Safety

by Alison, 13 days ago
The Open Doors to Renting Reform community consultation has now closed. Thank you for having your say on how we can improve renting in Queensland.

Tell us what you think:

  • How can housing design and safety measures be improved in the rental market?
  • What reasonable modifications should tenants be allowed to make for safety reasons?

The Open Doors to Renting Reform community consultation has now closed. Thank you for having your say on how we can improve renting in Queensland.

  • MumALLBoys about 2 months ago
    If the house is an old property it should be made safe. when you sell a house council require it is up to standard and this should be the same if you are renting
    Hide Replies (5)
    • foxje about 2 months ago
      Hi MumALLBoysActually, council do not require a house to be up to standard when selling, only when building :)FYI, that would mean essentially re-wiring every property every few years because the electrical codes change very regularly. Likewise with structural codes, and it would be very impractical to be upgrading the structure of every dwelling every time the building code was updated!!The current laws permit buildings to conform to the codes of the day as that is the reasonable position to take. There is, however, still a common law duty of care obligation in any case so if there is particular hazard that may have been missed y the codes and a reasonable person would expect that it be rectified, the owner is obliged to get it fixed. All the best :)
      Hide Replies (4)
      • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
        The house I was in previously had such shoddy wiring! It was done by the owner when they lived there! The problem is that real estate have no idea when they are accepting a property to manage, that this is the case. Owners hide it all, thinking that if they can live with it so can others. There should be a mandatory safety check every couple of years for these things! Then they wouldn't get away with it! This is something that one day will cause serious harm to someone if not sorted soon! Too many investors who just want the money without the responsibility!
        Hide Replies (3)
        • QLD Landlord about 2 months ago
          Dear JBrysondean, if the wiring is as unsafe as you claim and you feel your personal safety is at risk, I would pay the cost upfront to call an electrician for an electrical safety check for pure piece of mind. It won’t take an expert long to give you an answer. If they say everything is fine - you have been educated on acceptable wiring standards in QLD and if not, then you have clear solid evidence to have the problem addressed promptly as a safety issue. You may find that shoddy wiring has been installed by previous tenants without landlord aapproval or knowledge. There are plenty of DIY’ers out there who help themselves to in-house modifications. Perhaps a manditory electrical safety check should be on the checklist just like an operative smoke alarm ? Perhaps add $5 a week to the market rent for this outlay to catch out the “rouge” owners & tenants. Is this a good idea to nail 95% of the good guys extra cost for the 5% bad apple ? Heck, Energex will come out for free if your unlucky enough to receive a zap off the hot water tap .....
          Hide reply (1)
          • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
            This was my previous rental. The maintenance man who helped with with the realestate did inform the realestate of the issues. The problem was that it was the OWNER who had done the work, and every time anything needed fixing, he (the owner) world do it himself! This was ONE of the reasons why I broke lease and got out of there as soon as I could! (The owner is now self managing. He didn't like the fact that the realestate stuck with me on these issues. Crazy!)
        • Jim640 14 days ago
          If mandatory safety checks were introduced they would cost money and likely result in rents increasing, despite the majority of properties not needing them. It may have been worthwhile in your situation, but that would not be a good enough reason to impose higher rents on everyone.
  • Veritas about 2 months ago
    Screens to all windowsSecurity screens to vulnerable points.All doors keyed alike, security screen doors to entry and turn knob with hand deadlocks for easy egress. All stairs, change of levels and uneven surfaces made safe.Smoke alarms checked. Bathroom doors brought up to current code with safe privacy latches and hinges that facilitate emergency access. Fire extinguishers and fire blanket in every kitchen. All this sounds obvious but is not in place in lots of properties.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Jacquik about 2 months ago
      All Queenslanders absolutely deserve safe, secure properties. That said many traditional Queenslander houses and heritage listed properties are simply not practical or would be aesthetically diminished by security screens. Also brand new house and land / builders packages generally do not include security screens to windows and doors - they are extra upgrade. Owners and tenants a like should have the right to make their own choices about whether they spend the extra money (rent on a property with them or installation costs) and owners whether they are happy with aesthetic changes caused by screens. Clarification that ‘reasonable security’ includes not only all locks and catches working but also sufficient to get contents insurance would help. Occasionally extra latches on windows, deadlocks etc may be required.
    • Jim640 14 days ago
      Domestic grade fire extinguishers and blankest are cheap and can be bought by a tenant if they want them, just like they have to buy their own first aid kits, oven gloves and other home safety items. I'm not sure why you believe locks should be keyed alike. It is certainly more convenient, but hardly essential.
  • Ono about 2 months ago
    Security screens on vulnerable entry points, dead locks on main doors and lockable windows should be a minimum.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jim640 14 days ago
      If a property doesn't have the features you want when you view it, then don't rent it.
  • CNielsen about 2 months ago
    Security screens and deadlocks should be mandatory, like fire alarms.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jim640 14 days ago
      Tenants have the option to view a property before renting it and they don't have to take it if it they want security screens and deadlocks, but the property doesn't have them.
  • Paul Cl about 1 month ago
    DUTY of CARE!! The landlord has duty of care to provide a safe & healthy environment for the occupants of the residence, the property manager has duty of care to provide a safe & healthy environment for the occupants of the residence and lastly the tenant has a duty of care to ensure the residence remains in a safe & healthy condition. Unfortunately most landlords never have any personal contact with their rental property leaving all the Entry Condition Reports and subsuquent condition reports in the hands of the Real Estate property managers. Most of the property managers have the responsibility to inspect properties and report on the condition, only problem is that they have no qualifications or limited knowledge to detect a serious safety issue, not to mention no indemnity insurance cover for this. The reports generally come with a disclaimer stating they are not Building Inspectors and that the landlord should engage a qualified person to inspect the property. Problems with areas such as; external stairs, decks, patios, slip trip & falls are not be being identified and therefore we continue to see accidents, injuries and worse occurring. I have been involved in this industry as a landlord, QBCC licensed Building Inspector, Pool Safety Inspector and Chairperson of Body Corporates with both residential & commercial properties for over 25 years so have had considerable experience of both good & bad. It is my proposal, which I have raised with real estate principles over the years, to make safety inspections mandatory on all residential properties, similar to that of Strata Common Area Safety Audits. These audits should be carried out by a licensed and qualified person at 2 year intervals. My hope is that we can help reduce the incidence of injuries at home which is the most common place they occur, especially to children. Thank you for the opportunity to share my views on this very important issue. Paul
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jim640 14 days ago
      Unfortunately it would be very expensive as it covers multiple trades. Landlords would be forced to increase rents to cover the cost and this would put further financial stress on tenants. I have no doubt that it would make properties safer, but I also have no doubt that the majority of tenants wouldn't be willing accept higher rents. It may be more palatable with a longer cycle of, say, 5-7 years.
  • Nivannii about 2 months ago
    Tenants aren't responsible for a home to be safe to live in therefore they don't need to do anything. It is up to the landlord, if they are renting a property to make that property safe.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Paul Cl about 1 month ago
      Tenants are responsible to report to the property manager anything that is a safety issue; if the property manager or landlord aren't aware of a problem then how can they fix it?
    • Jim640 14 days ago
      Tenants do have responsibility. They have to make sure they don't create safety issue and they have to report them when they come up. The majority of safety issues I have dealt within social housing are due to tenant damage or misuse of the fixtures and fittings. Failure to report is a huge problem and made more difficult when tenants will not mention problems during routine inspections. Tenants that make a property unsafe through damage will often not report it because they know they will have to pay for the repairs. Keeping properties safe is definitely a shared responsibility.
  • Jim640 14 days ago
    Smoke alarms are tested and have new batteries at the landlord's cost at the start of each tenancy. Even though tenants are responsible for smoke alarm batteries after they move in, many social housing tenants will just disable the smoke alarm rather than replace the battery when it gives the low battery beep. Sometimes they will smash it off the ceiling with a broom. To overcome this, the social housing company I work for pays for the smoke alarms to be tested and a new battery fitted every year. This shouldn't be necessary and we are not able to on-charge it to the tenants. It saddens me that tenants will put their families at risk for the sake of a couple of $3 batteries. Rather than prosecuting people who do this under the "Fire and Emergency Services Act" which rightly has harsh penalties, a lesser offence for domestic smoke alarms is needed that is very easy to apply and has penalties that sting, but don't cripple the tenant. This might change tenant's attitudes to their smoke alarms.
  • Tania M 15 days ago
    Owners have to have the smoke alarms tested at the start of every tenancy so why can't they also test the power points and light switches while they are at the property? Numerous lights were broken when we moved in despite the agent marking them as working on the entry report and the light switches are very old. Often the switch itself pops out if the socket and takes some manoeuvring to get back it so we can turn the lights on and off. I bought this up again to the agent at our last routine inspection who could also visually see how the switches sit half out of the socket and was told "if it ain't broke, don't fix it, that's our position". If it was checked when the smoked alarms were we wouldn't be in this position now. Electricity can be a safety issue even with a working safety switch in my opinion. Also what about vermin checks and weeds? When we first moved in we had rats in the roof that took an emergency to get dealt with - a possum stuck in the wall over a long weekend. There is a back deck about 8cm off the ground at the back door which has had rats living under since we moved in 18 months ago and there's an adjoining back deck which is covering up an old spa-bath which also has rats and and gods knows what else living in it. The deck covering the spa also has broken planks and protruding nails which we have finally refused to keep hammering down since it is also unsafe to walk on. The deck takes up half the back yard and the smell of rats wafts into the lounge regularly in the evening. The agent has been aware about it for months now and still nothing. Making official complaints to the RTA will only reflect poorly on us and we like living here, we would just like the place to be clean, safe and maintained properly as it should be. Why are weeds the tenants responsibility if the weeds were there long before the tenants were? The first sign of water after we moved in and the place came to life. I've spent many hours pulling them out. I've sprayed multiple times and paid professionals to do the same and they just keep coming back. Some of them are very spiky and dangerous even with gardening gloves on and I'm tired of getting spiked, but what can a tenant possibly do about it other than deal with it themselves? The yard is dangerous with the deck and spiky weeds, but if I push it with the agent I'll just get more resistance and forfeit any chance of a decent relationship with them. Surely there must be a way to better deal with vermin and weeds other than leaving it all up to the tenant?
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jim640 14 days ago
      Smoke alarm technicians are not always electricians, and therefore are not licensed to inspect the electrical installation.
  • JustKay 16 days ago
    Why would it be up to tenants to make sure the house is safe and secure? I am paying rent for the'privilege' of living in the house...which should be safe and secure before anyone moves in..especially this day and age. It is up to the Landlord to do this. What next...tenants have to do their own maintenance? Some of the problem is, rental properties are investment properties and not all Landlords can afford the upkeep, so the house falls into disrepair, security measures ie security screens are not even considered. I live in a house where the back room gets flooded. I have asked for the downpipes to be replaced as they are broken and for another down pipe to be moved so that the water doesn't converge in one spot and flood the back room. No action taken. Because it is not the Landlord who is inconvenienced and has to shift everything out of the room when it begins to rain hard, and clean the back room.
  • DebbieP about 2 months ago
    Landlords performing work that they are not qualified for seems to be an issue, which I would hope only happens if the property is self managed, otherwise the agent shouldn't be allowing this to happen. I think that if Landlords want to self manage they should have to get qualifications similar to Property Managers so that they at least know the act and what their responsibilities are.
    Hide reply (1)
    • ChristineA about 1 month ago
      I agree, but regrettably when Property Managers are under pressure to build rent rolls. Most Principals would not permit a PM to sack an owner for doing their own repairs, even when not qualified.I'm a PM and we are lucky with our Principal - it is our office practice that repairs are always carried out in a timely manner and using the appropriate tradespeople. Plumbers do plumbing and electricians do electrical - no handymen allowed for these speciaised roles.
  • RebeccaPM about 2 months ago
    Landlords definitely should be required to have a safety check of the property - perhaps an annual safety inspection or on Tenant changeover whichever is latest. i.e if a tenant stays in a property for 5 years, the safety check would be done at the end of this tenancy. however if there are 2 tenants in a year, it would be done at the end of the year, rather than at the end of both tenancies.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Jodie1 about 2 months ago
      Who gets a copy of the report? The tenant? The owner obviously will pay for it and who's going to make sure the owner actions anything on the report?
      Hide reply (1)
      • Paul Cl about 1 month ago
        The safety report should be sent to the property manager and the landlord. Maybe there could be a safety register similar the the Pool Safety Register and any property that is deemed to have safety issues be listed on the register with a nonconformity notice send to the landlord/property manager including time limit on the repairs, variable on the urgency.
  • Del678 about 1 month ago
    The structure of the building should be held to the building code of when it was built – just as it is for owner-occupiers. Electrical and plumbing should be held to reasonable base standards (earthed, safety switches, working outlets, covered light fixtures, no leaks). Fire alarms need to be at the current standard always. Security screens cannot be mandated because many house designs so not accommodate for screens – my own home is a Queenslander style and cannot can secure screens fitted to the windows or a bolt on every single window frame. We do have break-ins in the area but we knew this buying the place and accepted it as an inherent risk of a QLDer style home. In fact, growing up, it was only every the front door that has a security screen. We actively removed some security bars on windows of our first home because I felt the fire hazard of being stuck inside outweighed the risk of being broken into. So long as you can latch the windows and lock the door, it should be sufficient. I do have concerns about garden safety though – what constitutes a safe garden? We bought a rental property recently and the inspectors was pointing out a great many bumps in the paving and landfall which just seemed a bit overboard. To make the garden “completely safe” is surely impossible unless you rip out all plants and AstroTurf the lot. I hope common sense would prevail should the tenant trip in the garden or take it upon themselves to eat an unidentified plant…
  • Wendy P about 1 month ago
    I do agree with comments that if there are urgent repairs, then tenants have a right to issue the property manager a notice to remedy breach if it concerns safety, but keeping in mind, the owner does not have to to upgrades, as tenants have the opportunity to look through properties before they rent them. If a tenant moves into a property, they should not expect the owner/manager to fit extras like security screens etc as an example.
  • Shell75 about 2 months ago
    Real Estates should make sure all their rentals are safe. They should make the owners fix the items that are not safe. If it is electrical/plumbing/smoke alarms they should be made to get them done through professionals. If they are one themselves then they can do the repairs but they need to get their work checked. Real Estates should have some "balls" to say "No we can't rent your house out because of these safety issues". There also should be a register to state that these safety issues have been raised by a real estate and that if they go to another real estate they will be checked if on that register. This would have been great if this was in place before I rented my current property, as I have live exposed electrical wire, unsafe railings, roof not fixed were possums have been living (for a while before I moved in).The owner is getting rent from me every week and he does nothing. I have never missed a payment.
  • DebbieP about 2 months ago
    Unfortunately you get what you pay for so if everything was mandated like security screens the rental prices will just keep increasing.Tenants should be allowed to make modifications if they feel unsafe, but this measure is already in place by requesting approval from a landlord prior, it's who should pay for it is the question.
  • cdzn about 2 months ago
    Tenants should have the right to make any moveable furnishings they bring into the property safe. eg. tethering bookshelves and chests of drawers to the wall. There should be guidelines on how this should be done to avoid major damage from using the wrong fasteners, and tenants should be resonsible for patching any holes when they leave.Tenants should also have the right to mount such items as fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and carbon monoxide detectors (where gas appliances are present) if they have not been provided by the landlord. Better still: make these mandatory just like smoke detectors.
  • fnaoirtmhan about 2 months ago
    What should happen if minimum standards are not met?-currently I'm renting at $595 per week & 9 weeks in advance.-en-suite leaking threw wall into hall way, carpet turned black from mold, going on 20 months now and still not fixed. my 3 year old ( severe ASD autism) ate/liked the carpet and was hospitalized from pooing blood.) i did not know this was the casue until i have started the procedure of the act and involving the RTA.- hot water system blew. the plumber who replaced it told me the system was not earthed and that why me and my four toddlers were getting zapped when touching taps shower heads & water. -all house pipes backed up & come into the house from grey water pump braking and tank filled up.- grease trap over flowed into the grey water tank. the grease trap had not been emptied in over 7 years, the grey water pump was replaced 3 months before i moved in and the owners were told to get grease trap emptied as it is the reason of problem.- pool pipes cracked & loses 250L per day at a minimum when run, the entire lease going on 20 months, the owners were told of the leaks and massive issues with the pool but did not tell me as a new tenant.- paying full water rates when the house and pool has leaks, last bill was $760 for a quarter, even though the owners knew of water leaking problems.-pool pump stopped working 6 weeks ago, & im being blamed for breaking it becasue the pool is thick green and homing mosquitoes. (i have photos of the day it was reported and everyday since & it shows the pool crystal clear going to green and then the state it is now but im still getting the blame)-air con stopped working 3 weeks ago. - text, calls, emails, and in person Lessor threatening me and abusing me.- council has told me i will get the fines for the pool being green and not the owner even though i have shown solid proof. i will have to take it to QCAT to sue owner to pay for fine.so all of the above and no rent reduction in place & no compensation.RTA has been involved and they can not do any more.QSTARTS is some help but not much.i have found no matter what the Lessor/owner does, the law is on their side.now have to go to QCAT to get anything done. and even then i have been told i will be asked why i have not left or done anything until now.and because i have not left i will lose the case.this is not fair or right.so the mosquitoes biting us, the nasty pool, me falling in the washed away driveway and its craters, getting zapped from non earthed hot water system, and so much more , well it should not be allowed and should come with heavy penalties the owners/lessor & or the agent should have fear in them of breaking the act/law , just like tenants do now.I have never had a bad name on my rental history, i did not know what RTA,QSTARTS,QCAT were until now, and i now fear leaving hear and renting another property as i now know tenants DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS.
    Hide Replies (3)
    • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
      I had issues (listed below on other comments) with my previous rental. We ended up going to mediation because of a scratch on the floor, even though I was leaving the house because of the mould, electrical and other serious maintenance issues. I was not able to bring my issues to the table when arguing my case, BUT I found that rta and qcats were great and particularly unbiased on the matter. I went into the mediation knowing my rights and was ready to fight. I didn't back down and came out with an acceptable result. I advise you to fight, especially when it comes to your children's health! The mould in that house made my daughter very sick, she has been great since moving out!
    • Jacquik about 2 months ago
      Hi fnaoirtmhan - that’s horrible! I think the main thing it highlights is that (like many) you didn’t know that RTA, QSTARS and QCAT were there until now. This highlights that the biggest change needed is education and awareness around tenants rights. Currently it’s an owners responsibility to give tenants a booklet about the RTA at the start of the tenancy but dodgy ones may not. Maybe it should be the RTAs responsibility to send out this information with bond receipts so all tenants know the services are there. A mandatory and clear information sheet for owners about maintenance responsibilities and that they can be liable to pay compensation/reduce rent if repairs aren’t done quickly could also help. If the law changes but tenants still don’t know how to get help nothing will change.
    • Jacquik about 2 months ago
      Apart from leaving for maintenance issues current laws in QLD also allow tenants to spend up to two weeks rent on emergency repairs that are not carried out / owners not contactable in a reasonable time. Often pointing this out to an owner and advising you will do this shortly if they haven’t fixed will get action.
  • Klaws about 2 months ago
    Security screens on windows and doors, smoke detector checks every 6 months ( ours are too high to stand in a chair and I shouldn’t have to get on a ladder) and gutters cleaned out pre cyclone season every year. It’s not my job to maintain the house (only gardens), just keep it clean and don’t damage it.
  • Signee about 2 months ago
    Our landlord does most of the repairs himself, including the replacement of light switches and power outlets. He is not a qualified electrician, so why is he allowed to do this and get away with it? If he doesn't connect them properly, it could cause a fire. Personally, I don't care what he does to his own property, but not while the house is occupied by us (or other tenants). In my opinion, he should be employing a qualified electrician which is an expense he is trying to avoid by doing the work himself.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Klaws about 2 months ago
      Report to electrical safety bureau
  • Catherine Franklin about 2 months ago
    My front door is a internal door used for bedrooms, its rotten on the bottom. Any one could just kick it in. They refuse to get a new one. I stopped asking for repairs I cant even get a tap washer fixed. My lease is up soon will be moving out even though the neighbours are great.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Klaws about 2 months ago
      Report that door to RTA.
  • Elle about 2 months ago
    Tenants should have safety screens and locks on windows and doors. Properties should be designed and built in the future where tenants can be as safe as possible.
  • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
    I have recently requested that the property that I rent have security screen doors installed for the 3 doors (excluding the front door) that have outside access. I was refused.I think it is deplorable that after this request and dential that they raise my rent and I still have no security!The owner claims that the doors that are there are sufficiently 'safe' with the small latch, that we all know can be shimmied open. None of my windows have security, or doors- except the front door that has a deadbolt. In summer, we have to either sleep with windows shut, or open and vulnerable. I think that it should be mandatory that the owner provide these basic safety measures for the tenant. Especially when we are paying such a high price ($575pw)!!!
    Hide Replies (5)
    • Jeanie about 2 months ago
      You would have known this when you inspected the property before renting it. If this is important to you, maybe you could install them yourself. This would need permission by the owner. I guess you could also take the installations you paid for when you leave, as long as the fixtures where they are attached are returned to their original state. However, if this is somewhere you intend to stay longterm, you are also responsible for your safety and comfort.
      Hide Replies (4)
      • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
        According to the RTA, it is the landlord that is supposed to ensure that the house is secure/ able to be locked. Yes, I know that it was visible when I first started renting, but recently there has been an increase in break-ins in the area, the police even notified us! The quiet bayside suburb that we are. It was this that prompted my request. I have been told that the doors are made to measure, so if i was to install them, I couldn't take them with, allegedly. (Real estate informed me).It's not bars or security on windows, Just on the doors! They are required to be secure!
        Hide Replies (3)
        • KarlW about 2 months ago
          Realistically, if someone wants to break in to your house, they'll find a way to do so with or without security screens/doors being installed. Your landlord may not be in a financial position to have the work done. The Crimsafe products are quite expensive. The cheaper alternatives are considered mainly as a deterrent. In the interim I'd suggest looking into what other measures you can take to make your home less attractive to thieves. Most are opportunistic so do what you can to minimise that opportunity.
        • Jeanie about 2 months ago
          JBrysondean - Having just had our own house broken into and robbed, I understand your concerns. I'm assuming the existing doors in your rental are lockable therefore meeting RTA standards. Have you looked into other ways to make yourself feel safe? Are cameras and/or alarms an option? I would even contact the police and ask their suggestions. And yes, our doors were locked - they will get in if they want to.
          Hide reply (1)
          • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
            Yes, our doors are 'lockable' sort of. Just the latch that only requires one to lift the door to unlatch- which I can do easily. I dont feel unsafe, really. But the fact that after making the request, they have 'punished' me by putting up my rent 3%! The Rta informed me that it wasn't an unreasonable request, I checked before asking. So I assumed that I was well within my right to ask. I know that if they want to, one can enter my house. But surely we shouldn't leave the doors open for them!?!
  • Jojoi about 2 months ago
    I installed security screens myself. I think it's unreasonable to live in a property in Qld without screens
  • Chris Barker about 2 months ago
    Municipalities have standards for housing. Rental properties must comply with these standards.Tenants, with permission from the landlord, should be able to add temporary fences, and barriers to falls.Tenants should also be able to add non-slip devices to avoid trips and falls
  • Snakes Creek about 2 months ago
    Housing design dose not need to be any different for rental properties as owner occupiers. The renter chooses to rent the property at it current condition. If the Tennent wreckers the place they should fix it. If the home has a maitance problem the owner needs to fix it. Either the tenant or the landlord can issue "Notice to remedy" if it is not rectified with in 14 days the Tennent has the right to break the lease. The same applies to the land lord, they can also break the lease. BUT the proble is the landlord is left with the clean up and repair bill. Most cases only the bond amount can be recovered, BUT again the Tennent usually stops paying the rent and there is not enough left to cover the repair bills. It's great when the Tennent looks after the property and pays all rent as agreed. Then it is easy to take care of any problems that arise. If your agent is too stupid to work for the Tennent, the Tennent should contact the owner directly. The owners ph number should be on your rental agreement.
  • ahl about 2 months ago
    As both a long term tenant and a long term landlord over various periods of my life, I strongly believe any issues of maintenance need to be brought to the attention of the agent/landlord to fix asap and I believe the RTA has support mechanisms if safety issues aren't attended to. The vast majority of landlords want their properties to be well kept, and consider tenants' safety the highest priority. Agents have emergency contact numbers and emergency contractors for urgent issues.In my mind there are "no reasonable modifications" that tenants should make as they aren't the owner.
  • 02 Rent about 2 months ago
    Tenant's should NOT be allowed to make any modifications to the property, it is not their property, if they do are they going to ask for a refund of rent on vacate for the modification, is the tenant going to claim an ownership in the property because they have contributed to the value of the property, sounds silly bey there is a case at the moment in solicitors hands for the same issue. A rental property is just that the tenant rents the property not owns the property!!
  • Jeanie about 2 months ago
    I don't understand why a tenants should be allowed to make modifications for safety reasons. If they believe a house is not safe then don't rent it. Should a tenants circumstances change (eg, maybe have an accident that changes their physical abilities) during the term of a tenancy agreement, then they need to discuss with the agent/landlord what can be done. An owner is risking a considerable sum of money when they purchase a rental property and cannot afford the value of it to decrease.
  • Jodie1 about 2 months ago
    I can't see a safety check working - you will always have inconsistencies between reports from different companies (cheaper ones vs expensive ones) and its up the lessor to attend to anything anyhow (same as now) - what if the tenants have caused damage to make unsafe - who has to make it safe? who decides this? To me it's about the ability (currently lack of) to enforce safety (either tenant or lessor). If we have a bad tenant or bad lessor, its too hard for the good tenant/owner to make them do the right thing. The right thing already exists in the legislation, but making the tenant/lessor do it, is a major feat, a ridiculously long process and a gamble at best. RTA resolution service is of no help and they are inconsistent. Make the enforcement process available, efficient and consistent. Then the property industry will work better. A property and its inclusions should be functional and safe. If it doesn't work it should be removed or replaced, eg: don't leave an old air conditioner in the property that doesn't work or an old fridge that is on its way out and say "as soon as it breaks the landlord isn't replacing it". This doesn't mean everything needs be new or perfect but they must be fit for purpose. Seems quite simple to me. I think the problem is that the legislation enforceability needs to be more "user friendly". Unfortunately the system to enforce the legislation lets everyone down. It's too hard for anyone to pursue anything that is unfair: eg: not able to hang pictures or tenant repairing pet damage.
    Hide reply (1)
    • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
      I agree. As a tenant, I constantly live with this fear that if I make a request for something to be fixed or replaced, I will be given notice, or even that they will raise the rent!! This has just happened after requesting a security door!! No door, but more $$! Im a good tenant, I treat the house as my own. I just want to know they're not going to stab me in the back!!
  • JBrysondean about 2 months ago
    My previous rental was FILLED with black mould and was causing my youngest child to be sick. When I approached the landlord about it, they told me how to wash the walls!! The mould wasnt ON the walls, but in the walls, carpet & ceiling! I finally broke contract and left. He then proceeded to take me to the RTA for damage!! The hide of him!! Since leaving, he has renovated the house, new everything, and decided to self manage because "he doesnt trust the realestate" who saw the issues and agreed with me. It should be mandatory that a house be structually safe for a family to live in. So that the lessor doesn't live in fear of being evicted after requesting them to be fixed!!
  • Home owner and tenant about 2 months ago
    I believe there should be a thorough safety check done on rental properties from an external company. Real estates do not have the knowledge needed to ensure a property is safe, which has become clear to me recently. The RTA is very limited in their information also. My real estate seems completely oblivious to the dangers a poorly functioning automatic garage door poses. Doors without an auto reverse safety function on it are extremely deadly, and through my own investigation is a breach of Australian Standards. How any are out there without this safety feature? How many have not had at least 6 monthly services?
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    • foxje about 2 months ago
      Hi home owner and tenant, are there really that many safety incidents from poor safety standards in rental companies? I don't hear of any to be honest. I think we have to be careful with what we wish for. External safety checks sound nice but end up just increasing the cost of rental properties, which in turn, will filter through as increased rents. Also, the current Act permits urgent safety repairs to be either done by the landlord within very tight time frames, or by the tenant who MUST be then reimbursed by the landlord (the Act and tribunal are very strict on this), so I believe the existing legislation is more than sufficient.
  • avava about 2 months ago
    As I stated in another comment, many landlords are more interested in profit than their renters safety and being renters for a long time, we know this is fact. Many landlords will only do what is the minimum requirement, if that. If we have issues with doors, locks, screens, electrical wiring, garage doors, leaky taps etc...that is seen by the landlord as trivial and unnecessary repairs. Our present landlord preferred to put up a fence, rather than worry about his renters safety and any issues with the house. Our landlord could have and should have made sure all the electrical wiring/light fixtures/power points in the house were safe for his tenants. But obviously our safety isn't high on their priorities. When the one sided fence was done, we asked him to fix a dripping tap, instead he fiddled with it and made it worse. One year later the plug accidentally falls into the BIG laundry tub while we are out for four hours. We come home to a full tub and a flood from the overflowing water. So if in four hours that much water is wasted, imagine ONE YEARS WORTH of water wastage in a time of drought...disgusting. The only thing that got our landlord over here was the thought of them having to pay for excess water. If landlords are reasonable and honest with their tenants, then there is room for discussion and compromise, but when landlords see the tenants as 'second class citizens' and treat them as undeserving riff-raff, then you get the situations we are in now, with unhappy tenants trashing properties...and shows like a current affair, always airing those stories. I have never seen a renters side of the story. In our neck of the woods, we have heard of real estate agents making deals amongst themselves to ensure that most renters won't get their bonds back. If that is not some sort of collusion that should be investigated, but of course, never is. Also we have real estate agents and their 'secret tikka list of tenants' that they don't like, being put on real estate bad tenant lists, making it impossible for renters to then find future rentals. Renters are put on this list over trivial things, rather than serious things, just because real estate agents have the power and it goes to their heads...If home buyers/owners don't have plenty of cash to make their rental properties safe, then don't buy. But instead many just buy and then say they have no money or time to make the properties safe. Then the only people that suffer are the renters that are compromised and left in a bad situation...this is akin to a woman with no money that can't escape an abusive relationship...something that happens worldwide, but the issues never seem to get addressed...because those in power like it that way...and please, unless you have experienced renting and the uneven power plays...don't suggest that it doesn't exist...because we live it and we know many others that do also...
  • foxje about 2 months ago
    Is there evidence to suggest the current safety measures are not appropriate? I haven't seen many news headlines outlining how many people have died due to unsafe rental properties? I suggest the council regulations have been sufficiently stringent to ensure properties in QLD are to the code of the day, and that is the standard to which rental properties should be held - the construction and safety code at the time it was built. Tenants should not be making any modfiications for safety reason. If there is a safety concern and the building does not meet the code of the day, they should issue a Notice to Remedy to the Landlord and the LANDLORD should be obliged to make the property safe according to the code of the day, within the timeframes of an "Urgent Repair" under the current regulations (24-48 hours I think??).