Skip to main content

Legal Compliance: 3 Things That Trip Up Landlords

All WA rental properties must comply with certain safety regulations and, if a landlord gets it wrong, they could face big fines.

We look at the three areas we see trip landlords up most often and how you can avoid them.

1. Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are the best measure for preventing house fires, which can cause damage and even death. In fact, one study showed that not having a properly working smoke alarm meant you were more than 80% more likely to die in a house fire.

What you need to do

Owners also have an obligation under the RTA to provide a safe, hazard free property. This means all rental properties should have hard-wired smoke alarms. In fact, WA legislation says that properties must have mains-powered smoke alarms fitted before they’re sold or leased. That means you need to have them installed before you rent out your property under a new lease. Remember, a new lease can include existing tenants whose lease has been renewed.

The regulations also say that you need to make sure smoke alarms are in working order. Remember, even hardwired systems require backup batteries, and you also need to make sure these haven’t run out of charge – the government also recommends changing them annually.

How we can help

We can arrange for smoke alarms to be installed on your property. We’ll also carry out routine maintenance and testing as part of our ongoing property management.

2. Swimming pools

Swimming pools are responsible for far too many toddler deaths in Western Australia. In fact, government statistics show that approximately 40 per cent of toddler drowning deaths occur in domestic pools. For every drowning death, another 10 children will be admitted to hospital.

The government requires you to install a compliant barrier around any private swimming pool or spa pool deeper than 30cm to restrict young children’s access to it. This even includes inflatable or temporary pools.

Pools constructed after May 2016, must also comply with the Building Code of Australia. This means a door can’t form any part of the barrier to the pool. There are also rules on when a boundary fence can be included as part of the barrier to the pool.

What you need to do

If you have a swimming pool or spa, you need to be across the rules. Don’t just assume yours complies, otherwise, you may face a hefty fine. It’s also something that tenants need to be aware of if they put up a portable pool in summer, as these also need to comply with the pool regulations.

Read about the swimming pool rules on the WA Commerce website.

How we can help

Our property managers can arrange for a qualified contractor to assess the compliance of your property’s swimming pool and, if necessary, carry out any work required.

3. Security

Did you know that WA regulations actually prescribe what level of security you need to provide in a rental property? At a minimum, this includes deadbolt on all external doors or a security door, or patio bolt. Windows must latch shut and not be able to be opened from the outside.

What do you need to do?

Make sure your property is secure and that you comply with the regulations. Tenants are not able to add locks or increase the security of the property without permission, unless they are victims of domestic violence. It is also difficult for tenants to obtain contents insurance if the property does not have adequate security.

Read more about the security requirements for rental properties

How we can help

Our property management team always makes sure our clients’ properties meet minimum standards and they can arrange for the appropriate work to be done.

In short…

These are three areas that so often trip landlords up and each can lead to substantial penalties. If you’d like advice on whether your property complies get in touch today.

Related Posts

Key Real Estate Terms Explained

Real estate agents, property managers, and other property industry professionals…

Read More

Decoding Perth’s Tenant Demographics

Perth’s rental market has been hot for some time. But who are our city’s ten…

Read More

Perth’s Micro-Markets: Uncovering Variations In Vacancy Rates

Perth’s vacancy rate is at an all-time low, with REIWA reporting a rate of jus…

Read More
  • Where should we send your copy?
  • Please view our Personal Information Collection Statement

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • Where should we send your copy?
  • Please view our Personal Information Collection Statement

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Close Menu