Renting a property out nowadays comes with several rules for both landlords and tenants. These conditions are mainly put in place to protect both parties in the years to come.
Tenants, for example, are responsible for paying their monthly rent on time as well as maintaining the property’s current physical state.
Landlords, on the other hand, have an even longer list of duties and obligations they need to perform if they are leasing the property out commercially.
These include ensuring a tenant’s (and their family’s) safety, security and well being via keeping all electrical and fire alarm systems in good working order, preventing intruders, and that the property – and any renovations or improvements within – follow and pass government building code standards.
Fortunately, real estate maintenance services exist to make this process as easy as possible.
Your landlord’s safety responsibilities
The primary, non-negotiable responsibility of a landlord is to provide residence or office space that is safe and free from any hazards to safeguard the health (and lives) of their tenants.
Here are 5 Safety Regulations landlords must legally follow when leasing a property out:
#1. Electrical safety
Across all Australian States, landlords need to make sure that the property’s electrical systems are in good working order.
- The landlord should only hire a licensed, professional electrician to help maintain all electrical systems.
- All parts of the home’s electrical system – from switches, sockets, light fittings, the safety panel and more should be laid out properly and checked for any cracked or frayed wires.
- The home must also be adequately grounded – and that all outlets and appliances inspected to rule out any potential grounding issues.
- The landlord must make sure that all appliances that come with the property are safe to avoid any injuries and accidents. These can include electric kettles, cookers, refrigerators, televisions and more. All faulty appliances should be replaced immediately.
- Only licensed persons should perform all electrical work.
#2. Gas safety
For rented properties that use gas around the kitchen and more, landlords must take the extra effort to ensure that the entire system is safe and up to code.
- All gas equipment – fittings, flues, chimneys, appliances and piping and more – should be safely installed and maintained by a professional and licensed Gas engineer or specialist.
- Arrange for a professional Gas engineer to perform periodic maintenance work and run annual checks in the home. We recommend that all gas run appliances should be serviced annually or every two years at the very least.
- Landlords must provide a copy of all gas safety check records – even those that took place before moving in.
- If repairs are needed, they should be performed immediately, and safety tests should take place before returning any repaired appliances or declaring them fit for use again.
#3. Fire safety
Landlords have numerous responsibilities regarding fire safety since fires not only destroy valuable property but can also lead to loss of life.
- Landlords must follow and comply with all local and Statewide fire safety protocols and regulations.
- Each room must have a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm, and for rooms with a coal or wood-burning stove, a carbon monoxide alarm as well.
- Landlords need to make sure that all the appliances, furniture and other furnishings that come with the property are fire safe.
- For apartment buildings especially, landlords must label all fire doors and emergency exits and map out an escape route for all tenants.
#4. General safety
Beyond electrical, fire and gas safety, there are many other hidden hazards in any property. These might not apply to all of the properties currently being leased out, they are still essential and must be followed by landlords if applicable.
- Pool Barriers and Fences
An effective pool barrier can save numerous lives – especially those of children. Landlords must ensure that a pool or jacuzzi/spa is fenced according to local regulations. Each state differs on these requirements, so a bit of research might be needed.
- Windows and Balconies
Landlords are required to install window safety devices on balcony windows to help them withstand up to 25kg of force as well as child safety locks. These tools will help the window handle high winds – as well as prevent accidental breaks – while keeping the children safely out of the balcony without adult supervision.
- Physical Security
All landlords must provide a reasonable level of security in their rental properties which can range from hiring a full-time security team to installing extra lights or security gates and fences. Tenants may also be allowed to change all locks to their homes for added safety.
- Curtain and Window Blind Cords
In various States, landlords must check the length of all window blinds and curtain cords. They should not be within easy reach of children and pets (even if tenants do not have children) because they are an accidental strangulation hazard.
#5. Share a Detailed Property Report with Tenants
- Landlords are required to submit a detailed property report to all tenants before the start and at the end of their agreed lease period.
This is an essential yet often overlooked safety requirement because this report should list down the current safety conditions of the property in detail. It should include when gas, electrical and fire systems were last inspected, when appliances were repaired or serviced and more.
It will let the tenant know that the landlord is complying with all safety standards and regulations and can also help settle any disputes regarding damages or accidents.
Check your property’s electrical systems before your new tenant moves in.
Are you a residential landlord? Let us help!
Our team of professional and licensed electricians will check your existing electrical system in your residential properties to ensure that it is up to local safety standards. This will protect you and your tenants from losses caused by fires and power surges due to damaged wires, short circuits and more.