Minimum Standards For Rental Properties
The rental market in Australia has skyrocketed in recent years. Did you know that Australian households are now made up of almost one-third of renters?
This is how habits have changed in the past couple of decades:
- 32% of people rent, compared to 30% in 2015-16 and 27% in 1997-98
- 27% rent privately, as opposed to a state or territory housing authority
- This is an increase of 7% from before the start of the Millennium
As you can see, far fewer Australians own a home, either with or without a mortgage. As a result, it’s not rare to find yourself in a position where you need to enter the rental market. However, when you do, you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you choose poorly as it can ruin the experience and lead to an increase in stress and anxiety.
The key is to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line, but what should you be looking out for?
What Are the Types of Minimum Standards for Rental Properties?
Whether you’re a prospective tenant or a landlord, it’s essential to understand the basics regarding the minimum standards for rental properties.
With that in mind, here are the main things to watch out for, whether you’re a landlord or a tenant.
Ventilation is a massive problem because a lack of air running through your property will result in nasty surprises, such as mould and a build-up of bacteria. Therefore, all rooms in a property should have openings that are at least 5% of the size of the room. This allows air to flow freely.
However, a room doesn’t necessarily have to have windows or openings. For example, if a room was next to another room that had the correct measurements, and it opens into it, that is fine. Bathrooms are different, too, as you can have a fan that circulates air without any traditional openings.
The cleanliness of a property is another bone of contention for lots of renters. It needs to be as clean as possible for you to live comfortably and hygienically, which means that the term “clean” means there should not be any:
- Stray animals
- Mould or rising damp
- Belongings that are not yours
- A large amount of dirt, e.g. dust and grime
- An unpleasant smell
This allows you to have a basic level of cleanliness and hygiene. It’s worth noting that the definition applies to the property and not individual items. Therefore, the fact that some windows are dirtier than others doesn’t apply since it won’t impact you.
A property should be in good repair to be rented out. In essence, this means that, while there might be small, cosmetic issues, there aren’t big concerns that require considerable repairs as they put your safety at risk. The definition of good repair is a tricky one as some areas are disputed. However, features such as significant mould or unsecured plug sockets should be completed before moving in.
The autumn and winter months can get very cold, which is why it’s imperative to have a fixed heater in the main living area of a house or apartment. It needs to be available instantly, and it has to be in a fixed position. For instance, attached to a wall. Types of heaters can include, but aren’t limited to:
- Electric or gas heater
- A heat pump
- A wood heater, such as a stove, but not an open fireplace
In general, the heater must provide enough warmth to heat the main living space. As a result, it can vary in size, depending on the property’s specifications.
A bathroom should be a straightforward room, but some properties can play around with the traditional meaning. For your information, a bathroom in a rental property must be enclosed or contained and only used for its main purpose. As mentioned before, it needs a type of airflow, which can be a type of extraction fan, and it has to be connected to a waste management system that is approved by the council or local authority.
Charlotte Peterswald Property Management – Premium Property Managers in Hobart
Getting to grips with the minimum standards for rental properties isn’t straightforward. Thankfully, CPPM is here to help. Simply contact us now to speak to one of our highly-trained and qualified representatives.