Safety and rental properties

A key responsibility of owning any rental property is ensuring the residence remains safe and livable.

And across Australia’s states and territories there are numerous laws governing the property owner’s obligation to ensure rental premises are up to the required standard.

So, let’s take a look at safety in rental properties and how you can ensure your property is up to par…

Safe and secure

Although different rules govern each state and territory when it comes to rental law, the reality is the property owner has an obligation to ensure the residence they lease to someone is safe and secure.

That means it should be weatherproof and lockable, with access to electricity and other necessities such as hot water, plumbing etc.

Beyond this there are also specific areas of a property which a property owner might be legally required to provide and maintain.

Windows and door locks

A rental property should be lockable, with working locks or latches fitted to doors and windows.

At the commencement of the rental agreement, the keys to any locks should be provided to the renter.

Smoke alarms

A number of Australian states and territories have very stringent laws about the provision of smoke alarms in rental properties.

Introduced to reduce the number of fire-related deaths, these laws generally specify:

  • That smoke alarms must be installed
  • Where they must be fitted within a property
  • The type of alarm required
  • How often they need to be serviced or checked
  • That they must be working
  • Who is responsible for replacing any batteries

Pool fencing

Pool fencing laws also vary across Australia, but in most states the pool must be properly fenced, the fence must be at least a specific height, the gate must be self-closing, and resuscitation signage must be fitted.

In states such as Queensland, pools in rental properties also require a safety certificate which is reassessed every couple of years and is included in the rental agreement.   

Decks, staircases and windows

In the interests of general safety, property owners should pay particular attention to areas such as decks, staircases and windows.

For example, decks above a certain height generally require adequate railings, and should be regularly inspected for issues like wood rot or termites.

Staircases should also be checked for wood rot, along with loose balustrading, while windows above a certain height might require window restrictors to prevent them opening too far.

Mould and ventilation

Mould can present a serious health problem, and it’s the property owner’s responsibility to ensure the residence is adequately ventilated and free of any leaks which may cause mould.

How your property manager can assist

Regular repairs and maintenance of a rental property go a long way to mitigating all of the problems mentioned above, as does a good property manager who knows what to look for and how the law applies.

A great property manager will ensure your investment remains safe and secure and will also help set up a maintenance and repair schedule that helps manage minor problems long before they become major issues.

Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.

We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.

Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.