A landlord’s safety checklist for renting strata properties
Security is vital for any property, especially rental properties in strata. If you’re renting out your strata property or have Airbnb-type short term letting plans, safety and security should be high on your list of priorities.
As the owner/landlord, your property and tenant’s safety are your responsibility. The following is a safety checklist to ensure your rental property and its residents stay secure:
Do your groundwork
While evaluating rental properties, tenants also take into account the safety and security of the surrounding areas and shared facilities. Tenants will always consider the following before signing a lease agreement:
- Is the street well lit? This is particularly important to tenants who park on the street
- Is there CCTV or security cameras around the premises?
- Is the buildings’ common property kept in good order?
- Are the stairways, corridors and hallways well lit and ventilated?
- Is there adequate fire safety – are there smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, secure fire exits, etc.?
- Does the building have a caretaker or building manager to help and assist in emergencies?
Switch on safety
As electrical switches and equipment are more likely to be used every day, electrical wiring safety is paramount to rental properties. Faulty electrical switches are a common cause of fires and broken sockets should be fixed immediately. Before a new tenant moves in, you should make sure:
- The switches are checked for cracks or loose fittings
- The appliances are working and can be operated safely
- There are enough sockets throughout the property to avoid overloading the existing outlets
- Emergency contact information is always available to your tenants as soon as they move in
Lock in the basics
According to Sec 106 of the Strata Schemes management Act 2015, all security features are owners corporation responsibility and this included doors and window locks for most properties. However as an owner, your tenants may contact you first when they face an issue, so here’s what you should do:
- Ensure all windows and door locks are inspected regularly for safety and integrity
- Make sure bathroom and laundry windows can be left opened safely for ventilation
- Ensure any external high windows are maintained
- Consider changing locks at the start of new tenancies
- Get your committee’s approval before making any fixes and repairs to doors, windows and other entry/exit features
Keep track of key changes
Different strata properties have different security systems for entry and passage. Some also upgrade their security features from time to time and change key cards and security passes periodically. Therefore, you are not only responsible for providing the entry keys, key cards, security passes, garage door remotes, etc. to your tenants and guests, it is also your duty to keep track of strata developments regarding security. Here are a few points to take care of:
- Keep your tenants aware of any security changes and upgrades regarding entry passes and keys so that they’re not inconvenienced as a result of these changes
- Inform your tenants about their responsibilities regarding safety and security of the property
- If keys and passes are lost, help your tenants secure new keys
- Keep track of duplicate keys, key cards and passes that you provide your tenants and guests
- Report loss of key cards and security passes to your committee so they remain aware of potential security breaches from lost keys
PICA Group note: In addition to these points, your tenants may have various other safety concerns while living on the strata property, so you should make sure to touch base with them regularly and address their issues promptly. As the first step to ensuring your tenants and guests are just as committed to protecting the property and its values as you are, you should also give them a copy of the by-laws and rules and put them in touch with your strata manager or committee if they have more questions in your absence.
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