Hot tips and reminders for agents and property managers - Real estate industry bulletin 196
April 29 2019
RCDs reminder – stay current with requirements
Residual current devices (RCDs) save lives! New legislation came in November 2018 that requires all electrical installations in new residential builds after 1 January 2019 to comply with new wiring rules. For existing residences, at least two RCDs must be fitted to protect all power and lighting circuits but the new law does not require RCDs on final sub-circuits.
Real estate agents be sure to inform potential vendors that RCDs must be installed prior to the transfer of ownership of the property. When establishing property details from the vendor, you should include the following question on the vendor's property declaration:
"Is the house fitted with at least two RCDs which protect all power and lighting circuits?"
Property managers check your residential rental properties for compliance. At least one RCD is to be fitted to power and lighting circuits in common areas of strata properties. If RCDs are not fitted, advise the owner to have the RCDs fitted immediately in order to comply with the law.
Building and Energy recommends testing RCDs every three months, which could easily become part of your routine inspections of your rental property. For more information, the RCD fact sheet is a great resource.
Hot tip to avoid costly bond lodgement failures
Did you know? Approximately 30-40% of bond lodgement failures are the result of invalid direct debit account types provided on lodgement forms. Online bank accounts, popular with both lessors and tenants, are commonly used. However, banks prohibit Consumer Protection from direct debiting online bank accounts as well as:
- bonus saver bank accounts;
- mortgage accounts;
- mortgage offset accounts;
- superannuation accounts; and
- investment accounts.
In order for a direct debit bond lodgement to occur we require a transaction account on the lodgement form. A transaction account typically has a debit card attached and the owner can access the funds through an ATM or by paying for products or services via EFTPOS/pay pass, etc.
The bond lodgement payment process doesn’t allow us to differentiate between online or transaction accounts. That means we can’t catch the error before the bank issues us a payment dishonour notice. Often the account owner ends up with a payment dishonour fee as well.
Property managers are legally required to lodge bonds with the Bond Administrator within 14 days of receiving the funds. “Real estate agents can face criminal convictions and fines of up to $20,000 if they violate these important aspects of tenancy law,” warns Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard.
On 21 March 2019 landlord Mark Alasdair Adam was convicted in Perth Magistrates Court and fined $10,000 after failing to lodge tenant bonds from two separate tenants.
Avoid unnecessary prosecution and fines - visit our website to learn about lodging a bond and your legal obligations as a property manager.
National safety alert reminder – gas heaters
In case you missed it, a national safety alert was issued last month for four open-flued gas heaters that, under certain circumstances, may produce too much carbon monoxide – potentially causing serious health risks to users.
If a rental property you manage has one of the following gas heaters, stop using it immediately and contact the supplier for follow up:
- Regency i31 (purchased after 1 January 2010) supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd
- Regency F38 and FG38 supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd - natural gas models only. The F38/FG38 was branded and supplied by Masport prior to 2006.
- Nectre 2000 (manufactured from 2007) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd
- Real Flame Pyrotech (manufactured from 2012) also supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd
Knowledge is power
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While you’re at it, why not encourage your tenants to subscribe to our Tenants’ bulletin? Imagine the benefits of working with tenants that are educated in their responsibilities!
Coming soon: DMIRS Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey
As a user of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) services (licensee, tenant, registered organisation, business or consumer), you may be contacted through an email from DMIRS and invited to take part in the 2019 DMIRS Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey. The survey is being run by Ipsos to help DMIRS measure its performance.
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