There have been amendments as to what constitutes alterations of a ‘minor nature’ under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.
The new Regulation lists the kind of fixtures, alterations, additions or renovations that are ‘minor’. Some examples are:
• securing furniture to a non-tiled wall for safety reasons
• fitting a childproof latch to an outdoor gate of a single dwelling, installing child safety gates inside the property or window safety devices
• installing/replacing an internal window covering e.g. curtains, removable blinds, installing cleats/cord guides to secure blind/curtain cords
• installing a wireless removable outdoor security camera
• applying shatter-resistant film to window/glass doors
• planting vegetables, flowers, herbs or shrubs (shrubs that don’t grow more than 2 metres) in the garden if existing vegetation/plants do not need to be removed
• installing hand-held shower heads/lever-style taps to assist elderly or disabled occupants. A landlord will require a qualified person to carry out this installation.
• installing a phone line/internet connection. A landlord may require a qualified person to carry out this installation.
Tenants need the landlord’s written consent to install fixtures, make alterations, additions or renovations. The tenant must pay for the fixture they install or for any alteration, renovation or addition to the property they make, unless the landlord agrees otherwise. If the tenant’s request for a fixture, alteration, addition or renovation is of a ‘minor nature’ then the landlord must not unreasonably withhold consent or to place conditions on the consent.
The above changes do not apply if a property is listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register, or is a heritage item. Some restrictions and exclusions also apply to property in a strata scheme, residential land lease community, or to social housing properties.
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