In 2013, the WA State Government made changes to the rules and regulations that apply to security for rental properties, and the two year phase-in period is officially over.
As of now, rental properties must have approved deadlocks or deadbolts on any ground floor, time entry doors, or a metal security screen door that matches the entry door, to Australian standards.
Also, suitable locks and latches for all windows, and a porch light by the front door that is operable from inside the home should now be in effect.
Peard Group’s Managing Director, Maree Overton, urges landlords to do their research.
“The phase-in period has now finished, so it is really important as a landlord to ensure your property complies with the new rules and regulations.
“It is especially important in this market, where tenants have a huge amount of choice available to them, it is in the property owners’ best interests to ensure their house is up to scratch in order to attract tenants.”
In the Perth metropolitan area, there has been a 50 per cent rise in rental stock on the market, which has led to the median rent to fall by $25 per week, compared to that of last year.
It is wise for property owners to take measures to make sure that tenants feel safe and that their contents are secure, otherwise renters may opt to live somewhere else.
“As rental security is a major contributing factor for potential tenants when deciding on a property, it makes sense for property owners to prioritise putting these changes into effect so they don’t miss out,” says Mrs Overton.
It is now more critical than ever for property owners to take action to attract tenants, by making sure your security meets the new Western Australian standards and that the property is clean and well-maintained.
"While it is not a focus in the current legislative changes, I also urge landlords to ensure smoke alarms are in working order at their properties. August is typically the worst month for house fire figures, reinforcing that now is really the time to ensure you protect your tenants," Mrs Overton advises.
Landlords who are unsure about how the new rules and regulations affect them should contact their property manager, or visit the Department of Consumer Protection, otherwise they may leave themselves open to penalties for non-compliance.