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  • Profile photo of WylieWylie
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    @wylie
    Join Date: 2004
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    I had a chat to a friend this week who rents a housing commission house. She had new windows with security built in. I asked her did they put up a fight about spending the dollars putting new windows in. She said housing commission put them in with no problems because she had heard someone who was renting from them was robbed and sued them.

    I wonder if anyone has heard this and, if it is true, what does that mean for we landlords?

    I intend ringing the RTA and putting the question to them and will report back. My concern is that, whilst we have good locks on our IPs, we certainly don’t have grills on all windows. I imagine in a fire if they could not get out, we would be sued as well.

    Anyone have any information?

    Regard Wylie.

    Profile photo of XeniaXenia
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    @xenia
    Join Date: 2002
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    testing!!!

    We buy properties in Adelaide. Immediate Cash Settlements, No Real Estate Agents, No Fees.
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    Profile photo of CeliviaCelivia
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    @celivia
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    It’s a scarey thought, Wylie!

    I can imagine that a negligent landlord could be sued- e.g. if the tenant asked for locks on windows because they find that they are easy to open from the outside, and the landlord wouldn’t act within a reasonable time. Perhaps this was the case?

    I am curious to find out what the RTA told you.

    Celivia

    Profile photo of XeniaXenia
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    @xenia
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    sorry about that, tried to post a reply to this before and it cut me out????? (twice!!!)

    We buy properties in Adelaide. Immediate Cash Settlements, No Real Estate Agents, No Fees.
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    Profile photo of C2C2
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    @c2
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    A similar situation occured in the Northern Territory a few years back where a woman was attacked and raped. Somehow the blame was put on housing commission (name has changed) for having louvere windows and fly screen mesh that could easily be opened. No one was sued but the department decided to put security screens and doors on all their properties just in case. There is an unofficial research report about the possible ways the department could be sued in regards to their properties and what needs to be done to address it, floating around somewhere and if some one has good research skills they may be able to find it.

    C2

    Profile photo of XeniaXenia
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    @xenia
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    landlords are people offering services (homes) and tenants are people in need of that service.

    It is the landlords moral and sometimes legal responsibility to ensure that the services they provide are high standard.

    If you are offering a home for rent in a high crime suburb, then as a landlord, you should take measures to ensure the tenants safety. That means taking extra measures ie security alarms or windows.

    If it is not in a high crime suburb, maybe good locks on the outside doors may be adequate!

    If you were living in your rental properties, what security measures would you take to ensure the safety of your own family?

    Tenants are people with families too!!!

    We buy properties in Adelaide. Immediate Cash Settlements, No Real Estate Agents, No Fees.
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    Profile photo of XeniaXenia
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    @xenia
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    I know a person (friend of my husbands) who just reposessed a house after was tenanted for 8 years.

    He is getting married and will use the house personally. All of a sudden, the asbestos forming part of the varandah structure has become an issue and he wants it removed!

    It’s too dangerous for his own family, but it was OK for the tennants!!!

    He is also changing all the locks but never bothered to between tenants!!!!!!

    IM DISGUSTED to say the least.

    No wonder landlords get sued by tenants!!!!

    We buy properties in Adelaide. Immediate Cash Settlements, No Real Estate Agents, No Fees.
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    Profile photo of redwingredwing
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    @redwing
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    We have Alarm Systems in our IP’s as well..helps in attracting and securing (no pun intended)tenants, all our IP’s now have single females in them..two of them have children, safety is always a concern when looking for a rental property IMHO..

    We also have hard wired smoke detectors, triple lock Security Screen doors and stickers regarding the alarms at rear windows etc..we’ve neverhad a problem yet *touch wood* and we’re happy to keep that record, no-one likes to come home to an empty house..

    REDWING

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    Profile photo of WylieWylie
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    @wylie
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    Interesting to hear others’ thoughts. Dr X, your point is valid about whether we would want to live in our own IP.

    Our answer is, yes, we have good locks on our IP doors, but not the windows. Same with our PPOR. We have a back to base alarm system on our PPOR and we may well look at putting one into the IPs if asked. So far, we haven’t been asked. We don’t have window locks on IPs or PPOR.

    When we moved into our PPOR we had a security grill on every window, with only the bathroom grill having a key to unlock it. We felt like rats in a trap and in fact, the day we moved in, I left my three children in the care of a friend while I picked up my husband from work. I was gone only half an hour, but in that time, my friend decided to go outside into the yard. She couldn’t get out of the house. It was quite a wake up call. What if there had been a fire or other emergency?

    We now have grills on bedroom windows and selected other windows (as do our IPs) but not everyone wants to live in a jail. It is a bit like putting rugs in the IPs. Some people rent the house and ask us to take the rugs away, others want them. We put nice curtains up and have found them folded under the house after tenants move out. It is such a personal thing.

    I suppose, in the end, we will add security as tenants ask for it.

    Personally, I would not feel comfortable renting a house that I would not live in myself.

    When I have contacted RTA I will post their take on things.

    Regards Wylie.

    Profile photo of XeniaXenia
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    @xenia
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    you dont have to like your rental properties in terms of decor or style, but I think safety is an issue you should like!!!

    We buy properties in Adelaide. Immediate Cash Settlements, No Real Estate Agents, No Fees.
    [email protected]
    phone 0412 437 582

    Profile photo of C2C2
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    @c2
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    Hi Dr.X,

    Not all landlords are slumlords and I can easily say that all my IP’s are places that I would or have lived in. After recently meeting an elderly gentleman staying in one of my IP’s I offered to put additional security screens on the fixed windows instead of the half screens that cover only the sliding part of the windows that open. After a discussion with the PM and security company they both advised against it because of a fire safety hazard and now I’m left with the choice of no screens and he may get robbed or bashed and having screens and he may get trapped. Which way to go, screens or no screens.

    Also tenants in Australia are generally lot better off than in other countries.

    In Japan for instance the tenant:

    1) normally pays 3 months bond to the owner and doesn’t expect to get any of it back,

    2) 1 month introduction fee to the realestate company,

    3) must pay to change the locks after they move out,

    4) pay for any items that have been damaged and pay or replace items of general wear and tear like carpets and curtains

    5) pay for fire insurance to cover the landlords property

    6) have two guarantors or at least one,

    7) list all people who will reside at the premises

    8) may not be allowed to have pets, pianos or other musical instruments, motor bikes, large cars or 4 wheel drives

    9) pay an additional feel to park your car,

    10) pay service charges and or body corp fees,

    I will stop here but the list is nearly endless. This may be a good start for a new thread. In what ways are Australian tenants better off than their counterparts in other countries?

    C2

    Rich in happiness and money is better than rich in money with no happiness.

    Profile photo of CeliviaCelivia
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    @celivia
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    Yes, I agree that safety is extremely important.
    I wouldn’t want my tenants to live in a house that I wouldn’t feel safe living in myself.

    We do have a security system, hard wire smoke alarms, deadlocks on all doors and safe windows. Better protected than our own home!

    I would really hate the thought to have bars in front of the lovely old-style windows; it would completely take away the looks of the place.

    I would not want to live in a house with bars in front of every window. I think it’s quite OK for an apartment to have barred windows, but on a house it looks aweful. I agree with Wylie that it makes a house look like a jail.

    I would much rather, if I had to make the windows safer, opt for deadlocks and even roller-shutters (not fond of these either, but they look much better than bars!)

    Celivia

    Profile photo of wayneLwayneL
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    @waynel
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    Celivia, Dr X, Redwing,

    Great ethics! Lovely to see! :) Every success to you!

    Cheers

    wayneL’s Trading Pages

    Profile photo of wayneLwayneL
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    @waynel
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    Originally posted by C2:

    Hi Dr.X,

    Not all landlords are slumlords and I can easily say that all my IP’s are places that I would or have lived in. After recently meeting an elderly gentleman staying in one of my IP’s I offered to put additional security screens on the fixed windows instead of the half screens that cover only the sliding part of the windows that open. After a discussion with the PM and security company they both advised against it because of a fire safety hazard and now I’m left with the choice of no screens and he may get robbed or bashed and having screens and he may get trapped. Which way to go, screens or no screens.

    Also tenants in Australia are generally lot better off than in other countries.

    In Japan for instance the tenant:

    1) normally pays 3 months bond to the owner and doesn’t expect to get any of it back,

    2) 1 month introduction fee to the realestate company,

    3) must pay to change the locks after they move out,

    4) pay for any items that have been damaged and pay or replace items of general wear and tear like carpets and curtains

    5) pay for fire insurance to cover the landlords property

    6) have two guarantors or at least one,

    7) list all people who will reside at the premises

    8) may not be allowed to have pets, pianos or other musical instruments, motor bikes, large cars or 4 wheel drives

    9) pay an additional feel to park your car,

    10) pay service charges and or body corp fees,

    I will stop here but the list is nearly endless. This may be a good start for a new thread. In what ways are Australian tenants better off than their counterparts in other countries?

    C2

    Rich in happiness and money is better than rich in money with no happiness.

    WOW!

    Renting in Australia certainly is a bargain at present.

    wayneL’s Trading Pages

    Profile photo of calvin_thirty4calvin_thirty4
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    @calvin_thirty4
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 556

    Hi all,

    In the Pilbara we are subject to Cyclones and, by law, have to have what is termed cyclone shutters or screens. these are usually aluminium grills that hinge from the roof and protect the windows from flying debrie. these can be modified to give extra security BUT recently a new product has taken our market by storm – INVISIGUARD.

    It looks like a flyscreen but can withstand Axe attacks! Keeps bugs out too. First time I saw it was in good old Qld in a house that my inlaws were renting. Beauty of this system is that it can’t be opened from the outside (security) but has, like a sliding bar on the inside that locks the screen in place. This bar can easily be pushed up (single finger action – tested it myself) which then opens the window (or screen) for exiting purposes. We are looking to replace all our windows and screens with this new system, one because our existing windows are crap and two I want better ciculation AND Security for when I leave my wife and the kids at home alone!

    I’d like to put these into my IPs (cost depending – unfortunately) and I like the ideas of Dogs (probably my inexperience) as we have two Rottweilers and have never ever had a drama! Hehehehehe likem big dogs! I must add the Alarm system to my wish list for IPs as I hadn’t thought about them at this stage! Thanx for that snippet.

    Cheers
    C@34

    Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try something one more time.
    – Thomas Edison

    Profile photo of redwingredwing
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    @redwing
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 2,733

    Wireless Alarm Phone System
    This is not a bad system.

    The whole thing is wireless and does not require monitoring or even an electrician to install it. You program the phone and it can call your mobile/work phone or next person on your list if you dont answer..it also lets you know how many and what zones have activated (In most areas, thePolice need at least two zones to activate before they will attend)

    It is fully transportable and you can take it from property to property, no drilling, wires or problems; There are many other features as well..expect to see these out and about soon…


    REDWING

    “Money is a currency, like electricity and it requires momentum to make it Effective”
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    Profile photo of catacata
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    @cata
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 559

    Hi Wylie

    I have not heard anything, but if it settled out of court the details are not released.

    CATA
    Asset Protection Specialist
    [email protected]

    Profile photo of LinarLinar
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    @linar
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 567

    Just going back to whether a tenant could sue a landlord, it would very much depend on what the damage was.

    If there was a building problem like a big hole in the floor and the tenant fell in it and injured themselves then the tenant could probably sue. But the landlord would have to have reasonably known that the hole was there. If the tenant was complaining about the hole for a while and the landlord was doing nothing about it, then the Court would probably decide in favour of the tenant. But if the hole was there because the tenant took a hammer to the floor then probably not!

    As for lack of security, this would be a grey area. I would expect that a Court would find that a landlord has a basic duty to provide locks on doors and windows. If these were provided and the tenant wasn’t using them, then I doubt that a tenant would be successful.

    If basic locks were installed then I don’t think that a tenant could sue if the property was broken into and things were stolen.

    Ethics and law are very different. An ethical duty to a tenant (such as putting extra security on a property in a high crime area) is different to a legal duty to a tenant. I expect that legally, a landlord would be required to do no more than provide a reasonably safe and secure property.

    I think it would be very difficult to prove that a landlord is liable for loss/injury to a tenant because of a breakin. Nevertheless, I have Landlord Protection Insurance on all my properties!

    Cheers

    K

    This is not legal advice and should be used as a guide only.

    Profile photo of DDDD
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    @dd
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 508

    Bought a house 3 years ago with a tenant that had been there 8 years. After 2 years of them being late with payment at least once a month, enough was enough and we got them out.

    When I went to do a reno the week after they were out, I find obvious termite activity and quite a bit of damage. Lucky I got them out (the tenants) or I would never have known and they (the termites) would have feasted on my house until bulldozer time.

    Catching when I did, getting it sprayed immediately and all of the old timber replaced downstairs cost me about $4k. The termites had just started on the joists for upstairs. That was the size of a grapefruit the amount of the timber beam they damaged. All the rest of the drama was all internal walls to a storage room downstairs, and an external entertainment area.

    All im saying is that sometimes its better to go with the gut feeling and get the tenant out occasionally. I prefer $4k to $150k rebuild.

    Just a thought
    DD

    Buyers Agent (Dip Financial Services(FP)
    Don’t sweat the small stuff,and it’s all small stuff!!

    Profile photo of redwingredwing
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    @redwing
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    HOME Security Tips

    An interesting read..

    REDWING

    “Money is a currency, like electricity and it requires momentum to make it Effective”
    Count The Currency With This Online Positive Cashflow Calculator

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