RACV offers three safety-orientated property inspection reports – Landlord Safety Inspection, Child Safety Inspection and Senior Safety Inspection. The purpose of these inspections is to identify potential health and safety hazards in residential homes and investment properties and to make recommendations as to how the associated risks can be mitigated. This ensures your property, whether owned or managed, is safe for your loved ones and tenants.
RACV Property Inspections are only available for residential properties and is only available to be purchased by home owners (including landlords). Property Inspections are not available to be purchased by tenants.
Incidents that occur in and around the home is significant and may result in serious injury or death. Furthermore, incidents that occur within the home such as children falling from windows, slips and falls, injuries caused by gas leaks or electrical faults and could often have been prevented if the hazard had been identified and addressed.
The Courts have established that as a landlord you have duty of care to your tenants and as such if a tenant or entrant was injured at the property you may be exposed to a legal claim, especially if there was a defect which was either known or should have been known.
Unfortunately, the identification of defects may not be straight forward but as the landlord you are expected to have taken reasonable care to avoid foreseeable harm to your tenant. Most managing agents are not qualified or equipped to recognise all safety issues in your property. An RACV Property Inspection will ensure you are informed, and your property manager has the tools at hand to protect your interests.
Inspector scheduled: A qualified inspector will be allocated to your inspection order and will contact you to schedule in a date and time that suits you both.
Inspection conducted: The inspector will conduct a comprehensive safety inspection, covering a checklist of more than 100 safety issues for your home or investment property.
Report delivery: You will receive an easy to read comprehensive report usually 24 hours after your inspection detailing risks identified, photos of inspected areas and recommended actions to address hazards identified.
Take action: To address risks identified and act on any recommendations within your report, connect with a qualified tradesperson using our online RACV Home Trades & Services platform.
Inspections are available to be booked for residential homes subject to the availability of RACV property inspectors in your area. Appointment times are subject to the availability of the allocated inspector.
If an inspection is requested in an area that cannot be fulfilled by one of our inspectors or agreement cannot be reached between the customer and inspector on a time/date for the inspection to take place, the inspection will be cancelled, and a full refund will be provided.
An RACV report is a visual inspection of the property whereby trained inspectors aim to identify any safety issues in that property and report on them in accordance to the type of report ordered. It is important to understand that it is not an intrusive or all-encompassing report dealing with the property from every aspect. The recommendations are limited to residential health and safety issues where there are reasonably foreseeable risks that could result in sickness, injury or death. The Report is prepared on the basis that the use of the building will continue as a residential property and IS NOT suitable for Workplace Health and Safety purposes.
Inspection scope for a unit / apartment includes the interior of the unit and associated balconies, the main public entry door and foyer, the immediately adjacent external area (within 2 metres) of the main public entry door, walkways to and from the unit door between the main public entry, stairwell and elevator (if present), the main stairwell up to 3 levels (when no elevator is present) and the parking space or garage associated with the unit if accessible. When an elevator is used, we inspect and report on the interior of the elevator. Inspection specifically excludes all stairwells (when an elevator is present) and all remaining common internal or external areas, grounds, steps, stairs, balconies, walkways, structures and buildings. Any obvious safety risks noticed at any time during our movement to and from the building will be noted in “Inspector Observations”.
Our inspection scope explained above may include areas or sections that are managed by a Strata and/or the Body Corporate entity. In these instances, any safety issue discovered during the inspection in those areas can be referred to those services. In most instances the interior of the residence is the responsibility of the owner. To obtain a detailed understanding of what sections, areas and locations are the responsibility of the strata/body corporate service please refer to your strata/body corporate contract.
A pool safety inspection is an optional extra that can be added to any report for $100. A pool safety inspection is a 42-point pre-compliance inspection of the pool fencing, guided by Australian Standard AS1926.1
The key question is not when someone is injured will I be held liable; it is how do I reduce the likelihood of someone being injured in the first place. The vast majority of injuries around the home are preventable, so it is essential to be proactive not reactive.
An RACV safety inspection and report is not the same as a pre-purchase, compliance or building certification report. The premise for the report is first and foremost regarding safety by alerting homeowners to safety risks and providing options to mitigate those risks. The scope of the inspection is based on statistics associated with hospital treated home injuries, general medical practice presentation, legal claims for injury or death, and reported safety issues at a reasonable persons’ expectation and considered common sense.
Guidance for the inspection scope has been received via excerpts from several building codes, practices, Australian Standards, and various published reports such as the Monash University Report into slips, trips and falls. Please note we do not purport to encompass all of the inclusions in those documents. An RACV report is a result of findings based on a clear scope of inclusions and exclusions and, may at times, include comments associated with legislated requirements both current, retrospective or non-retrospective.
Note: Acting on “Major” imminently life-threatening issues discovered is strongly recommended and as per “The Inspectors Code of Conduct” any such issues are brought to the attention of the home occupants, if present, and/or property manager so that immediate attention to the matter can be managed.
No, pre-purchase building reports are completed to advise you of the structural integrity of the building at the time of inspection and compliance issues in relation to building standards for when the property was constructed. They will often partially cover some safety issues, however the inspectors are not trained safety experts and, as such, do not seek to identify safety issues. A safety report is designed to ensure the home environment is safe to live in and considers current recommendations from Coroners and Courts to help you mitigate your risk.
The current recommendation regarding the frequency of an RACV residential safety inspection is every two years, however this may change depending upon the condition of the property at the previous inspection. Properties that are deemed to be above average with a low level of issues may be extended to 3-4 years whereas properties in poor condition with a significant number of issues should be checked every year.
A safety inspection details conditions that were present on the day of inspection only. Those conditions can change at any time after the report and is not a guarantee of safety for a future period.
The purpose of an RACV safety inspection and report is to mitigate the risk of personal injury. Obtaining one enables you to proactively address any issues. The reality is that accidents can and will occur however, you can be comforted with the knowledge that if an accident occurs the likelihood of someone being injured is significantly reduced.
The report highlights any safety issues identified as being very low, low, moderate, high and very high. Any high-risk issues would be of most concern and then moderate and so on. In all instances it is at the home owner’s discretion as to what, if any, rectifications are made and to what degree.
The report offers a risk matrix for each issue discovered to support the owner in making those decisions. It has been our experience that owners give immediate attention to major issues in the first instance and then decide on lower risk issues individually based on an opinion of merit and financial viability risk to cost assessment. Every issue eliminated or modified removes or lowers the risk of harm to the property occupants and guests.
It would be a reasonable assumption that newer homes would have less safety risks associated with them, assuming that they have been constructed compliantly, however there is often a lack of correlation between what the building standards require and “best practice” in terms of your family’s safety, especially when it comes to the most common type of injuries being trip, slip and fall injuries.
In addition, many new homes have had additional renovations or installed fixtures and fittings after initial construction which can create safety hazards.
Many property owners find that an inspection carried out before the property is 5 years old will provide them a useful list of issues that their builder may need to address before the new building warranty period expires.
No, a property condition report (routine inspection) is not specifically designed to detect safety hazards and risks. There certainly are some minor aspects of it that does address safety, but it does not deal with any substantial safety aspects. Property managers are not building inspectors and may not have building and safety expertise required to identify the myriad of potential safety hazards.
The purpose of the landlord safety inspection is to identify potential hazards that could lead to health and safety issues for your tenants and therefore mitigate the risk of personal injury claims.
It offers guidance to lower the risks although cannot remove the risks entirely. At this time there is no Australian Standard for residential safety inspections, and until a standard is established, we believe our inspections would currently be considered “best practice” for this type of service. The safety issues included in our inspection and report are guided by our research of the current National Building Codes; Australian Standards for Glass, Electrical, Smoke Alarms, Pool Fencing and Curtain Cords; The Monash Report on Slips, Trips and Falls; and The Slips, Trips and Falls – Final Decision RIS report.