Property Compliance 101: Your not-so-boring guide to protecting yourself from risk

Published 10 March 2022 - Updated 12 days ago

Compliance can be one of the most unexciting (not to mention confusing & mind-boggling) things about owning an investment property – we know! Even so, it’s a responsibility that you need to wrap your head around, and quickly.

If you’re wondering why, it’s pretty simple -  it’ll save you a lot of risk and headache down the line, should something ever go wrong.

We’ve made this compliance 101 as easy (and dare we say fun!) as possible, so forget about boring, wordy instructions.

We’re going to help set you up for success in just 5 minutes, so please do take the time to read this, because we don’t want any of this happening…

house burning down

Say hello to your crystal-clear view of compliance

Great news! 🎉Our new compliance in-app feature gives you a crystal-clear view of compliance for your property. Think: 

  • Who’s managing your compliance
  • What compliance items apply to your property (and the status of each)
  • What actions are needed from you, if any 
  • Any certificates we have on file for you 

With this update, you’ll have all the info you need in a single view to stay organised and in control. This will ensure that both you and our expert compliance team are on the same page about what your compliance responsibilities are, how each item is being managed, and that you’ve adequately protected yourself from any possible risk. 

📄 Tip: For any compliance certificates that we’ve got on file, you can also find them in the documents tab (Management > Documents) in your app.
hold on
🖐👀 Is your info up to date? Before you continue reading, update your app and hop on to the compliance section (Management > Compliance) to confirm the info that we’ve got on file for you.

Here's what you need to know (and do) based on the info in your app

Now that you’ve got a clear picture of who’s managing your compliance, here’s what we need from you, to ensure you’re always covered from risk. 

In this section: 

  1. What you need to know if :Different is managing your compliance 
  2. What you need to do if a) you're self-managing compliance, or b) strata is managing your compliance
  3. Disclosure statements for VIC property owners
  4. Compliance FAQs in your Owner App

1. What you need to know if :Different is managing your compliance

If your app says “Your property is compliant with a :Different partner”,  you can kick back and relax – we’re organising all of the relevant inspections and certificates for you. 

Keeping an eye on your compliance status

To help you stay organised & in control, we keep you up-to-date with the status of each compliance item. Here’s a rundown of the different statuses and what they mean: 

🔍 Awaiting inspection: We’re arranging an inspection to get a compliance certificate for this item. 

You might notice a maintenance request pop up in your app for a compliance inspection – don’t worry, you can ignore this as we’ll auto-approve this on our end.

🔍 Inspected on [date]: You’re compliant for this item! 

For compliance certificates that expire after a certain amount of time, you’ll notice it automatically changes back to “awaiting inspection” when the expiry date is approaching. When the time comes, we’ll organise another inspection to make sure you’re always covered. 

💡 Don’t be alarmed if there are any certificates that aren’t showing up in your app just yet – our expert compliance team are currently working hard to get all existing certificates uploaded.
Already have a compliance certificate on hand?

Say we’re managing your compliance, but you already have a valid smoke alarm certificate from your previous property manager. So that we don’t double up, you can easily upload it to your Owner App 📤

If the certificate has an expiry date, we’ll handle the inspections following that. 

2. What you need to do if your compliance is self- or strata-managed

If you’ve opted to have yourself or strata manage your property compliance, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Regular actions you need to take

1. For each compliance item you see in your app:

  • If you’re self-managing: Ask a qualified tradesperson to complete the inspection and issue you a certificate
  • If it’s managed by strata: Get the certificate from strata*

2. Upload the certificate onto your Owner App

3. Rinse & repeat. You’ll need to do this as often as required by legislation (see the requirements table below).

*Note: if you let us know your strata’s contact details and give them a heads up that we’re your managing agency, we’ll be able to help you get these docs from them. Just let us know at hello@different.com.au

QLD requirements

Compliance item

Required?

Frequency

Smoke alarms

30 days before each new tenancy (including lease renewals)

Water efficiency

*If you're charging tenants for water usage

One-off

Private pool (house)

Every 2 years

Shared pool (strata)

Every year

Gas

Electrical safety

NSW requirements

Compliance item

Required?

Frequency

Smoke alarms

Every year and before each new tenancy

Water efficiency

*If you're charging tenants for water usage

One-off

Private pool (house)

Every 3 years

Shared pool (strata)

Every 3 years

Gas

Electrical safety

VIC requirements

Compliance item

Required?

Frequency

Smoke alarms

Every year and before each new tenancy

Water efficiency

Private pool (house)

Every 4 years

Shared pool (strata)

Every year

Gas

*If you have gas appliances

Every 2 years

Electrical safety

Every 2 years

How to stay on top of all your tasks

Clearly, there’s a lot that you’ll need to stay on top of. You’ll find it helpful to keep an eye on the status of each compliance item in the Owner App, as it’ll make it obvious what actions are needed from you: 

🔍 Awaiting upload: You’ll need to get a certificate for that item and upload it to the app to confirm you’re compliant (see the “regular actions you need to take” section above). 

🔍 Inspected on [date]: You’re compliant for this item! 

For compliance certificates that expire, it’ll change to “certificate expired” to remind you to upload a new one. 

🔍 Certificate expired: Same as “awaiting upload” – you’ll need to get an updated certificate and upload it to the app. 

💡 Are there any certificates you’ve shared that aren’t showing up in your app just yet? No fret – our expert compliance team are currently working hard to get all the certificates uploaded.
We’ll be following up to ensure you’re compliant

We’re sure you don’t want to see yourself in a place like this…

… so if any of your compliance certificates are outstanding or missing, our compliance team will be following up to make sure you’re all covered.

You can switch to :Different-managed compliance at any time

If it’s looking like too much work to stay on top of everything, you can easily pass compliance management back to us. Simply tap on the “Can I change compliance method?” FAQ at the bottom of your compliance screen, and follow the prompts.

3. VIC disclosure requirements

If you’re a VIC owner, there’s one more document that you’ll need to sign, in line with legislation: a VIC disclosure statement. 

Whilst this isn’t in the Owner App just yet, this is a doc we’ll send to you for signing each time you enter into a new lease agreement. Since it needs to be attached to the lease, we won’t be able to issue a new lease for your tenant to sign until you’ve shared this form with us. 

You can have a read of these disclosure requirements on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website to understand what you’ll need to disclose in this form. 

4. Compliance FAQs in your Owner App

If you ever have any questions about compliance, the answers are just a couple of taps away – FAQs are located towards the bottom of the compliance section in your app. 

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Send us a message by tapping the button at the bottom of your compliance screen, and we’ll get back to you ASAP. 

 

Have questions, suggestions or comments? We’d love to hear from you!

Please feel free to reach out to us at hello@different.com.au.

Recent Posts
:Different updatesA guide to the tenant app
:Different updatesWhat we’re doing :Differently in 2020
:Different updates4 ways :Different uses technology to improve property management