Change in tenancy rules to improve child safety

Information status

All announcements issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Announcements listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this announcement, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Tenancy regulations have changed which require tenants to be given vital information about potential hazards for children in the home.

The regulations which underpin the Residential Tenancies Act mean that tenants must be given an information sheet outlining their key rights and obligations at the beginning of a new tenancy.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said that the forms now contain important safety information related to the dangers of blind or curtain cords and swimming pools.

Over the years there have been many deaths of children who have been strangled by looped blind or curtain cords and chains,” Ms Driscoll said.

“In response to these tragic events, a range of product safety standards have been introduced and apply to rental properties. The simple message is that internal blind and curtain cords should be secured or be at least 1.6 metres above the floor so they don’t pose a strangulation hazard to babies and young children.

“Adding this safety information to the forms acts as a reminder to both tenants and landlords to check the window fittings installed in their homes, with the hope it will prevent any future injuries or deaths.

“If any non-compliant cords or chains are found, they should be secured and made safe immediately.”

The forms will also contain information about complying with laws relating to pool and spa safety barriers.

“In response to the Coroner’s recommendation following an inquest into the death of a three year old boy who drowned at a rental property in Kalgoorlie, the forms now include information about the role of local government and landlords in relation to barriers required for backyard swimming pools and spas,” the Commissioner said.

The new Forms 1AC and 1AD can be found on the Consumer Protection website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection. Further information on blind/curtain cords available at www.productsafety.gov.au. Further information on pool/spa safety available on the Building Commission website: www.buildingcommission.wa.gov.au.

END OF RELEASE

Media Contact (Consumer Protection)

Consumer Protection
Media release
23 Jan 2015

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