Types of minimum standards

Weatherproof

A property must be weatherproof before it can be rented out.

This means: there is no weather entering the property that should not be.

For example, if there are large holes that allow a big draught to enter; a leaking roof; a broken/ill-closing window; or an old fireplace that has not been boarded up.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property was not rented to you in a weatherproof state, or it has stopped being weatherproof, see breaches of minimum standards .

Cleanliness

A property must be generally clean before it can be rented out.

A property is considered to be clean where it provides a basic level of cleanliness and hygiene.

‘Clean’ includes having no:

  • stray animals
  • vermin/significant pests
  • animal faeces
  • serious mould/rising damp issues
  • large quantities of obvious marks of dirt and grime
  • rubbish or other people’s belongings
  • significant smell

The standard applies to the property as a whole, rather than to isolated issues. For example, where:

  • some window tracks need wiping
  • some items are dusty
  • some surfaces need further wiping
  • some marks remain on some windows/walls
  • small amounts of residue from cleaning products
  • small amounts of mould
  • uncut/unweeded garden

but they are not affecting the tenant’s ability to enjoy the property in a clean and hygienic manner, they should be listed on the ingoing condition report.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property was not rented to you in a clean state, see breaches of minimum standards.

Good repair

A property must be in good repair before it can be rented out. This means, there should be no areas of the property that need significant repairs.

A property is in good repair if there are no issues with a tenant’s safety, or sanitation, or their ability to use the property as it was intended because of parts of the property needing repair.

The standard applies to the property as a whole, rather than isolated aspects of the property.

Some examples of disrepair include:

  • threadbare carpet no longer serving its purpose
  • compromised plaster board or brick work
  • compromised window or door frames
  • non-secured light fittings/power points
  • significant mould

If you signed your lease after 1 August 2015, and you believe the property you are renting is not in good repair, or has stopped being in good repair, see breaches of minimum standards .

Bathrooms and toilets

A property must have a working flushable toilet before it can be rented out.

The toilet must be connected to a wastewater management system (including a septic system), or any other system approved by Council for the treatment or disposal of waste.

The toilet must be in a contained room that is intended to be used solely for that purpose, such as a separate toilet or bathroom.

The room the toilet is in must have a vent, opening window, or extraction fan.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property’s toilet does not meet these requirements, or has stopped meeting these requirements, see breaches of minimum standards .

Cooking facilities – sinks, ovens and stoves

A property must have an area intended for cooking (such as a kitchen) before it can be rented out. The kitchen must have a sink, hot and cold water, a stovetop, and an oven.

The stovetop must have at least 2 elements if the property has 2 or fewer bedrooms; or at least 3 elements if it has 3 or more bedrooms.

The oven must be a conventional oven, or a convection oven, or a microwave.

If you signed your lease after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property did not, or has stopped, meeting the cooking requirements, see breaches of minimum standards .

Electricity – connection and charges

A property must be connected to a mains electrical supply (or something that can supply electricity for the amount of people that the property is designed to accommodate) before it can be rented out.

The property should then be connected in the tenant’s name. The tenant is responsible for the connection costs and the electricity bills. Where an electricity meter is shared between properties and it cannot be calculated how much electricity the tenant uses, the tenant cannot be passed electricity costs (these should be built into the rent instead).

All the power points and wires between the walls or in the ceiling at the property must be safe and working (unless it is written in the ingoing condition report that some particular ones are not working) before it can be rented out.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property does not meet this standard, or has stopped meeting this standard, see breaches of minimum standards .

Lighting

Each room of a rental property must have adequate natural or artificial lighting. The exception is when the room is a storage room or garage.

Heating

A property must have a heater in the main living area of the property before it can be rented out.

A heater can be:

  • a fixed* electric or gas heater
  • a heat pump
  • a wood heater (but not an open fire place)

*Fixed means attached to the wall. There is no requirement that heating be hard-wired.

The heating should be available to a tenant on demand (for example, not take too long to provide heat like off-peak heaters or underfloor heating). The heat from the heater should be to a reasonable minimum level for the area it is heating.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property does not meet this standard, or has stopped meeting this standard, see breaches of minimum standards .

Blinds and curtains

A property must have curtains or blinds covering each window in the bedrooms and living/lounge room before it can be rented out.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property does not meet this requirement, or has stopped meeting this requirement, see breaches of minimum standards .

Ventilation

Essentially, all rooms in a rental property should have openings to allow air in. The opening should be at least 5% of the size of the room (for example, if the room is 10m2 it should have a widow opening that is at least 0.5m2)

If the room does not have a window or opening, it is still okay if the room opens into a room that has the correct windows or openings (for example, if there was a storage room off a bedroom and the bedroom had adequate opening windows, then the storage room would still have sufficient ventilation).

Bathrooms or toilets (called ‘sanitary compartments’ in the Act) and laundries are treated a bit differently in the Act: these rooms can still have the correct ventilation without windows if they have an exhaust fan (or similar) that either vents outside or into a roof space that has open eaves or roof vents.

Windows are likely to be the most common form of ventilation. However, for a window to be the ventilation for the room, it must be able to be securely fastened in an open position (of at least 15cms wide) that enables ventilation but that a person cannot enter through.

If your lease was signed after 1 August 2015 and you believe the property does not have the right ventilation, or no longer has the right ventilation, see breaches of minimum standards .