Proposed amendment to the RTA: furniture affixed to walls
The Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is drafting amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) so tenants will be permitted to affix furniture to walls in rented premises to protect children from the risk of falling items.
You may have seen in the media that a child died from injuries sustained when a set of drawers fell on them as a consequence of attempting to climb using the drawers as a ladder.
The WA Coroner made recommendations that the RTA be amended. The DMIRS is proceeding with the amendment and has sought input from REIWA about where it would be deemed reasonable for consent to be withheld.
DMIRS has suggested that, for example, it would be reasonable for consent to be withheld if the alteration would damage asbestos building material or if the premises are heritage listed.
We have concerns with studded walls where an inappropriate ‘anchor’ point may not provide sufficient strength and may result in unnecessary damage if the ‘anchor’ is pulled out.
The prime implications of the change will be who has to insert the ‘anchor’ points and the disputes at the termination of the tenancy with removing the ‘anchor’ points and making good the wall, especially if the existing paint cannot be matched.