Minimum Housing Standards Inspection
In its quest to gain the balance between a landlord and tenant in terms of the accommodation standards being offered, the State Government introduced new tenancy laws effective from September 1, 2023. It is now a requirement that a Minimum Housing Standards Inspection on a rental property must be completed by a qualified inspector prior to occupancy.
This new legislation will offer renters the protection that any property they apply for or are occupying will meet minimum housing standards. The onus is on the landlord to provide a rental property that meets the minimum standards for occupancy.
The aim of the new legislation is to ensure that all rental properties are safe, secure, and functional. All new tenancy arrangements from September 1, 2023 must comply with new minimum housing standards. Existing tenancy arrangements have until September 1, 2024 to be compliant.
Not only will this provide the tenant with security about the property but provides clarity on the maintenance issues for the property manager and owner.
Specifics For Minimum Housing Standards
The Rental Tenant Authority has provided the specifics for minimum housing standards a rental property must comply with:
- be weatherproof and structurally sound
- be in good repair, with fixtures and fittings (such as electrical appliances) that are not likely to cause injury through normal use
- have functioning locks or latches on all external doors and windows that can be reached without a ladder
- be free from vermin, damp and mould (this does not include cases where the vermin, damp or mould has been caused by the tenant)
- include curtains or other window coverings, which provide privacy in rooms where the tenant might reasonably expect it, such as bedrooms
- have adequate plumbing and drainage and be connected to hot and cold water that is suitable for drinking
- provide privacy in bathroom areas and have flushable toilets connected to a sewer, septic tank or other waste disposal system
- have a functioning cook-top, if a kitchen is provided
- include the necessary fixtures for a functional laundry, such as tap fixtures and adequate plumbing, if laundry facilities are provided. The laundry does not have to include a washing machine or other white goods, as these may be provided by the tenant.