Protecting Homes: Minimum Security Requirements for Residential Rental Property in Perth

July 3, 2023

When it comes to renting a property, home security is a crucial aspect that landlords must consider under the terms of the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989.

Continue reading to learn more about how you can meet your obligation as a landlord to provide the required level of security for your tenants.

Minimum Security Standards

The Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 outline the minimum security standards for rental properties. These standards primarily focus on door locks, window locks, and exterior lights. It is illegal for a landlord to remove or change any locks without obtaining the tenant’s consent. These regulations ensure that tenants feel safe and protected in their homes.

Additional Security and Family Violence Prevention

In most cases, tenants must seek the landlord’s permission before making any lock changes or installing additional security measures. However, there are instances where both parties may agree to share the cost of upgrading security beyond the minimum standards. It is essential to have a written agreement signed by both the tenant and the landlord in such cases.

Tenants affected by family violence have certain rights when it comes to security. They are allowed to change the locks at their own expense without prior permission from the landlord. However, it is essential they provide the landlord with a copy of the new key(s) within seven days unless the landlord is the alleged perpetrator of the violence. The landlord is also prohibited from providing a copy of the key(s) to anyone that the tenant specifically instructs them in writing not to.

End of Tenancy

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord has the right to request the tenant to restore the rental property to its original condition. This may include removing any additional security measures installed by the tenant. To facilitate this process, tenants should keep the original fixtures and fittings of the property in a safe place.

What security must be installed on all rental properties?

Main Entry Door
Minimum Required Security:
A deadlock or a key lockable security screen door is the minimum required security for the main entry door. It should comply with AS 5039-2008, the Australian standard for security screen doors.

Additional information:
The deadlock can be a single-cylinder or double-cylinder deadlock. A single-cylinder deadlock allows the door to be opened from the inside by simply turning the handle or knob. This feature reduces the risk of someone being trapped inside during an emergency.The deadlock can be separated from the door handle or integrated into the handset.

Remember, these are either/or requirements. If your front entry door already has a key lockable security screen that complies with Australian standards, there is no need to retrofit a deadlock.Similarly, if a deadlock is installed, you are not required to fit a security screen door.


External Doors
Minimum Required Security:
All other external doors should have either a deadlock or if a deadlock cannot be installed, a patio bolt lock or a key lockable security screen door that complies with AS 5039-2008.

Additional information:
The requirements, as stated for the main entry door, apply here. If it is impossible to install a deadlock, a patio bolt lock or a key lockable security screen door can be used as alternatives. The patio bolt lock does not need to be lockable by key.


Minimum Required Security:
Windows must be fitted with locks, irrespective of whether a key lock prevents the window from being opened from the outside.

Additional information:
This does not mean installing keyed window locks is mandatory. However, window latches, closers, or locks should be fitted and in working order to reduce the risk of forced entry from the outside. If your windows are already fitted with security screens that comply with Australian standards (AS 5039-2008), there is no need to retrofit a window lock.


External Lighting
Minimum Required Security:
An electrical light, located at or near the main entry, capable of illuminating the entrance to the premises and operable from the inside.

Additional information:
If the property is a flat or apartment and the lighting responsibility falls under the strata body, this requirement does not apply to you.

To create safe and secure living environments in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989, landlords should ensure that their properties meet these minimum security standards.

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