IF YOU ARE BUYING A PROPERTY WITH A TENANT IN MIND.

On 1 July 2013, changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 came into effect.

The changes include a list of locks and devices that must be installed in premises to make them reasonably secure.
Lessors will have until 1 July 2015 to comply

Main entry door and all other external doors:

The minimum required security is a:

  • deadlock; or
  • a key lockable security screen door that complies with AS 5039-2008

The deadlock can be either a single cylinder or double cylinder deadlock. A single cylinder deadlock can be opened from the inside simply by turning the handle or a knob, reducing the risk of a person being unable to exit the house quickly in case of an emergency.

Windows
Windows to be fitted with a lock, whether or not a key lock, that prevents the window from being opened from outside the premises.

If the window is fitted with a security screen compliant with Australian standards (AS5039-2008) there is no requirement to retrofit a window lock.

External Lighting
An electrical light at, or near, the main entry that is capable of illuminating the main entry to the premises and is operable from the inside.

This will not apply if the property is a flat or apartment and the lighting is the responsibility of the strata body.

Landlords have always been required to provide and maintain locks and other devices to ensure rental premises are ‘reasonably secure’. These new laws simply provide more details about the minimum standard that need to be in place to ensure the premises is reasonably secure.

If you own an apartment, minimum security requirements will apply to the main entry door as well as a door onto a balcony if there is one.

Properties listed on the State Heritage Register are exempt from these requirements, however, you will still be required to provide and maintain locks or other devices to ensure the rental premises are ‘reasonably secure’.