FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With end of financial year arrangements on the minds of all Australians, it is also time for landlords to ensure matters of safety, structural soundness and maintenance due diligence are in order at rental properties, according to Archicentre Australia.
The national architect’s advisory service says the responsibility for identifying and rectifying these matters falls fairly and squarely on the landlord.
This makes regular and thorough checks vital in order to ensure the safety and well-being of residents, as well as the peace of mind of the landlord.
Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says assessments arranged by landlords and carried out by building professionals, such as architects, minimise the risk of structural defects which have the potential to cause serious injuries to tenants, or even death, and maximise the opportunity to obtain best possible return on investment through rental revenue and resale value.
Among the items that must be high on the maintenance list, he says, are smoke alarms and fire protection measures; electrical issues such as old distribution boards, limited power outlets and old wiring; damp and mouldy service areas; and poorly ventilated spaces.
Older properties that have timbers close to the ground or where timber in fascias or barges and eaves is compromised by deteriorating roofs must also be examined closely by professionals.
“Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord must ensure the property is maintained in a safe condition while at common law, a landlord has a duty of care to provide the tenant with a safe dwelling.
“If a property is not maintained in a safe condition, the landlord is likely to be in breach of landlords’ insurance and/or building insurance conditions,” he says.
“Serious injuries, and even deaths, from the collapse of balconies, decks, stairs and floorboards are becoming all too frequent and in these matters it is the landlord who is ultimately liable if it is determined that the cause was lack of maintenance.”
Peter Georgiev says the end of financial year is the perfect time for landlords to arrange assessment which can identify any issues and prioritise legitimate expenditure on investment properties.
“Assessing buildings for structural defects and safety issues is a task for a licensed and insured professional with suitable experience and training – not the property manager or handyman.”
A recent balcony collapse in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra demonstrated the importance of regular assessment.
The collapse occurred in an apartment block built during the late 1960s and Peter Georgiev says there are plenty of apartment blocks of similar age, style and construction methods in major Australian cities.
“For apartment blocks and townhouse complexes, the owners’ corporation needs to ensure that regular yearly assessments are carried out on behalf of the landlords for the benefits of all – including occupants,”
Archicentre Australia provides a two-pronged approach – property assessments carried out by experienced architects as well as timber pest inspections carried out by independent licensed timber pest inspectors, who, Peter Georgiev says, all act as GPs for the building industry.
“If you are a landlord and wish to sleep easier while gaining maximum benefit from your rental property, contact Archicentre Australia to arrange a property assessment and/or a timber pest inspection,” he says.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950