take note and take action where necessary. Prevention is better than cure.

Author: Mike Addison

Addsure is South Africa’s leading sectional title insurance brokerage. Obtain fit and proper advice from advisors who understand sectional title. Contact us our head office, Cape Town (021) 551 5069 who will put you directly in touch with one of our nationwide advisors.

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