Locks

Rental Minimum Standards – Door Locks

The Standard – Locks

External entry doors to a rented premises must be secured with a functioning deadlock. Doors that cannot be fitted with a deadlock must be fitted with a locking device that meets the following criteria –

(a) is operated by a key from the outside; and

(b) may be unlocked from the inside with or without a key.

There are only 2 exceptions to this rule –

(a) Public lobby doors that opens to common property; or

(b) A permit to install a locking device has been refused under the Heritage Act 2017

Deadlocks

Deadlocks are able to be fitted to almost all external entry doors. For compliance with this standard, it is likely that all external entry doors on the premises will require a deadlock.

You do not need a locksmith to install a deadlock unless you would prefer to have the lock ‘keyed alike’ with the other locks in the home. Your deadlock can be fitted by a carpentry contractor, handyman or can be a DIY project.

Deadlocks come in a variety of designs; some examples include –

Double Cylinder DeadboltsDouble Cylinder Deadlock

Mortice DeadlocksMortice Deadlock

 

Double Cylinder Deadlocks

Double cylinder deadbolt

 Sliding Door DeadlocksSliding Door Deadlock

 

When a deadlock cannot be fitted

If a deadlock cannot be fitted, the standard calls for a minimum of a key operated locking device that can be operated from both inside and outside of the premises.

This means if a deadlock cannot be fitted to the entrance door, the door must have an ‘entrance set’.

An entrance set is essentially a lock integrated into the door handle which can be locked/unlocked by a key from the outside and either with a key, ‘snib’ or both from the inside.

Entrance Lock SetEntrance lock

An entrance set installed in conjunction with a deadlock will provide the greatest level of security to the home. When a deadlock is installed to an entry door, there are other styles of handles that can be installed that comply with this standard.

A passage set is a handle with a latch that cannot be locked. The set allows the door to latch, but it can always be unlatched by operating the handle.

Passage set

A privacy set is a handle with a snib or button on the inside that allows the latch to be locked. The latch cannot be operated from the outside or inside unless the snib or button is unlocked. While a privacy set can be installed on an entrance door, they are more suited to internal doors in bathrooms.

Privacy Set

Where the standard does not apply 

  • A public lobby door that opens to common property

This clause applies to class 2 buildings under the national construction code including domestic apartment buildings where there may be two or more sole-occupancy units who share a common lobby.

The external entry door to the lobby itself is not governed by this standard. The entrance door to each rented unit in the apartment building must follow the standard.

  • If a permit to install a locking device has been refused under the Heritage Act 2017

Places and objects assessed to be significant to the cultural heritage of the State by the Heritage Council are placed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Heritage Act 2017 exists to provide protection and conservation of the cultural heritage of the State.

Part 5 of the Heritage Act 2017 relates to permits for registered places and objects. Under this Rental Minimum Standard, a premises is only exempt from installing deadlocks (or entrance sets if deadlocks cannot be installed) if the owner of the premises can prove they have applied for a permit with the Executive Director under The Heritage Act to install a deadlock and it has been refused.

If your property is on the Victorian Heritage Register and you require a permit to comply with this standard, you can find more information on the Heritage Victoria website.

Window Coverings Bedroom

Rental Minimum Standards – Window Coverings

The Residential Tenancies Act details the duties of both rental providers and renters. This includes the minimum provisions the home must have available for the renter or the ‘Rental Minimum Standards’.

The rental minimum standards in relation to window coverings changed on 29th March 2022. All bedrooms and living areas in the home must have blinds or curtains fitted to all of the windows. These blinds and curtains must function to block light and provide privacy for the renter.

Chain driven roller blinds are common in rental properties due to their effectiveness and affordability. These blinds present a hazard for young children when installed incorrectly. For this reason, all chain and cord operated blinds must comply with strict safety standards.

Child Safety

Loose cords and chains are dangerous for children. Inadequately secured blind cords have been the cause of many injuries and even deaths in young children. The ACCC have released a safety alert with some great tips to ensure the corded window coverings in your home are child safe.

If the cords or chains on your blinds are unsecured, homeowners can order free curtain and blind cord safety kits through Consumer Affairs Victoria. Renters concerned about the safety of their blinds must contact their rental provider to arrange a contractor.

Homeowners can also choose invest in motor driven mechanisms for blinds which removes the need for chains and cords to operate blinds completely. While this may be a more expensive alternative, it may just save a life!

Safety Standards 

The Competition and Consumer Act sets out the mandatory requirements for the installation of corded window coverings. The standard stipulates that cords must be at least 1,600mm from floor level and that there must be sufficiently secured or tensioned to prevent the ability to form a 220mm loop. Labelling of installed window coverings must also include manufacturer warning labels and contact details of the person or company responsible for the installation. For more details, the full standard is available online on the Federal Register of Legislation.

Blind installation is often a task homeowners take on themselves as a DIY project. To ensure your installation complies with safety standards use this helpful installation guide from the ACCC.

Even if you are looking to install curtains or blinds yourself, speak to you local blind professionals for advice. Most offer on site measure and quotes and have a wealth of knowledge when it the near endless options when it comes to your window furnishings.

Venatic offer Rental Minimum Standards Inspections to ensure the safety and compliance of your rental property. Schedule your inspection online today or call 0499 524 865 to speak to one of our inspectors.

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