Is your rental property compliant?

Property owners considering entering the rental property market must understand the compliance issues that come with leasing a property.

There are three main areas of compliance to consider;

  1. Smoke alarm compliance
  2. Pool fence safety compliance
  3. Water compliance

SMOKE ALARM COMPLIANCE

The most common misconception by Property Owners and Property Managers (a very scary thought) is their continued line of thinking that smoke alarm compliance consists of simply pushing a test button and changing a battery.

smoke-alarm

All smoke alarms in rental properties are required by legislation to be tested every 12 months or whenever a tenancy agreement is commenced or renewed.

Property Managers or Property Owners are not appropriately qualified, skilled or insured to carry out activities ensuring smoke alarms are current with legislative requirements. In order to comply it is prudent that Property Managers enlist the assistance of a professional company.

POOL FENCE SAFETY COMPLIANCE

Inadequate pool fencing remains a major contributing factor in the rate of drowning among children under 5 years of age.

Pool-security-gate-child

In case you hadn’t already noticed, the Government of New South Wales and Queensland have brought in some major changes to the legislation concerning pool safety compliance for backyard pools. It covers all sorts of pools including inflatable and portable pools.

Broadly speaking, the specific effect of these changes is that it is now compulsory to ensure that your pool is surrounded by a fence that (a) acts as a child-resistant barrier, and (b) separates your pool from any residential building, from public access, and from adjoining private properties.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that you are aware of these changes to the law but are confused about how they apply to your specific pool. If so, that’s understandable since the new laws are…well…a little confusing. Either way, though, as a pool owner you’re responsible for ensuring that it is compliant.

For more information of Pool Safety regulations please click on the links below;

Click link below for Queensland Properties
http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing/PoolSafety/Pages/default.aspx

Click link below New South Wales Properties
http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Consumers/Product_and_service_safety/Pool_safety/Pool_fencing_requirements.page

WATER COMPLIANCE

You can pass on water usage charges to your tenant provided all the minimum criteria have been met.

Minimum criteria

The minimum criteria for passing on water usage charges are:

  • the rental premises must be individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle, such as those with water tanks on rural properties), and
  • the charges must not exceed the amount billed for water usage by the water supplier, and
  • the rental premises must meet required ‘water efficiency’ standards.

 Water efficiency standards

A rental property is considered water efficient if it meets these standards.

WATER EFFICIENT DEVICESMINIMUM WATER EFFICIENCY STANDARD REQUIRED
Internal cold water taps and single mixer taps (excluding bathtub taps and taps for appliances) A maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
ShowerheadsA maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
No leaking tapsNo leaking taps anywhere on the premises at the start of the tenancy or when the other water efficiency measures are installed
Dual Flush Toilets QLD onlyA dual flush function not exceeding six point five (6.5) litres on full flush and three point five (3.5) litres on half flush and a maximum average flush volume of four litres (based on the average of one full flush and four half flushes).

The requirement for sink and basin taps to have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute does not apply to other taps in the premises, such as bathtub taps, laundry taps, outside taps for the garden, or taps which supply washing machines and dishwashers.

dripping-tap

You do not necessarily need to change the showerheads and tap fittings. The water efficiency measures can be achieved simply by installing aerators or regulators to existing taps and showerheads and fixing any leaking taps on the premises.

Proving water efficiency

There is no requirement to provide a report from a plumber or the water supply authority certifying their existence. However, it may help to keep:

  • invoices or file notes of work done
  • receipts for any items bought
  • packaging, warranties or instruction manuals

Ensure you property is compliant otherwise it could be costly in the end!

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