Compliance Inspections for Rental Properties
Minimum security standards: Is your property compliant?
Rental property security & safety standards.
All rental properties must be in line with the minimum security standards specified in the regulations;
Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (the Act), Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 and the Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1 July 2013 being fully effective from 1ST July 2015.
HOUSECALLS ‘COMPLETE PACKAGE’ INSPECTION SERVICES FOR RENTAL PROPERTIES –
We will conduct an inspection of the property for presence and compliance of the following;
Main entry door: The main entry must have a key lockable door –
The minimum required security is either a deadlock or an AS 5039-2008 compliant key lockable security screen door.
The deadlock can be either a single cylinder or double cylinder. A single cylinder deadlock can be opened from the inside simply by turning the handle or a knob, allowing a person to exit the house quickly in case of an emergency.
The deadlock can be separate to the door handle or it can be incorporated into the handset.
There is no need to retrofit security if there already is an Australian Standards compliant key lockable security screen with a deadlock fitted.
All other external doors-
The minimum required security is either a deadlock, a patio bolt lock (if a deadlock cannot be installed) or an AS 5039-2008 compliant key lockable security screen door. If there is a need to install a patio bolt, it does not need to be key lockable.
Windows-Minimum required security-
Windows to be fitted with a lock, whether or not a key lock, that prevents the window from being opened from outside the premises.
This does not mean having to install keyed window locks, but that window latches, closers or locks are fitted and are in working order to reduce the risk of a window being forced open from the outside.
If the window is fitted with a security screen compliant with Australian standards (AS 5039-2008), there is no requirement to retrofit a window lock.
External Lighting –
Minimum required security is an electrical light at, or near, the main entry capable of illuminating the main entry to the premises and is operable from the inside.
This doesn’t apply if the property is a flat or apartment and the lighting is the responsibility of the strata body.
Meter Boxes – RCD Inspection and Testing-
Minimum two RCDs must be installed on the switchboard at the rental premises, these must protect all power points and lighting circuits installed to the property.
A Safety Switch/Residual current Device (RCD’s must be installed as this is your Insurance against electric shock and they are compulsory In WA rental properties. During the inspection we will conduct an Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB) trip test function on each installed RCD. This trip test is designed to simulate an earth leakage condition by testing a 240V mains power point for correct operation. The inspection will identify the following services:
•Identify if RCD present
•Test and report if working – Faulty RCDs must be replaced immediately.
•Certificate of compliance Issued
Smoke Alarms – Inspection and Testing-
It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that compliant smoke alarms be fitted and are:
In accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) applicable the time of installation of the alarms (the BCA specifies the minimum standards and location that smoke alarms must comply with); and
Are, no more than 10 years old; are in working order; and are permanently connected to mains power. Under WA Building Regulations 2012, Landlords must ensure that hard-wired smoke alarms are installed, working and maintained in the property at all times.
Penalties of $5000 apply for non-compliance.
During the inspection we will conduct the following services:
• Test and clean each alarm.
• Replace batteries and report on alarms that are non-compliant, faulty or expired (these require immediate replacement).
• Ensure compliance with Building Code of Australia.
• Issue Certificate of compliance.
Compliant Venting for portable natural gas heaters (Gas Bayonet Points)-
Changes in regulations now require where the room(s) is fitted with a gas bayonet fitting (quick connect device socket) to allow the connection of a flueless gas heater, (currently) by law two permanent ventilation openings must be installed. The Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 (the Regulations) require that either adequate ventilation exists or is installed in areas where an unflued gas heater is to operate and where a gas bayonet fitting is installed. The requirements for ventilation when installing a gas bayonet fitting are set out in Clause 504 (2)(b) of the Regulations which states: “(b) the room has a volume of more than 30 cubic metres, and 2 permanent ventilation openings — (i) one of which is situated near the top of the room and the other near the bottom of the room; (ii) that are separated by a distance of not less than 1.5 metres measured vertically; and (iii) each of which has an aggregate open area of not less than 25 000 mm2;”. The vents must connect to the outside of the building and one vent must be installed at low level and the other vent at high level. The physical external dimensions of each vent should be not less than the equivalent of 310 mm x 170 mm.
WA Dept. of Commerce:
We will conduct the following services:
• Identify if high and low level vents are correctly installed.
• Check airflow through the installed vents.
Window Blinds and curtain cord safety-
Landlords must ensure that blind and curtain cords in the rental premises are safe for children. Product safety laws for internal window coverings have applied in Western Australia since January 2004, so landlords need to ensure blind/curtain cords and chains supplied after this date meet the national product safety requirements. There should be no unsecured cords or chains which a child could reach or become entangled in. They require to be fitted with tie-downs (cleats) 1600mm above the ground, and/or with tension devices that secure cords and chain loops, which cannot form a loop of more than 220mm.
Moisture/Mould can be very detrimental, overseas in the U.S.A. mould is now being referred to as the “asbestos of the new generation”. It can be also be a sign that other detrimental things are happening to a property, such as serious water leaks, damp (moisture ingress through shower wall tiling), or ventilation problems. A landlord or tenant can be found to be liable if they do something, or don’t do something, that they should have done, that encourages mould to spread. Shower walls are susceptible to moisture ingress through the wall and floor tiling, we will check and report on accessible shower wall areas for any indications of dampness.
Balconies & Decks-
When renting out a property with an existing balustrade, balcony or raised deck a building inspection on the property needs to be regularly obtained. The report should be prepared by a suitably qualified person such as a structural engineer or Registered Builder (all Housecalls Inspectors are individually registered builders); if you manage or own a building with a balcony or deck it should have regular (Bi-annual) inspections and maintenance whether it is made from timber, metal, concrete or another material. It is important to:
• Ensure it is inspected carefully for decaying timbers, erosion and rusting of metals (supports and fixings), unstable balustrades, corrosion and cracking of concrete, and;
• Occupants to be reminded not to overload the balcony (large pots, heavy furniture or too many people may make a balcony or deck unsafe and susceptible to collapse), and;
• Failure to properly maintain the deck may affect the properties insurance.
We will check Swimming Pools/Spas installed on the property for any compliance issues observed at time of inspection and make recommendations on compliance issues relating to the pool/spa area.