From 30 January 2017, changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act) make it mandatory for landlords and real estate agents to invite tenants to lodge their rental bonds using Rental Bonds Online (RBO).
The amendment does not change any other provisions in the Act, including those relating to the lodgement and claims for bonds.
Landlords and Real Estate Agents
From 30 January 2017, landlords and real estate agents are required to be registered with RBO and invite new tenants to provide their email address for the purpose of initiating the RBO bond lodgement process.
A landlord or agent who fails to invite a new tenant to lodge their bond using RBO, prior to accepting a bond, will be in breach of the Act. A penalty of $2,200 may apply.
Tenants who do not have internet access can continue to give their bond directly to the landlord or landlord’s real estate agent. The landlord or agent is then required to lodge the bond with the Rental Bond Board using the current paper based method.
More information: Contact our Property Management Department on (02) 9719 8288 or email us.
It has been said that a goodbye isn’t painful unless you are never going to say hello again and, of course, we all know the term, nothing stays the same so we were saddened by the resignation of Julie Hallahan, who has been head of our Property Management Department for the past 10 years. Julie led her team with the utmost commitment and we are very proud of the stability, training and knowledge her legacy leaves with the team. We are surely going to miss her as a team mate. Julie and her partner Warren are joining the grey nomad trail and we wish them safe and happy travels.
Peter Piperitis has taken over Julie’s long term portfolio – Peter has been a property manager for the past 7 years in both commercial and residential property management and is excited about joining our team.
Tony McGrath, a senior and well experienced property manager has also joined us for a part time role and will fill in where necessary when colleagues are on annual leave.
Morgan Davies-Forsyth stepped in to help out in sales and leasing and we also welcomed back Nicole Dougall after she returned to live in the local area. Jenny Niewoudt joined us in November after recently arriving from South Africa
In light of the above two of our senior property managers will now oversee the Property Management Department – James Kirrane and David Frisina. Both are long term employees and looking forward to a new challenge.
Residential Vacancy Rates
Residential vacancy rates across Sydney remained steady with the REINSW reports showing little change from the last quarter. Our leasing team continues with quiet achievement with vacancy rates of 1.45%, well below the Inner West average rate of 2.5%.
Terri Sheer Award
Congratulations to our Property Management team for being recognised by Terri Scheer Insurance Pty Ltd (Landlords) for “Outstanding Risk Management Procedures” over the past three years. Well done!
Australia’s National Asbestos Awareness Month this November aims to stop Australian’s from playing ‘Renovation Roulette’. The initiative has been put together by the Asbestos Education Committee, in partnership with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities. The campaign aims to educate homeowners, renovators, handymen and tradespeople about the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely.
Asbestos in Australia
Australia was among one of the largest consumers of asbestos containing materials in the world with asbestos-containing products still found in one in three brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad homes built or renovated before 1987.
A spokesman for the Asbestos Education Committee said: “Asbestos was used in the manufacture of a broad range of products. It could be anywhere! Without knowing where these types of asbestos-containing products might be located or how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely, Australian’s play a risky game of ‘Renovation Roulette’. If they disturb asbestos-containing materials and release fibres that can be inhaled, it may cause asbestos-related diseases including malignant mesothelioma.”
Asbestos can be found in carpets, linoleum, vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chicken sheds and even dog kennels.
More information: www.asbestosawareness.com.au.
The most common misconception by owners is their continued line of thinking that maintaining a smoke alarm is just about changing a battery and pushing a button to check it is operational.
You need to ensure that the smoke alarm will work in a fire so you need to check the following:
- Ensure the correct quantity and quality of smoke alarms are installed.
- Ensuring correct positioning of smoke alarms.
- Ensuring ventilation holes are clear of obstructions such as insects and their debris.
- Checking the expiry date of every alarm.
- Carry out a full function test of the alarm including testing the alarm with artificial smoke to ensure that the sensors are still working properly
If you own a strata property and the Owners Corporation has employed a fire safety company to check the smoke alarm on an annual basis you still need to check your smoke alarm prior to a new tenancy. The Fire Company only needs to check a certain percentage of properties within the Strata Plan to meet compliance. This may mean that your property may have been missed or that the inspection may have been months earlier and the smoke alarm may need maintenance at the time that a tenant moves in.
In addition there are fines in place for noncompliance and insurance companies have been known to reject claims if they can prove that an Investment Property Owner has failed to carry out their obligations.
It is strongly recommended that you engage a Professional Smoke Alarm company prior to each new tenancy.