How do I ensure my investment property is safe for my tenants?

By Maria Milillo, Business Support Manager, Property Management, Raine & Horne
NOVEMBER 12, 2020

If you are a property investor in Australia, then it is essential your rental property is safe, secure and maintained for the duration of the tenancy agreement with your tenants.

By law, as a landlord, you must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of your rental property and your tenants. This includes ensuring tenants and their visitors are not at risk due to poor building maintenance and that utilities such as gas and electricity are connected and are in sound working order.

Other responsibilities include ensuring smoke alarms are installed and checked regularly. Moreover, landlords should act immediately on requests for urgent repairs to protect their tenants against accidents or injury and work closely with their property manager.  

A classic case a few years ago involved a tenant tripping down some stairs due to low visibility. A faulty light that needed replacing caused the fall. This situation was interesting as the landlord had promised to fix the lighting issue rather than allowing the property manager to address the problem. Unfortunately, the landlord didn’t get around to repairing the light. By attempting to save a few dollars, the landlord ended up with an expensive legal issue, which is a lesson for all investors. 

Rickety railings also present safety issues in older multistorey properties and apartments, which savvy property managers will identify before it is too late. It doesn’t take much for things to go wrong if a child or adult accidentally leans on a rotten railing – or worse a young child. An experienced property manager will know where the risks are with different style and aged properties and manage those risks for you accordingly. 

Landlords must also consider is the risks posed by glass and whether safety glass is required. In fact, the building code in Australia (AS1288) determines where safety glass is required to be installed such as glass doors, door side panels, shower doors, around stairs and balustrades and railings for that matter. The use of safety glass reduces in jury risks as it is much harder to break and it won’t fracture into dangerous fragments and splinters.

Coming into summer, and with more people taking staycations this Christmas, for those landlords with swimming pools or spas, it’s especially important to double down on fence safety – indeed glass protection around pools must use safety glass too. 

For more information about ensuring your investment property is safe, contact your Raine & Horne property manager.