Property managers have been warned condition reports may now be non-compliant due to an overnight change in laws.
The NSW Office of Fair Trading announced the changes to the existing condition report last Friday, but began enforcing it the day after.
The email, dated February 28, reads “From 1 March 2014 you must use the new version of the condition report for rental premises. The new report includes the addition of ‘window safety devices’ wherever ‘windows/screens’ appears”.
Despite being a small change, Lyn Kimball of Fitzpatricks Real Estate in Wagga Wagga and member of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Property Management Chapter said the change cannot be overlooked.
“While the laws on window safety aren’t coming into effect until 2018, property managers must be aware that they need to change to the new form right away,” she said.
The Estate Agents Co-Operative (EAC) believes that a majority of property managers and principals were either taken by surprise or completely unaware of the changes.
While all electronic forms have since been amended, the EAC warns property managers that existing stock may be non-compliant.
The new legislation is in response to the recentwindow-related deaths of a number of toddlers and small children. The laws will require windows above the ground floor to be limited to a 12 centimetre opening.
In the announcement, Fair Trading claimed that strata - not owners - would have to pay for the window safety upgrade.
“But that cost is just going to be passed on, so in reality the owner is going to pay either way,” claimed Ms Kimball.
“What we’re interested in is how this will affect owners of non-strata homes - they’ve been left out of the legislation so far.”