Tenancy Tip Thursday - Appliance Manuals

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by D.T., 1st Oct, 2015.

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  1. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Hiya

    This week I thought I'd share an interesting and peculiar piece of legislation. It's in SA only but investors in all states could benefit.

    In South Australia, you must provide the tenant with the manufacturers operation manual / guide for devices in the house such as:
    • Oven
    • Dishwasher
    • Air conditioning
    • Garden auto Retic unit
    • Pool filter

    Failing to do so means the tenant can't be reasonably expected to maintain or clean these devices correctly or at all. Therefore, any issues that arise from not properly maintaining / cleaning these devices are borne by the landlord, with no chance of tenant recourse. On the newer lease template it has a space to list which of these are present in the home and which manuals have been provided. Personally I'd go a step further and note their presence and location at ingoing / outgoing condition inspections as the tenant signs these. They can then be produced as evidence in tribunal if needed. It also ensures they're provided / replaced if needed.

    This legislation exists in no other state as far as I could find.

    However, it may be beneficial for investors in other states to do the same. Firstly its a good habit to get into in case the legislation does come in.

    Secondly it could save you money. Imagine if a tenant called saying the oven won't turn on. Ask them if they've read the manual (which might resolve the issue) before calling the sparky and that'll make it easier to send the bill their way if it was user error. Similarly a lot of aircond issues are from filters being improperly maintained. This can sometimes be passed onto the tenant already, but if they had the guide telling them how I bet that would improve your chances.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  2. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    I do it for my grannyflat tenants and will do the same for other IP. Great tip. There's no point for me to keep them. Maybe I should make copies as well.
     
  3. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I had always done this until I noticed that every vacating tenant threw them in the bin. The manuals are all online now too.
     
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  4. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    In SA its compulsory, but good tip about getting replacements online.
     
  5. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    I just provide them with a copy of "Life for Dummies'.

    Towards the end of lease they get the final chaper - 'Realities of Life for Dummies'. ;)
     
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  6. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    I would just supply them with a printout of the websites where they can download the manuals. Let the tenants print them out :D
     
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  7. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker Business Member

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    DT do you know the legislation that requires this?
     
  8. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker Business Member

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    here it is

    s 48 RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1995 (SA)
    (2) A landlord must take reasonable steps to ensure that a tenant is given, before or at the time
    the tenant commences occupation of the premises under a residential tenancy agreement, manufacturers' manuals, or written or oral instructions, about the operation of any domestic facilities requiring instructions.

    http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/rta1995207/s48.html
     
  9. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Yup, although oral instructions are obviously pointless.

    Also the standard lease http://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/17483/Fixed_term_lease_agreement.pdf has a section for writing these details in.
     
  10. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    Mind you the manuals may not be found if the manufacturer has revamped their sites or decides to remove them. Paper form is still best.
     
  11. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    In other states maybe; not in SA.


    Yup. In SA where it's compulsory it's worth downloading them and saving them in case the manufacturer discontinues the product. Sounds like overkill but I like being thorough and prepared.

    I don't think investors in other states have anything to lose by doing the same.
     
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  12. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker Business Member

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    PDF form would probably meet the requirements of s48.
     
  13. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    I am going to do the same in NSW!
     
  14. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    have been giving the agents a copy of Dishwasher ( Please clean the filter) and Gas Stove (Please clean the stove) operating booklets for years.(NSW)
    I hope this helps!
     
  15. joel

    joel Well-Known Member

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    This is brilliant to know. As a tenant, I have never been given the manual to anything!
     
  16. Nikoletta

    Nikoletta Member

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    I think it's a great practice regardless of the legislation. They often include basic trouble shooting too, which is handy, especially when it comes to hot water systems.
    I think it's hard to police what they do with the original manuals so I keep those myself and download PDFs where possible, or scan originals. I normally email them so there is an evidence that they received it. I always note that if they want a hard copy, I'm happy to print it but no one ever asked for one.
     
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  17. jim1964

    jim1964 1941

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    I noticed recently a $75 add on charge on the management agreement to supply this stuff to tenants.I asked where they are going to get a manual for the 1950 stove from...................? I crossed the $75 clause out, and said if there is a issue, i will download( if it is available) the info required.
     
    joel likes this.