When people discuss Risk Management for Landlords; we are often asked and therefore have carried out research to the question – “What if a tenant undertakes work on the property and something goes wrong?”
A common question which the answer to may suprise you!
If a tenant undertakes LAWN MAINTENANCE.
If it is part of a residential agreement then the HSWA 2015 doesn’t apply to the tenant
If the tenant receives a reduction in rent in leiu or payment for undertaking lawn maintenance then a contract is formed and the HSWA 2015 DOES apply!
If a tenant undertakes CHIMNEY CLEANING, CLIMBS ON THE ROOF AND FALLS OFF?
Were they asked to do it by the landlord/rental property management company?
- NO? – Then the HSWA 2015 DOESNT apply
- YES? – Then the HSWA 2015 DOES apply
If ‘basic’ property maintenance is part of the rental property agreement, then it is just part of a tenants obligations therefore the ACT doesn’t apply.
The moment any ‘reward is attached’ then there is a risk that, should an injury occur, the landlord and the Rental Property Management Company could be held responsible for failing to take all reasonable practicable steps to ensure the safety of a worker/contractor (tenant).
NOTE: If the landlord supplies the lawn mower it would require to be deemed ‘fit for purpose’ and have a maintenance record as well as a ‘standard operating procedure’.
Being aware of the implications of the HSWA 2015, enables Risk Managements processes to be adopted. This is one such Risk that may need to be managed.