There are new minimum standards to clarify “What premises are fit for habitation” under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

Currently landlords are required to provide a rented property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and ‘fit for habitation”. The changes introduce 7 minimum standards which clarify what ‘fit for habitation’ means.

To be fit to live in, the property must (as a minimum):

1. Be structurally sound
2. Have adequate natural or artificial lighting in each room, except storage rooms or garages
3. Have adequate ventilation
4. Be supplied with electricity or gas, and have enough electricity or gas sockets for lighting, heating and other appliances
5. Have adequate plumbing and drainage
6. Have a water connection that can supply hot and cold water for drinking, washing and cleaning
7. Have bathroom facilities including toilet and washing facilities that allow users’ privacy

Landlords need to ensure their rented properties meet the minimum standards to be fit for habitation. Rented properties are already required to be fit for habitation and should already meet these basic standards.

The property could have other issues that may make it unfit for a tenant to live in, even if it meets the above 7 minimum standards. Before the property is rented out, the landlord or the agent should take steps (such as make repairs) to make sure the property is fit to live in.

These standards must be maintained throughout the tenancy (by making repairs).

If you need assistance with any property or land matters contact Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Suzanne Hindmarsh.