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Melbourne Real Estate Weekly Recap. Episode 5 - Minimum Standards

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Weekly Recap
Tim Ash
Tim Ash
August 18, 2022
minute read

Minimum Standards,


What are Minimum Standards?

What does it mean for you as a landlord?

How will you know if your property complies?


Minimum standards came into effect on the 30th of March 2021, it is essentially broken up into 14 categories, within those categories are separate dot points that owners have to ensure their property complies with:


The 14 Categories cover:







Structural Soundness


Electrical Safety

Window Coverings






What changed on the 30th of March is the level of detail each category went into, as an example locks:

The residential tenancies act says:

Section 70

(1) A residential rental provider must ensure that all external doors able to be secured with a functioning deadlock at the rented premises, other than any screen door attached to an external door, are secured with a functioning deadlock.

(1A) The residential rental provider is excused from this requirement if –

(a) another act or law providesfor a different type of lock or device for the premises; or

(b) the external door cannot beaccessed because of another security barrier at the premises.


Section 70 includes definitions of key, lock and master keysystem but no definition of deadlock. Also there is no explanation in the Actor from CAV as to what might constitute “another security barrier”

The Consumer affairs website states:

In May 2022 it was discovered that the information on the site had been changed to the following:

“A rental provider must make sure that each external door of the rental property has a working deadlatch with at least one cylinder. A deadlatch is a type of lock that can automatically lock when you close the door.

A deadlatch is not necessarily a lock that always needs a key to be opened from the inside. In fact, these types of locks are notrecommended.


Another example would be windows:

The residential tenancies act and consumer affairs website can be contradictory.

The residential tenancies actstates:

Section 70 includes the following (1B) A residential rental provider must provide locks to secure all windows of the rented premises thatare capable of having lock.

(5) key of a lock means a device or information normally used to operate the lock;

lock means a device for securing a door or window or other part of premises;


The Rental minimum standards (Schedule 4 of theRegulations) includes the following


All external windows in the rented premises that are capable of opening must be able to be set in a closed or open position.

All external windows in the rented premises which are capable of opening must have a functioning latch to secure the windows against external entry.

A window needs to function in the way it was designed to function, if it was designed to be opened it must be able to be opened (section68).

For example, a window which has been painted closed must be made openable.

Rental Minimum Standard 11 is specific to windows and requires that if a window is opened it must be capable remaining open and if it is closed it is capable of remaining closed. For example, a double hung window with a sash that will not stay open because the balance mechanism is broken must be repaired.

 As you can see there is conflicting information out there, essentially with windows it needs to be able to be locked from the inside and also be able to be opened.

The window has to operate as built to purpose for example if you’ve painted a window shut and it wont open that is considered to be not compliant.


Another contradiction on the consumer affairs website is if the renter believes the property doesn’t comply with minimum standards:

If a rental agreement has been signed but the renter has not moved in yet, and the property does not meet minimum standards, the renter can:

  • end the rental agreement immediately without fees by notifying the rental provider that the property does not meet minimum standards.
  • Move in anyway, then make a request for urgent repairs

Underthe residential tenancies act:


Premises must comply with rental minimum standards on or before the day on which the renter commences occupation.


(2) If rented premises do not comply with the rental minimum standards on or immediately after the day on which the renter enters into occupation of the premises, the renter may issue a request to the residential rental provider for urgent repairs to be carried out to the premises to ensure that the premises comply with the standards.


No where in the act does it say that a tenant can walk away from the property if say a window doesn’t comply with the minimum standards,you would have to get it fixed as the owner however it doesn’t give the renterthe right to break the lease.

As you can see this is something that was rushed through without giving it too much thought with the Act and government body contradicting itself.

You can also tell that as the months have progressed we here at the office have been pulling my hair out to keep up with the changes.

Ill put a link to the consumer affairs website and a link tothe residential tenancies act for those that would like to investigate it further.



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