A rental provider’s checklist is important for vendors who decide not to sell their properties and choose to rent them out instead. Often the property owners are shocked by the preparation that is involved in getting it ready for lease. Both first-time investors and vendors considering leasing their properties need to know what is required.
The Victorian Government has set out the minimum requirements to clarify what is acceptable for both rental providers and tenants. Satisfying these standards ensures the asset does not fall into serious disrepair and is safe for occupants.
Minimum standards required
A new rental provider must satisfy the minimum standards that are set out by the Victorian State government. These standards include:
- Rental properties must have modern switchboards, with circuit breakers and electrical safety switches installed. Electrical safety switches are known as residual current devices (RCD, RCCB, or RCBO).
- All rental properties must have a fixed heater (not portable) in good working order in the main living area. For rental agreements entered into from 29 March 2023, this must be an energy-efficient fixed heater in the main living area. If there is an existing fixed heater that is not energy efficient, the rental provider must upgrade it. In apartments, the rental provider must still install a fixed heater in the main living area.
- The property must have a kitchen with: a dedicated cooking and food preparation area; a sink in good working order connected to a reasonable supply of hot and cold water; a stovetop in good working order that has two or more burners and if there is an oven, it needs to be in good working order.
- If there is a laundry on the property, it must be connected to a reasonable supply of hot and cold water.
- Smoke alarms must hardwired and maintained.
- The property’s external entry doors must have functioning deadlatches or be fitted with locks that can be unlocked with a key from the outside but can be unlocked without one from the inside.
- All rooms must be free from mould and dampness caused by or related to the building structure.
- Rental properties must have adequate ventilation in all habitable rooms including the bathroom, shower, toilet and laundry.
- The property must meet the appropriate ventilation requirements of the Building Code of Australia, which are different for different kinds of properties. You can search for resources in the Australian Building Codes Board resources library.
- Rental providers must supply a rubbish bin and a recycling bin for the renter to use and meet council collection standards.
- Windows in rooms likely to be used as bedrooms or living areas must be fitted with curtains or blinds that can be closed, block light and provide privacy.
- All external windows in a rental property that can be opened must have a latch or lock installed to secure the windows against external entry.
Importantly new rental providers must comply as non-compliance will attract penalties. Tenants can legally insist on these minimum standards as they are legislated requirements.
Looking after the asset is valuable to both the investor and the tenant. Maintaining your investment periodically is prudent and yields benefits over time.