From 1 July 2015, landlords in Western Australia have to make sure their properties meet a host of new requirements.
Blogger: Daniel McQuillan, executive director, Investwise
Western Australian landlords now have to fully comply with significant changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in relation to home security that came into force on 1 July 2015.
The new security regulations commenced on 1 July 2013 but landlords were given a two year period to fully comply with the changes by 1 July 2015.
These changes include a list of the locks and devices that must be installed in rental properties to make them reasonably secure.
Important new requirements for landlords relating to the security of rental properties include:
• Main entry door
The minimum required security is a deadlock or a key lockable security screen door that complies with AS 5039-2008.
• All other external doors
The minimum required security is a deadlock or if a deadlock cannot be installed, a patio bolt lock or a key lockable security screen door that complies with AS 5039-2008.
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.
• External lighting Minimum required security
An electrical light at, or near, the main entry that is capable of illuminating the main entry to the premises and is operable from the inside. However, this will not apply if the property is a flat or apartment and the lighting is the responsibility of the strata body.
Western Australian landlords can obtain more information on these important new security regulations from the Department of Commerce at www.commerce.wa.gov.au.
These new regulations are being implemented in response to a growing concern amongst tenants regarding their personal safety.
We recommend to investors buy new homes that are fitted with the highest levels of security in a prime location.
Properties that have high levels of security tend to be much easier to lease and attract a better quality of tenant.
It is also important for landlords to recognise that these new regulations underline the need to employ the services of a professional property management company.
Property management is now becoming very complex with new regulations being introduced by government on a regular basis and as a result it is very challenging for landlords who personally manage their own properties to keep up with these changes.
We also recommend that investors do not manage their own property but employ the services of a property management company whose role is to ensure that rental properties are compliant with new changes to the Residential Tenancy Act.
The services of a property management company are tax deductible which makes it an even more attractive service to landlords who currently pay tax.