I have just read an article in the Real Estate Business Magazines online publication that refers to the additional precautions that landlords in NSW need to undertake to ensure the safety of children in rental properties. Let me start by saying that as a company we are very dubious of managing rental properties with pools for the very reason that legislation on pool fencing changes so frequently that it’s almost impossible to keep up to date and I’m not sure I want it on my head of a fence fails but now I’m reading that the “Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts said posters will be sent directly to all licensed property and strata managers in NSW so they can provide this information to landlords, rental tenants, strata owners corporations and strata residents. He said the campaign material would include “simple tips to avoid injury and save lives, [such as]:
• Ensure windows are locked and cannot be opened by a child
• Install metal window guards with bars less than 10cm apart
• Keep furniture away from windows and balustrades
• Remember flyscreens do not provide protection
• Always supervise children on balconies and in other people’s homes.”
First of all how is a property manager supposed to manage the above – are they expected to get the landlord to agree to the amendments then organise the additions then re-inspect? What happens if something gets missed? Perhaps the property manager should send this info onto their client and leave it up to them – what happens if they don’t act on it? Or should we sack all landlords that don’t secure their windows with locks???
The question I ask you is this – if the property manager fails to on send this pamphlet and toddler in a rented property falls out a window will it be the property managers responsibility for not pre-warning the parents that windows can pose a safety hazard? Is this just another way for parents to find someone else to blame if something goes wrong? I’m wondering when parents will take responsibility for their own children. Clearly if a property is in disrepair and you have a landlord who doesn’t maintain the upkeep it’s an entirely different scenario, however these seem to be really general issues with most properties and what more does a landlord need to do to secure a property short of putting bars on all the windows!
I am currently looking at renting a property, I need a bigger home as my family recently doubled in size – I won’t look at properties that have a pool, however if the property doesn’t have window locks I can live with that, if I believe the home to be unfit for toddlers I will look after the safety of my own children, I certainly don’t expect it to be the property managers or landlords responsibility – call me old fashioned but I think the safety of my children is my responsibility!