Landlords

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the purpose of a PropertySafe Report?

The purpose of a PropertySafe report is to provide you with the opportunity to mitigate any existing risks. By identifying all potential risks you have an excellent opportunity to significantly reduce the likelihood that a time consuming and stressful claim is made against you.

Key to understanding the role of a PropertySafe report is to appreciate that currently if someone unfortunately gets injured in a rented property, the landlord is inevitably the primary target in any claims cases. The greater awareness of the rights of the tenant and the prevalence of the “no win no fee” compensation lawyers have driven this.

In addition, if the injury is deemed to be caused by an issue that should have been addressed, even if the owner was unaware of it, then the property insurer may have an exclusion clause in their policy. Owners should check their insurance policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Simply put, having this report done merely materialises most of the hidden existing risks you are currently exposed to, and enables you to further protect yourself in an extremely cost effective way.

What are the benefits of having a Safety inspection of my property?

  • It increases your protection from unidentified hazards that could result in injury claims by tenants.
  • It minimises the possibility of claims assuming the recommended issues are actioned.
  • You have the confidence of knowing that you are providing a safe and superior property for tenants.
  • Your property should achieve higher rent returns and be more sought after by tenants.

Who is PropertySafe?

PropertySafe is a national service specialising in safety inspections on residential properties, owner-occupied or rented. We assess properties on behalf of landlords and property managers providing recommendations to maximise the safety of occupants.

What’s the difference between PropertySafe and Maintenance Manager?

PropertySafe is the overall name of the service encompassing the inspection process. Maintenance Manager is the cloud-based dashboard system designed primarily for Property Managers that lists and tracks all activities related to a property including inspections, actions, event logs, quote sheets, reminders and notifications. If the full functionality is used, Maintenance Manager also contains details of all quotes, jobs and expense approved for the property.

What is a safety inspection?

Our team of fully qualified and highly trained inspectors inspect your property for 16 different safety hazards and over 100 issues, including the compliance of smoke alarms, safety switch operation, electrical hazards, glass hazards and many other issues such as slip, trip and fall hazards. A safety inspection is about the landlord’s and Property Manager’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for the tenant. If we find any issues during our inspection we take photos to record the fault and to help with repair quotes.

What is included in a PropertySafe Report (scope)?

The inspection procedure is to inspect every internal and external room and location on the property including out-buildings and trees within 20 metres of the main residence. We do not inspect inside roof cavities or on the roof or any subfloor areas of the property.

PropertySafe Investor – Scope

(FireSafe & PoolSafe optional)

Everything covered by the PropertySafe Investor Report

Electrical Safety Switch (RCD)

  • Switchboard accessibility
  • Safety switch equipment present or absent
  • Safety switch equipment test successful or unsuccessful

Building Hazards: (pertaining to safety)

  • Excessive floor movement
  • Damaged flooring
  • Damaged wall(s)
  • Damaged ceiling
  • Damaged post(s)
  • Damaged beam(s)
  • Damaged step/stair(s)
  • Damaged balustrading
  • Separating balcony/deck attachment(s)
  • Damaged guttering
  • Damaged eave(s)
  • Damaged other fixture(s)
  • Damaged/unstable fencing
    • rot/decay
    • disrepair
    • rust
    • splitting
    • separation
    • an incident
    • suspected termite activity
  • Minimum head room risk
    • less than 2030mm from the stair nosing line
    • less than 1950 from the walking surface
  • Spa bath recirculation suction/drowning risk
  • Toilet door access risk
  • Fishpond/water feature drowning risk
  • Retaining wall integrity risk over 500mm
  • Sharp conditions risk
    • protruding screws
    • protruding nails
    • sharp edge/corner
    • other
  • Structure deterioration risk
    • decay
    • rust

Glass Hazards

  • Damaged glass pane(s)
  • Damaged glass screen(s)
  • Damaged glass insert(s)
  • Damaged mirror(s)
  • Damaged seal(s)/frame(s)
  • Suspected absent safety glass
  • Absent visible glass banding

Slip Hazards

  • Low friction walking surface slip risk
    • likely to be slippery when wet
    • currently slippery when dry
  • Unsecured mat(s) on low friction walking surface slip risk
  • Moss on the walking surface slip risk
  • Steep walking surface risk slip risk
  • Low friction standing surface in a bath that incorporates a shower slip risk
  • Foreign matter on the walking surface slip risk
    • Oil
    • Grease
    • Sand/soil
    • Soap build-up
    • Other

Trip Hazards

  • Over 10mm trip risk
    • being between 10-20mm in height with a similar surface colour
  • Over 20mm trip risk
    • Being between 20-75mm in height
  • Fixed floor covering trip risk
    • being damaged
    • inconsistent/uneven
  • Step/stair dimension(s) trip risk
    • height greater than 190mm
    • height less than 75mm
    • tread less than 240mm
    • inconsistent height and/or depth
  • Uneven external walking surface trip risk
    • inconsistent surface
    • ledge/edge greater than 20mm and less than 190mm
    • objects in, on or adjacent to the walking surface

Fall Hazards

  • Greater than 190mm (less than 1m) fall risk
    • no barrier or balustrade present
    • an inadequate balustrade
  • Greater than 1m fall risk
    • no balustrade present
    • balustrade height less than 1m metre from the internal standing surface
    • penetrable gap greater than 125mm in diameter
    • fixed climbable opportunity within the balustrade height between 150mm and 750mm
    • balustrade height less than 865mm from the stair nosing line
    • absence of a secure handrail on frameless glass balustrade
    • other
  • Greater than 2m fall risk
    • no balustrade present
    • balustrade height less than 1m metre from the internal standing surface
    • penetrable gap greater than 125mm in diameter
    • fixed climbable opportunity within the balustrade height between 150mm and 750mm
    • balustrade height less than 865mm from the stair nosing line
    • absence of a secure handrail on frameless glass balustrade
    • other
  • Greater than 4m fall risk
    • no balustrade present
    • balustrade height less than 1m metre from the internal standing surface
    • penetrable gap greater than 125mm in diameter
    • fixed climbable opportunity within the balustrade height between 150mm and 750mm
    • balustrade height less than 865mm from the stair nosing line
    • absence of a secure handrail on frameless glass balustrade
    • other
  • Bedroom window fall risk
    • window opening less than 1.7 metres from the internal standing surface
    • window opening greater than 125mm
    • a greater than 2 metre external fall
    • a greater than 4 metre external fall
    • fixed climbable opportunity as part of or adjacent to the window
  • Non-bedroom window fall risk
    • window opening less than 865mm from the internal standing surface
    • window opening greater than 125mm
    • a greater than 2 metre external fall
    • a greater than 4 metre external fall
    • fixed climbable opportunity as part of or adjacent to the window
  • Stair riser gap fall risk
    • a greater than 1m fall
    • gap greater than 125mm
  • Retaining wall fall from risk
    • an over 500mm fall
    • a hard surface below
    • no barrier or balustrade present
  • Handrail inadequacy for steps fall risk
    • no handrail present
    • an inadequate handrail present
  • Climbable object near balustrade fall risk
    • being within the 1 metre arc of the balustrade handrail
    • a greater than 2 metre external fall
    • a greater than 4 metre external fall
  • Climbable object near window fall risk
  • Window restrictor inadequacy
    • key left in the device
    • currently unlocked
    • does not permanently restrict to 125mm
    • broken or damaged

Electrical Hazards

  • Damaged power point
  • Damaged light fitting
  • Damaged switch
  • Damaged fixed appliance
    • not secured adequately
    • cracked
    • seized/broken
    • exposed wiring
    • smoke residue
    • other
  • Power point(s) within water source splash zone
    • within 150mm horizontally and/or 400mm vertically from a sink
    • within 500mm horizontally and 1000mm vertically from a bath
    • within 300mm vertically from the walking surface in a wet area
    • an inadequate style of power point exposed to weather
    • in close proximity to a stove top
  • Accessible empty light socket(s) within 1500mm of the floor or climbable opportunity
  • Fixed fan blades in an unsafe location
  • Appliance at risk of a tip and fall
  • Excessive use of power point/board risk
  • Electrical cable without conduit risk
  • Automatic garage door risk

Gas Hazards: (Natural, Propane, Butane, LPG & LNG excludes Co2)

  • Outlet(s) leak
  • Meter leak
  • Pipe joint(s) leak
  • Fixed appliance leak
  • Fixed gas cylinder leak

Moisture Hazards

  • Moisture staining on the surface
  • Mould/Mildew growth on the surface
  • High moisture meter reading in wall
  • Water pooling adjacent to wall
  • Water pooling in the subfloor

Curtain cord Hazards

  • Curtain/blind cords and/or chains that are unsafe
    • lower than 1600mm from the standing surface
    • able to form a loop of 220mm in its current state or if intertwined
    • not secured adequately
    • compliant cleat present although not utilised
    • above 1600mm although accessible via fixed climbable opportunity
  • Curtain cord is cleated although at risk of being un-cleated

Fireplace/Fixed heater Hazards

  • Absent safety screen
  • Flammable opportunities within 1m
  • Damaged fuel supply line(s)

Hot Water Hazards

  • The hot water temperature exceeds 50 degrees

Pest Hazards

  • Rodent activity
  • Cockroach activity
  • Flea activity
  • Suspected Termite activity
  • Spider activity

Tree/branch Hazards

  • Large tree/branch over wires
  • Low sharp branch within walkway
  • Gutter debris fire/water ingress risk
  • Tree/branch risk
    • large tree over the home
    • large tree branches over the home
    • large tree branches over the walkway
    • tree branch within walkways lower than 2030mm

Inhalation/Contaminant/Ingestion Hazards

  • Fireplace/gas/oil heater carbon monoxide (CO) risk
  • Suspected undisturbed asbestos material
  • Suspected disturbed asbestos material
  • Garage carbon monoxide (CO) risk
  • Chemical storage risk
    • paint
    • fuel
    • chlorine
    • cleaning products
    • weed killer
    • other

Security Hazards

  • Inadequate or absent lock
    • to the window
    • to the main entry door
    • to the perimeter door
  • The main entry door is not illuminated adequately
    • no light present
    • missing bulb
    • broken bulb
    • bulb not illuminating

Personal observation

  • Any other safety issues the inspector determines as appropriate to document as per the Inspector Code of Conduct.

FIRESAFE (option)

  • Is there a sufficient number installed?
  • Was our inspection restricted?
  • Are the units installed in a compliant location?
  • Are the units damaged?
  • What type are the units – Photoelectric or Ionisation?
  • How the units powered – 240v or 9v?
  • If mains powered is there 240v power present?
  • Is the expiry date visible?
  • Has the unit expired?
  • Is there an A.S. sticker/stamp present on the unit?
  • Did we replace the battery in the unit?
  • Does the sound button operate on the unit?
  • Is the unit alarm sound above 85 Db?
  • Did we clean the unit?
  • What is the expiry date of the unit?

Smoke alarm inadequacy (when FireSafe not selected)

  • Insufficient number
    • Noncompliant location
  • Unit(s) covered, damaged or removed

POOLSAFE (option)

  • Gates
    • Do the gates open away from the pool?
    • Do the gates latch from any open position after 25kg load test?
    • Do the gates stay latched when pulled with 25kg force?
    • Are the gates latches a minimum of 1500 above ground level or 1400mm from the highest lower horizontal?
    • Are the gates latches shielded by a 450mm radius if a lower latch is present?
    • Is the gap between the gate and the fence latch post at no greater than 10mm?
    • Is the gap between the bottom of the gate(s) and the ground 100mm or less?
    • Are the gates at least 1200mm high?
    • Are the gaps between the gate verticals 100mm or less when squeezed with 15kg of force?
    • Are the gate hinges at least 900mm apart and if not greater than 10mm in diameter or has non-climbable caps?
    • Is the pool area free of objects that could be used to prop open the gates by 4 metres?
  • Fencing – 1200mm fencing
    • Is the pool fence at least 1200mm high?
    • Is there water course access into the pool area?
    • Is the gap between the bottom of the fence and ground not greater than 100mm?
    • Are the gaps between the fence verticals no greater than 100mm when squeezed with 15kg of force?
    • Are the pool fence horizontals at least 900mm apart?
    • Are the paling fence vertical gaps no greater than 10mm?
    • Are the paling fence horizontal members on the outside of the pool fence? Are all screws and fixtures securely fitted? Are all fence panels securely fitted?
  • 1800mm fencing
    • Is the 1800mm fence free of climbable opportunities?
    • Are the 1800mm fence horizontals at least 900mm apart?
    • Are all 1800mm fence panels securely fitted?
  • Non-climbable zones
    • Does the fence have a clear 900mm arc in the top quadrant?
    • Does the fence have a clear 1200mm arc in the lower quadrant?
    • Is the fence is free of climbable openings, protrusions and indentations greater than 10mm?
    • Is the fence free of climbable light weight furniture outside of the pool area by 4 metres?
    • Is the fence free of climbable objects within 300mm inside of the pool area and within 900mm of the top edge?
  • Strength and rigidity
    • Are the vertical bars gaps free of permanent deformation when squeezed with 15kg of force?
    • Is the fence free of permanent deformation when pushed horizontally with 25kg of force?
    • Is the fence free of permanent deformation when loaded vertically with 33kg of force?
    • Is the fence free of rust, timber rot, loose and missing fixings?
  • Window and door access
    • Are there windows present that are not compliantly restricted?
    • Are there doors present that are not compliantly restricted?
  • Resuscitation sign
    • Is there a resuscitation sign installed.
    • Is the resuscitation sign at least 300X300mm in dimension?
    • Is the resuscitation sign durable and weatherproof?
    • Is the resuscitation sign visible from the pool area?
    • Does the resuscitation sign mention 2 breaths and 30 compressions?
    • Does the resuscitation sign mention the DRABCD first aid action plan?
    • Does the resuscitation sign mention dial 000 for an ambulance?

Pool fencing inadequacy (when PoolSafe not selected)

  • Gate(s) do not latch from any open position after 25kg load test
  • Pool area not free of objects that could be used to prop open the gate(s) by 4 metres
  • Fence panels damaged or missing
  • Climbable light weight furniture within 4m present that could be used as a climbable opportunity
  • Resuscitation sign not installed

What does the report look like?

Click HERE to see a sample PropertySafe report.

Why should I have a safety inspection of my property done?

As a Landlord you have significant legal exposure if known safety defects (or defects that should have been known) result in tenant injury in your property. Even the most professional managing agents are not qualified or equipped to recognise all safety issues in your property. The PropertySafe Risk Management and Inspection System will ensure you are informed and your property manager has the tools at hand to protect your interests.

Is there a further discount if I own multiple properties?

Bulk offer discount via your agency
If you have received an email from your property manager inviting you to accept or decline a PropertySafe report you automatically receive the nominated bulk offer discount as detailed in that email as well as the opportunities below.

2-4 properties – 10% discount
NB: Please contact us immediately after order to receive this discount. If this contact is not made before the completion of the reports no discount will be applied.

Each leased residence requires an individually completed and insured report. If you order 2-4 residences within the same region or building e.g. both sides of a duplex, 4 units in a building or 3 homes in the same or neighbouring suburbs, a 10% discount is available per report. To obtain this discount you must contact us immediately after order (inspections@propertysafe.com.au or 1300 155 888) to give us an opportunity to arrange all inspections for the same day. Note: If the order is for all units within 1 building, the report for unit 1 will include the common areas as per our scope.

5 or more properties – 15% discount
NB: Please contact us immediately after order to receive this discount. If this contact is not made before the completion of the reports no discount will be applied.

Each leased residence requires an individually completed and insured report. If you order 5 or more residences within the same region or building a 15% discount is available per report. To obtain this discount you must contact us immediately after order (inspections@propertysafe.com.au or 1300 155 888) to give us an opportunity to arrange all inspections for the same day. Note: If the order includes all units within 1 building, the report for unit 1 will include the common areas as per our scope.

Granny Flat with separate lease 50% discount
NB: Please contact us immediately after order to receive this discount. If this contact is not made before the completion of the reports no discount will be applied.

Each leased residence requires an individually completed and insured report. If you order for both the main house and associated granny flat a 50% discount is available for just the flat provided access is supplied to both dwellings for the same day and time by the property owner/manager. To obtain this discount you must contact us immediately after order (inspections@propertysafe.com.au or 1300 155 888) for us to apply the discount and inform the inspector before scheduling.

Share accommodation with individual leases 80% discount
NB: Please contact us immediately after order to receive this discount. If this contact is not made before the completion of the reports no discount will be applied.

Each leased residence requires an individually completed and insured report. When there is 1 building with multiple rooms individually leased e.g. share accommodation or studio apartments, full fee is required for room 1 and the common areas as per our scope and a further 80% discount is offered for each remaining room provided access is supplied to all rooms at the same day and time by the property owner/manager. To obtain this discount you must contact us immediately after order (inspections@propertysafe.com.au or 1300 155 888) for us to apply the discount and inform the inspector before scheduling.

Are the inspectors qualified and insured?

At this time every inspector must adhere to the following:

  • Have nationally recognised qualifications in Building with at least Low Rise, Carpentry and/or a Building Inspection diploma/certification.
  • Completed and clear a national police check.
  • Complete the PropertySafe Certification requirements being:
    • Successfully completed over 40 hours of on-line education via R.T.O. Novaskil (individual certificate available on request).
    • Competently completed over 100 hours infield training, supervision and assessment.
    • Agreed to the PropertySafe Inspector Code of Conduct (copy available on request).
    • Have current certified Professional Indemnity insurance $5,000,000 any one Claim and $10,000,000 in the aggregate.
    • Have current Public Liability insurance $5,000,000

I have Public Liability insurance, so do I really need to do anything?

Yes. If you carefully read your insurance policy there is likely to be opportunities for the insurer to withdraw or limit cover under certain circumstances. An insurance company example: “We do not cover loss, damage or legal liability caused by a defect, structural fault or design fault that you knew about (or should reasonably have known about) and did not fix before the loss, damage or legal liability occurred.”

What is included in a unit (apartment) strata/body corporate safety inspection (scope)?

Inspection scope includes the interior of the unit and associated balconies, the main public entry door and foyer, the immediately adjacent external area (within 2 metres) of the main public entry door, walkways to and from the unit door between the main public entry, stairwell and elevator (if present), the main stairwell up to 3 levels (when no elevator present) and the parking space or garage associated with the unit if accessible. When an elevator is used, we inspect and report on the interior of the elevator. Inspection specifically excludes all stairwells (when an elevator is present) and all remaining common internal or external areas, grounds, steps, stairs, balconies, walkways, structures and buildings. Any obvious safety risks noticed at any time during our movement to and from the building will be noted in Inspector Observations.

Our inspection scope explained above may include areas or sections that are managed by a Strata and/or the Body Corporate entity. In these instances any safety issue discovered during the inspection in those areas can be referred to those services via your Property Manager. In most instances the interior of the residence is the responsibility of the owner. To obtain a detailed understanding of what sections, areas and locations are the responsibility of the strata/body corporate service please refer to your strata/body corporate contract and/or your Property Manager.

Is this a compliance report?

The PropertySafe residential safety inspection is not a pre-purchase, compliance or building certification report. The premise for the report is first and foremost regarding safety by alerting home owners to safety risks and providing options to mitigate those risks. The scope of the inspection is based on statistics associated with hospital treated home injuries, general medical practice presentation, legal claims for injury or death and reported safety issues at a reasonable persons expectation and considered common sense. Guidance for the inspection scope has been received via excerpts from several building codes, practises, Australian Standards and the Monash Report into slips, trips and falls although we do not purport to encompass all of the inclusions in those documents. The report is a result of findings based on a clear scope of inclusions and exclusions and may at times include comments associated with legislated requirements both current, retrospective or non-retrospective although PropertySafe have no authority to compel compliance.

Note: Acting on ‘Major’ imminently life threatening issues discovered is strongly recommended and as per The Inspectors Code of Conduct conveyed to the home occupants if present and/or property manager immediately from site.

Doesn’t my Agent undertake a safety report with the property condition report?

No. A property condition report is not designed to be a Risk Management Inspection and does not cover the identification, testing, documenting and quoting of potential safety hazards to any extent.

Wouldn’t the building report done when I bought the property cover safety issues?

No. Building reports often partially cover some safety issues however they are completed to advise you of the structural integrity of the building at the time of inspection and compliance issues in relation to building standards for when the property was constructed. A safety report is designed to ensure the home environment is safe to live in and takes into account current recommendations from Coroners and Courts to help you mitigate your risk.

All work on my property is certified by the tradesman. Why do I need a safety inspection?

From time to time repairs, maintenance and possibly improvements are done to the property. Any certification, documentation and insurance cover for work done will only apply to a specific job done by a specific trade. A trade installer/repairer will not consider the whole of the property for safety hazards outside their scope after they have completed a job. It’s highly unlikely a trade repairer could even examine a property for safety hazards not in their specific trade because they:

  • don’t get paid to perform the additional work nor accept the additional professional risk,
  • will not have the training, certification or equipment required,
  • will not have the Public Liability insurance to operate outside their own trade qualification, and
  • will not have any Professional Indemnity insurance needed to assess safety and provide a safety report.

An owner is consequently exposed should a claim be made for any issues outside the field of those who have done work on the property. For example, if the steps collapse and injure the tenant, having documentation from the electrician who installed the new hot water system 2 years ago and the glazier who replaced glass 6 months ago will not protect the owner against a claim if the steps collapse.

Taking it further, if there is a claim, an owner would typically claim under their Public Liability cover through Building, Contents or Landlord Insurance policies. Most insurance PDS documents contain wording that can exclude or limit an owner’s claim if it is found they neglected maintenance or did not take reasonable steps to assess ‘foreseeable’ risk in the property. Claims are frequently settled out of court so it is unclear if or when these policy conditions are invoked. For sure, no-one would want to be in that position if a claim was lodged. With claims rising dramatically it is possible that claim assessments will tighten.  

PropertySafe inspectors are trained, certified, equipped and insured to assess the safety of residential properties. The inspection covers at least 14 hazard categories to get a complete picture of the property safety condition. This benefits the owner who can then provide evidence of having taken all reasonable steps to ensure tenant safety if any issues subsequently arise. 

 

What is the inspection procedure?

 

The inspection procedure is to inspect every internal and external room and location on the property including out-buildings and trees within 20 metres of the main residence. We do not inspect inside roof cavities or on the roof or any subfloor areas of the property.

How long will it take?

The time taken on the property will vary depending upon the size of the property and the level of magnitude of any issues. The inspector is usually on-site for between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours.

Are we not better off not knowing what is wrong?

No. Ignorance is not an excuse and non-action is a form of negligence. Courts take a dim view of this stance. Owners and Property Managers taking this position could be subjected to punitive damages and fines. Note that liability cover under insurance policies does not cover punitive damages or fines.

Is the report expensive?

No. Excluding smoke alarm testing which is now a generally accepted service cost for rentals properties, the investment in a PropertySafe report is about $3.00 per week over the recommended two yearly cycle of inspection. This is a very small investment for peace of mind. After discussions with managing agents we firmly believe a property can be rented for a higher amount if it has been PropertySafe inspected as it will provide peace of mind to tenants, creating you a financial benefit while minimising your risk.

Will I be up for big costs to implement the recommendations?

No – any significant items would be necessary under state or national regulations irrespective of how they are identified. Safety hazards are frequently low cost to rectify and the Maintenance Manager system actually helps property managers arrange quotes for easy comparisons and lower cost repairs.

Do Tenants really have a right to live in a safe property?

Yes. It is like renting a car. There is a Duty of Care on the vehicle owner to ensure the car is roadworthy. As a renter you just take for granted the safety is taken care of. This is the same for employees in workplaces and for tenants in your property.

A landlord has a duty to guarantee the safety of rented property and that no injury or damage is caused to the tenants, neighbours or public as a direct result of them neglecting their responsibilities. Each state also has its own specific requirements through the respective Rental Tenancy Acts. Your managing agent has a responsibility to ensure these obligations are met within the scope and authority of their managing agreement with you however ultimate responsibility rests with you.

How many claims have there been against Landlords?

There is an inherent difficulty accruing the value of claims against Landlords as the vast majority of claims are settled confidentially. Research via http://www.ncpd.apra.gov.au/Home/Home.aspx gives insight into statistics both nationally and by state and how these statistics have increased in recent years. This coupled with high profile cases such as Diefenbach and Hunt v RTA reiterate the trend toward the increased number of claims and amounts paid. Furthermore, the premise for completing a residential safety report is not only as a result of increased claims risk it also considers recent statistics for hospital presentations for home injuries and deaths. Documents such as the Monash Report into slips, trips and falls and increasing awareness around the risks associated curtain cords, CO gas, electricity, pool fencing, damp, smoke alarms and high window falls. Please see What is the inspection procedure? in our FAQs regarding the inspection scope and our NEWS page for further information.

Are claims against Landlords and Agents increasing?

Yes, in 2003 the value of annual total claims in Australia was under $3 million and by the end of 2011 they had skyrocketed to over $60 million. The claims are rising rapidly so you need to reduce your risk of claim.

Aren’t safety inspections only really required for Workplaces?

No. Your investment Property is really a business and the safety of all people who attend the property should be taken seriously from a health and safety point of view. Rental properties are already required to be inspected for compliance of smoke alarms and swimming pools. Coroners are now recommending new laws.

From an agency perspective, each rental property is actually a workplace that employees attend when they visit for inspection or showings so the added weight of WHS laws apply to an unsafe property.

Will a PropertySafe report make my property more saleable?

Yes, provided the recommendations of the report are adopted. Purchasers and their solicitors will have comfort in knowing the property being purchased is not a legal time bomb in terms of potential injury to tenants.

I have Public Liability insurance, so do I really need to do anything?

Yes. If you carefully read your insurance policy there is likely to be opportunities for the insurer to withdraw or limit cover under certain circumstances. Insurance Company example:

“We do not cover loss, damage or legal liability caused by a defect, structural fault or design fault that you knew about (or should reasonably have known about) and did not fix before the loss, damage or legal liability occurred.” (Suncorp)

What’s in the report?

The report is a full-colour electronic report containing property details, an overall summary at the front followed by fully detailed sections including photos of each safety hazard and a photo log of all locations inspected on the property.

Who Gets the Report?

The report is made available only to the authorising person, either your property manager or you or both.

How often do I need a safety inspection and how long is it valid for?

The current PropertySafe standard for the frequency of a recommending a residential safety inspection is every two years. This is likely to remain the standard for the foreseeable future although we do allow for the possibility that the Real Estate and/or Insurance Industry may decide to reduce this to annually. With regard to validity periods, for all intents and purposes a safety inspection, similar to a condition report, details conditions that were present on the day of inspection only and those conditions can change at any time. Having said that, a residential safety inspection by PropertySafe is and will be considered best practice by property owners in this country at this time in history.

Does this protect me entirely from claims?

The purpose of the residential safety inspection is to mitigate the risk of personal injury claims. It offers guidance to lower the risks although cannot remove the risks entirely. At this time there is no Australian Standard for residential safety inspections and until a standard is established we believe our inspections would be considered ‘Best Practise’ for this type of service at this time in history. The safety issues included in our inspection and report are guided by our research of the current National Building Codes, Australian Standards for Glass, Electrical, Smoke Alarms, Pool Fencing and Curtain Cords, The Monash Report on Slips, Trips and Falls and The Slips, Trips and Falls Final Decision RIS report.

Am I obligated to rectify any issues discovered?

The report highlights any safety issues identified as being minor, moderate or major. Any major issues would be of most concern and then moderate and so on. In all instances it at the home owner’s discretion as to what, if any, rectifications are made and to what degree. The report offers a risk matrix for each issue discovered to support the owner in making those decisions. It has been our experience that owners give immediate attention to major issues in the first instance and then decide on lower risk issues individually based of an opinion of merit and financial viability risk to cost assessment. Every issue eliminated or modified removes or lowers the risk of harm to the property occupants and guests. Often many rectifications can be completed at a minimal cost.

Do I need an inspection if the home is new?

It would be a reasonable assumption that newer homes would have less safety risks associated with them if constructed compliantly and therefore be a lower risk than older properties. Completing a safety inspection would mitigate that risk further. Often renovations or installed fixtures and fittings after initial construction can create safety hazards. Home owners should consider the risk and cost to benefit ratio when making a decision to accept or decline the recommendation for a residential safety inspection of a new home.

How do I know what action is needed?

In addition to the Report, the Maintenance Manager system automatically produces an Action List for you to review and follow-up each item and a detailed quote/information sheet for each issue recommended for action.

What inspection tools do the inspectors use?

Inspection tools include: In-field application, Torch, Gas detector, Voltage finder; Moisture meter; Thermometer; Sound level meter; Toughened glass indicator; measuring tape.

When will I get the report?

As soon as the inspector completes the on-site inspection the report is automatically produced and you are notified by email.

What if I forget to undertake a repair or liaise with the Managing Agent?

No problem, the Maintenance Manager system is designed to give you accurate information and a gentle reminder to ensure something (or someone!) doesn’t slip through the cracks.

What information is kept in PropertySafe?

The PropertySafe system does not access or require or store any personal details other than the property address, contact number and email address. No historical, financial or banking detail regarding properties, owners or tenants are held. To ensure you are protected even further all correspondence with your property manager is also stored in one place on the Maintenance Manager system.

Will my details be passed onto any third parties?

No. The trust you place in us is to advise you on your property and your privacy is something we respect and take very seriously.

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