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Better safe than sorry with lease agreements

By Shannon Callanan

Whenever you enter into a new Tenancy Agreement, your property manager is required by Law to ensure that your lease complies with the current legislation.

Why?

In today’s leasing environment there are a number of compliance issues that must be addressed before entering into a Tenancy Agreement. Some of these compliance issues could be new and therefore they may not have affected you before. Some issues every property investor must comply with today BEFORE the property is leased include ensuring the rental property:

.     Is smoke alarm compliant;
.     Have window and blind cord safety devices installed (devices can be obtained from Consumer Affairs Victoria free of charge);
.     Has achieved pool safety compliance (if there is a pool on the property)

While there is a cost to the property investor to ensure legislative compliance, the risk of non-compliance far outweighs the cost to be compliant, claiming it is either because they have never needed to do it before or because they cannot see the benefit of the cost involved.

By ensuring your property is lease compliant you avoid the risk of having an invalid Tenancy Agreement or worse – facing heavy penalties and having an insurance claim denied in the event of a loss incurred due to non-compliance. Worse still, you could be liable in the event of public liability claim made against you as a result of a non-compliance loss. As an industry we have witnessed too many cases where this has occurred, for instance when a rental property burns down and the property investor is then found to be personally liable if the property is found without compliant smoke alarms in place.

As your property managers, we are faced with the unenviable task of informing you of these additional lease compliance costs. However, we cannot stress strongly enough how vital it is to heed our advice and ensure your property is compliant in order to minimise your risk and protect you against the potential of future legal action and additional costs.

Contact your property manager for more information about these compliance topics.

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