Compliance & Legislation At Your Fingertips

Managing investment properties in Queensland is a complex process. Selecting the right team could save you thousands! Experience tells us many investors are not aware of the critical compliance requirements and legislation parameters surrounding successful management of residential tenancies. Lucky for you, we do!

Critical Tenancy Compliance

DON’T RISK LIVES: Insurance policies don’t cover you for negligence.

Smoke Alarms

Meeting your Smoke Alarm obligations for a residential property isn’t just knowing you have a smoke alarm installed and pressing the ‘TEST’ button; it involves so much more. Fire is a leading cause of accidental death in residential occupancies. There are many factors to consider when dealing with Smoke Alarm Compliance to ensure compliance is not only attained but also maintained in accordance with all relevant factors. Failure to ensure a property is Smoke Alarm Compliant with a regular maintenance program in place is a breach of your lawful obligations under the Acts- the consequences of which may be catastrophic including not only financial loss due to disentitlement of insurance coverage including indemnity for personal injury, but may also include criminal charges. We suggest you review the below information to be fully informed. Why not eliminate the risk? Engage a professional HERE.

New Smoke Alarm Legislation from 1st January 2017

 

Safety Watch Australia Brochure

 

Electrical Safety

Most investors are not aware that the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) places an obligation on you to ensure that electrical equipment (including safety switches) is electrically safe. You are also required to implement a regular maintenance program. Failure to fulfil these compliance requirements could result in a maximum penalty of up to $200,000 or 3 years imprisonment. Why risk it? Engage a professional HERE.

 

Corded Window Furnishings

Most properties feature blinds, curtains and other window coverings that have cords for operation. Cords can present a strangulation hazard to children, as they may become entangled in them while trying to use, play with or play around window coverings.

In recent years, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (“ACCC”), recognised the major hazard of risk of strangulation of young children with loop cord systems. As a result, Mandatory Standards known as The Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard – Corded Internal Window Coverings) Regulations 2010 (“The Trade Practices Mandatory Safety Standards”) now regulate the design, construction, installation and labelling of corded window furnishings.

From 1st July 2011 all premises which are rented must comply with The Trade Practices Mandatory Safety Standards in relation to any corded window covering including (but not limited to) Vertical, Venetian, Holland and Roman Blinds, and Curtains (including pencil pleat “ready mades” and pencil pleat tape) and any fitting containing cords, such as Curtain Rods and Tracks.

It should be noted that although the Regulations only apply to corded window furnishing installed after 1st July 2011, effectively the intent of the regulations applies to all existing corded curtains and blinds as well, by virtue of Section 185 of the Residential Tenancies & Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, which clearly places the onus on you to ensure your investment property is safe and fit to live in.

 

Overwhelmed? We understand! Let us help you keep it simple by engaging just one company to take care of your compliance requirements for all three – smoke alarms, electrical safety switches and corded window furnishings HERE

 

Pool Compliance & Safety Laws

In order to rent a property to a tenant, a current Pool Safety Certificate (Form 23) must be in place for “that pool”. These laws impose penalties of up to $16,500 for non compliance and would expose you to enormous liability risk should an incident occur in a non conforming pool. Unlike the Smoke Alarm laws, the Pool Safety Laws do not require an inspection prior to the start of each lease but rather there must simply be a current Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate in place for that pool. It is the responsibility of the Pool Owner (you) and/or Body Corporate to ensure each pool located at a rental property/complex continues to have a current Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate in place at all times whilst it remains tenanted.

The legislation is detailed and far reaching – it even incorporates above ground inflatable pools! Check out the below links for more information. A compliance certificate must be provided by a qualified pool inspector- book one HERE.

Pool Fencing and Safety Laws

Queensland Government Pool Safety Laws Fact Sheet

 

GUESS WHAT? THERE’S MORE TO KNOW THAT YOU NEED TO COMPLY WITH TOO!

 

Water Charging

It is possible to pass on full water consumption charges to the tenant, but there are certain requirements that must be met first. The cost of water, like all utilities, continues to rise. It is our recommendation to investigate your options to permit full recovery. Check out the requirements below.

Residential Tenancies Authority Water Charging Fact Sheet

 

Solar Power

If your property has solar power, the arrangements for the service and billing must be determined BEFORE marketing your property for rent. There are various options available dependent upon your circumstances. We recommend you consider your options HERE.

 

Discrimination In Accommodation

The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 promotes fair treatment and equality of opportunity by protecting everyone from unfair discrimination, sexual harassment and vilification in accommodation.

Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly or badly in certain respects. Not all discrimination is against the law, even if it is unfair. In Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act determines what kind of discrimination is unlawful by identifying particular attributes and areas.

Discrimination happens because people have stereotypical or prejudiced ideas or beliefs about other people because they happen to belong to a particular group of people or because they have certain personal characteristics or attributes. This kinds of direct discrimination is often the result of failing to treat a person as an individual regardless of their sex, age, race, etc.

Discrimination can also happen in a more indirect way. In some cases, treating everybody the same can be unfair because it disadvantages a whole group of people. For example, requiring all new tenants to have been in the workforce for at least five years would disadvantage young people who may have little chance of complying. Unless such a rule is necessary or reasonable in all the relevant circumstances it will be indirect discrimination and against the law. Indirect discrimination is not usually intentional but is often the result of failing to think about the impact of rules and requirements on different people.

As previously stated, not all discrimination is against the law. You are allowed to discriminate against such things as allowing pets at your property and smoking at the property.

We have implemented appropriate policies to ensure we do not step outside of our compliance in these regards and will inform you if we feel your instruction may expose you to risk. More information is available below.

Anti-Discrimination Booklet – Discrimination in Accommodation

 

Important Legislation

There are several pieces of key legislation we often reference in managing your investment property. We have included the links below for your convenience.

Neighbour Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011

Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008

Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009

Property Occupations Act 2014

Property Occupations Regulation 2014