Compulsory Compliance for Rental Properties
In Western Australia, there are certain mandatory compliance for all rental properties. This useful guide with relevant links will help you ensure that your property complies to the required legislation to ensure safety for all parties.
1. Product Safety: Window Fittings & Anchors
“Blind and curtain cords or chains are a significant risk to children, as unsecured cords can lead to strangulation.” Dept of Commerce.
Since 2004, WA has adopted product safety regulation for internal window coverings which means that Owners have to ensure that blinds and curtain cords or chains supplied must adhere to the national product safety requirement. The exposed cord or chain should be secured by a safety device if it hangs lower than 1.6m from the floor (as children may easily reach for it).
In addition, Property Owners must give Tenants permission to anchor furniture to protect children. Holes created in the walls, however, must be repaired prior to vacating the property, at the Tenant’s own expense. In the case of furnished rental properties, Property Owners must anchor furniture prior to tenants moving in to ensure safety. Further information can be found below:
2. Fire Protection: Smoke Alarms & Residual Current Devices (RCDs)
WA is prone to fires due to our climate therefore, protection from fire hazards is not to be taken lightly. Did you know that most fires tend to happen at night and the smoke has been known to lull people into deeper sleep? As such, the following measures must be taken for fire prevention and safety.
Two RCDs must be installed on the switchboard before it is rented out and it is compulsory that powered smoke alarms are installed in all new residential buildings or extensions since 1st July 1997. An RCD is a device that quickly breaks an electrical circuit to prevent serious harm from an ongoing electric shock. Two are required - one for the lights circuits and one for the power points.
Furthermore, from October 2009, the Property Owner has to ensure that the main powered smoke alarms are fitted in all existing residential buildings prior to sale and before a new tenancy agreement is signed. These requirements are now prescribed in the Building Regulations 2012. To find out more, please refer to the links below or contact Energy Safety on 6251 1900.
3. Body of Water: Swimming Pool, Spas and Ponds
Drowning in young children (0-5 years) is identified as the most preventable cause of death, with 10 more children being admitted into hospitals for near drowning incidences.
Therefore, the WA regulators have legislated that “All private swimming and spa pools that contain water that is more than 300 mm deep must have a compliant barrier installed that restricts access by young children to the pool and its immediate surrounds”. The local council will conduct regular inspections once every four years to ensure compliance.
Various standards and regulations apply depending on whether your pool or spa was built before 2001 or post May 2016. Kindly see the link below: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/195697_web_rules_for_pools_and_spas_a4_booklet_feb_2019.pdf
As for outdoor ponds, it is best to check with your Local City Council on the specific requirements.
4. Minimum Level of Security: Locks & Lights
Property Owners are responsible for ensuring that the rental property has a minimum level of security in place i.e. door locks, window locks and exterior lights, specified in the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989.
According to the Department of Commerce, these security measures include:
- Main entry door – either a deadlock or a key-lockable screen door to Australian Standard AS 5039-2008.
- All other external doors (excluding balcony doors where there is no access to the balcony except from inside the premises): a deadlock or, if a deadlock cannot be fitted, a patio bolt lock or a key lockable security screen to Australian Standard AS 5039-2008.
- Exterior windows (excluding windows fitted with security grilles to Australian standard AS 5039-2008, windows on, or above the second floor of the building and where the window is not easily accessible from outside the premises): must be fitted with a lock that prevents the window from being opened from outside. This does not have to be a key lock.
- Main entry light: an electrical light that can illuminate the main entry to the premises must be fitted to or near the exterior of the premises and be operable from inside the premises.
In most circumstances, any removal or change any locks without the consent of the consent of both the Owner and Tenant is deemed illegal. An exception to this rule is in the case of Family Violence where Tenants affected by family violence, can change locks at their own expense without prior permission. This is subjected to certain conditions as follows:
For more information, please refer to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website. Our Property Managers check properties for compliance at each inspection. Feel free to contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable Property Managers at Time Conti Sheffield if you wish to speak to us.