All about the regulations for installing platform lifts
Accessibility for all people is something we should not ignore. In recent years, stairlifts have become essential in terms of solving and improving mobility or providing accessibility to all types of users.
When we talk about stairlift systems, we are referring to fixed systems, both stairlifts and platforms, which are moved with the help of a rail or rails that follow the route and shape of the staircase itself, being installed on it without the obligation to carry out reforms or modifications to do so.
Stairlifts and stairlift platforms usually provide accessibility solutions for entrances to all types of buildings and shops, and are fully adapted for access by any user, especially for people who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility. We are talking about at least 50% of the population who need a mobility solution to overcome the steps at the entrances of public or private buildings.
The installation of stairlifts, vertical platforms or platform lifts, is an essential accessibility solution for people with reduced mobility, which aims to save those stairs that hinder their mobility and reduce the ability to live in a safer and quieter way. Mainly, when entering and leaving their homes.
We would like to inform you that, strictly speaking, there is no published regulation in Spain or in its autonomous communities on how to proceed with the installation and maintenance of a stairlift platform inside a home. For this reason, the manufacturer's guidelines must be taken into account in detail.
Unlike ordinary lifts, the installation of a platform lift does not require lengthy bureaucratic processes, such as council licences or structural design, as it does not require structural modifications to homes or buildings, eliminating the obstacle of carrying out building work. This is one of the most important reasons for the advantage of installing a platform lift, when compared to the installation of a lift. But there are a few more advantages to be highlighted:
They are installed in less than a day.
The energy consumption of a platform lift is much lower than that of an ordinary lift.
It will continue to operate even if there is a power cut, as it is made up of a battery system incorporated into the chair that will prevent the machine from stopping, even if there is a blackout.
They are multifunctional, as they can transport people standing or in wheelchairs.
Stairlifts do not require a maintenance contract.
If the installation is carried out inside a private home, there is no published law that affects it. On the other hand, if the installation is carried out in a public building, both private and public, it is the regional laws, including accessibility ordinances, which will affect the installation. Not forgetting that each autonomous community has its own accessibility regulations.
According to article 396 of the Spanish Civil Code, the Horizontal Property Law states: "the different premises or flats of a building or the parts of them susceptible of independent use because they have their own exit to a common element of the building or the public road may be the object of separate ownership, which will have an inherent right of co-ownership over the common elements of the building, which are all those necessary for their proper use and enjoyment".
This means that it is a right that is exercised over one or several floors of a building, industrial spaces, commercial premises, warehouses, dwellings, offices, which have been acquired by different owners individually, but which have joint ownership rights and obligations in common.
It is a common good, which will facilitate accessibility for all those who need it. For this reason, there must be the approval of the majority of the owners for the installation of a platform lift in the residents' association.
According to the Horizontal Property Law, in the case of the installation of a platform lift, all owners are obliged to contribute to the payment of this mobility solution. It should be clear that the payment for the installation of a stairlift, including the adaptation work, should not exceed the limit of twelve instalments.
It is common for this type of request to be made on an individual basis, by a single owner with an accessibility need. In this type of situation, the procedure is usually to present the request to the president of the residents' association. In the case of a person with a functional disability or a person over 70 years of age with reduced mobility, it is compulsory to carry out the installation without exceeding the aforementioned costs of twelve ordinary monthly payments of common expenses.
An owner could only refuse to pay if the annual cost of the installation exceeds 33% of his annual income.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find excuses for ignoring the rights of people with disabilities, in particular their right to accessibility.
Each autonomous community has its own regulations on accessibility in buildings, but there is a European Parliament Directive - 2006/42/EC - on the installation of lifting machinery in the EC. It specifies a number of issues such as commissioning, seating, ergonomics, compulsory marking of machines, seating, power supply failure, noise, etc.
With today's technology, these devices are designed for daily use without any inconvenience. No regular maintenance is required. We recommend only one technical visit per year for lubrication and inspection of the platform lift.
Depending on the state agencies of each locality and autonomous community, there are aids for people with reduced mobility or disability, which could benefit from this type of installation to your building or home.
In Hidral we are pioneers in the elevation and accessibility industry since 1975. We have installed thousands of stairlifts in public and private buildings in many parts of the world. Contact our team of professionals who will answer all your questions and advise you on all aspects of stairlifts to improve the accessibility of your building!