Making changes to a rental property

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General information

  • Tenants can make changes if they have the landlord’s written consent, or if the tenancy agreement permits it.
  • If the tenant’s request is considered ‘minor’ then the landlord must not unreasonably withhold consent.
  • The tenant must pay for changes they make to the property, unless the landlord agrees otherwise.

What's considered 'minor'?

The laws list the kinds of ‘minor’ changes for which it would be unreasonable for the landlord to say no to.

These include:

  • securing furniture to a non-tiled wall for safety reasons
  • fitting a childproof latch to an outdoor gate of a single dwelling
  • inserting fly screens on windows
  • installing or replacing an internal window covering e.g. curtains and removeable blinds
  • installing cleats or cord guides to secure blind or curtain cords
  • installing child safety gates inside the property
  • installing window safety devices for child safety
  • installing hand-held shower heads or lever-style taps to assist elderly or disabled occupants
  • installing or replacing hooks, nails or screws for hanging paintings, picture frames and other similar items
  • installing phone line or internet connection
  • planting vegetables, flowers, herbs or shrubs (shrubs that don’t grow more than 2 meters) in the garden if existing vegetation or plants do not need to be removed
  • installing a wireless removable outdoor security camera
  • applying shatter-resistant film to window or glass doors
  • making modifications that don’t penetrate a surface, or permanently modify a surface, fixture or structure of the property.

A landlord may require the following changes be carried out by a qualified person:

  • installing hand-held shower heads or lever-style taps to assist elderly or disabled occupants
  • installing a phone line or internet connection.

This does not apply if a property is listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register, or if the property is a heritage item. Some restrictions and exclusions also apply to property in a strata scheme, residential land lease community, or to social housing properties.

Don't forget: Even if the change is included in the above list, tenants must still get the landlord’s written permission.

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