Every agent should be well aware of all the changes and new legislations that come into place for managing investment properties.
Safety and security in rental properties is very important and should be discussed at the first meeting you have with a landlord when taking on their property. An agent need to make the landlord aware of their obligation to ensure the premises is safe for tenants.
Here are some items that need to be discussed:
Smoke alarms – Smoke alarms should be checked and batteries changed before each new tenant moves in. Tenants can be reminded to change their smoke alarm batteries when daylight saving changes. It is an easy way to remember: turn your clock forward or back, change your smoke alarm battery. Simple!
Window safety – Window safety will be changing in 2018. Owners corporations in NSW must have window safety devices installed on all above-ground windows by 13 March 2018. It is a sad fact that every year more than 50 children fall from windows and balconies. As agents, it is our job to check whether this has been done at our routine inspections and, if not, to follow up with the owners corporation or the landlord to have the safety devices installed.
Swimming pools – As an agent, if the property you are leasing has a swimming pool, you need to ensure that the pool is fenced and meets pool fencing requirements. Pool owners need to register their pools on the NSW government swimming pool register. As of April 2016, all leased properties with a swimming pool or spa must have a valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate that has been issued within the last three years.
Locks – All locks must be in working order to ensure the property is reasonably secure. If you are managing a ground floor apartment or a house, then the security risk is generally greater than a top floor unit. A house will need more locks, as there are many entrances to a house and more windows, side gates, front gates etc. A landlord needs to be advised on what they should do to ensure the premises is secure.